Adelaide’s Patch Theatre secures National Touring Status

Cranky BearAdelaide’s Patch Theatre Company has announced it has secured National Touring Status from the Australia Council for the Arts. The funding will enable Patch to continue its extensive established national touring program for the next three years, delivering their work throughout Australia and with a special emphasis on regional and remote areas.

Only four companies nationally were recipients of this funding, including Bell Shakespeare, Circa, Sydney Dance Company and Patch. Patch Theatre is the only South Australian and dedicated performing arts company for children to receive funding and they were selected for their outstanding application which demonstrated their dynamic ethos of engagement and ongoing reputation for producing quality work that respects their audience of four to eight year olds.

In 2015, 2016 and 2017 Patch will hit the road with three consecutive national tours, starting with Cranky Bear the company’s inspirational new work based on the best-selling children’s picture book The Very Cranky Bear by Australian author and illustrator Nick Bland. The highly anticipated work premieres in August this year.

The mOOn’s a ballOOn which received critical acclaim at the 2013 Come Out Festival will tour in 2016. The work is inspired by the EE Cummings poem of the same name and suggests that amazing possibilities can come from the simplest of things. 2017 will see Henry and Amy tour nationally, based on the book by Stephen Michael King.

In addition to regional performances, Patch will increase their audience engagement and development leading to greater enjoyment of their work for children and opportunities for enhanced cultural vibrancy and ongoing relationships within the community outside of the theatre.

This is particularly so for The mOOn’s a ballOOn production which supports communities to structure performance and visual arts segments which intersect with the touring performance.

Patch has presented 10 national Playing Australia tours over the last 11 years and performed in more than 70 venues to over 200,000 children. In 2014, Patch has a 5 month long national tour of its Helpmann Award winning Mr McGee and the Biting Flea in Australia and a New Zealand production of the same show also touring nationally for 5 months in association with Capital E National Children’s Theatre.

“It is universally acknowledged that the arts have a significant role in encouraging creative thinking and an engagement with learning,” says Patch Theatre Artistic Director Dave Brown.

“Through live performance, theatre, dance and music we invent new ways to tell our stories and define our culture. We are incredibly honoured to receive the funding by Australia Council.

“It will allow us to continue to thrill and delight young people to experience the magic of live performance across Australia providing them with access to see quality work specifically designed for their age group.”

It comes, as Patch Theatre announces the appointment of Thom Browning as the company’s third and final Associate Director in Residence. A graduate of the QUT Creative Industries faculty, Browning was appointed for his past experience as a multidisciplinary artist, producer and director with a specialist practice in creating contemporary theatre and arts experiences for and with children.

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Image: Images from Cranky Bear – courtesy of Patch Theatre Company