Venues, local organisation & front of house

Work for us helping to organize shows in villages and towns

Local organisers

We can’t tour without local help 

  • Touring to communities – We cannot visit a community to do a show without a local person or ideally group of people to liaise with us – and, luckily, we have loads of these lovely people already & rely on them so much. But if you would like us to visit your community & can fit a visit in, the first thing to do is volunteer to be the local organizer & make a proposal for your community, or even better gather a small group of people to do it with you.
  • Gate-keeper advocates – We often call these key volunteers ‘gate-keeper advocates’ because they have two really important qualities: They know their community well & just as importantly are known by the community; therefore can be a really good gateway for us to connect to people. Secondly, they care about our work & are prepared to be advocates for it.
  • Why we need you – If we just turned up in a new community, even with posters & fliers everywhere, hardly anyone would turn up to see ours shows. The reason for that is because on the whole people are not adventurous about the theatre they go & see and many people don’t see theatre at all. We are not a household name, nor do we use plays with famous titles, nor actors with well-known names & faces – and because we are dedicated to working mainly in rural communities we are mostly not covered by the national press. People need to be reassured by someone whose opinions they trust that they are going to have a good time – and that’s why our local organisers are so important – because they are key people in the community & they love our work.

The work  

  • What is involved? – This needn’t be time-consuming, nor onerous – and if the ‘local organiser’ is in fact two or more people, even less so. It involves basic organization: deciding with Pete Talbot, the Rudes’ Artistic Director, on the best space & liaising with him by email & phone on the ttd as they arise, booking the village hall, or field, liaising with the parish council or owners of the space, finding accommodation for the team if we stay over (see below), putting up posters (usually very few), putting fliers where people will find them, organizing a local box office or being a ‘walking box office’, putting text & pictures in the local magazine or on the local Facebook page, maybe finding a front of house team (see below) and generally getting the word out.
  • A team is better – This may seem a lot of jobs, but not all things apply to all venues & in practice most things can be done quickly – and so much easier when you have a team.

The rewards

  • There are several – The biggest reward perhaps is being able to enjoy with friends, family, neighbours & colleagues just getting together, having a picnic & some wine, and seeing some top professional theatre. These events bring communities together, improve the quality of life for everyone & just bring joy for everyone. We have visited many venues for 20 years & children have grown up to be parents themselves while watching our shows. There is the satisfaction in seeing how well you have got your community mobilised – and you come for free!


  • We are always very full but dates do come up – At the moment we have a very full itinerary but dates do come up each year, so if you are interested then email Pete –

Front of house

The need 

  • A crucial job on the night – never have enough people to do front of house, so if you like coming to our shows, would like to help & come for free, let us know where you live & we’ll see if it is practical for you to be involved in your nearest performances.
  • The work – The work involves arriving about an hour & three-quarters before the show is due to start (5.45 for 7.30 start), setting up the tables in the front of house tent, controlling entrance to the audience area, selling tickets, programmes & merchandise, filling in the front of house ‘record sheets’ & clearing up afterward.
  • The course – We now have an online course to tell you what to do. It’s short & easy to follow. Just get in touch.
  • The reward – You do get busy but some people like that & being a part of it all is fun. Also, you get to see the show for free!


  •  We always need front of house teams! – We have performances right across Southern England, except in Cornwall. Our front of house coordinator is Glenn Overington. Email him if you can help –

Overnight accommodation

The need

  • Places for the team to stay overnight – We stay away from our base in Eastbourne about sixteen times during the summer & often in places where B&B is hard to get or very expensive. It would add to the cost of touring enormously if all accommodation was in hotels & B&B. Besides it’s fun putting up an actor. If you would like to host one of our team & live close to one of our venues it would be so helpful for us!

What it involves

  • Opening your home – Actors work hard & need a good night’s sleep so we are looking at single rooms really – and they will need breakfast. Because they work late their body clocks tend to be different from the rest of us, so probably wouldn’t want to get up before 10.00. Ideally it would be good to meet ‘your actor’ at about 5.15 at the site where the show will take place & just say hello. If there is time then they might like to go back with you & see their room. After the show if it is possible to get to a pub they will probably want to relax with a drink & you of course are welcome to join them. Otherwise liaise with them about how to get in when they get back, but it won’t be too late.

The rewards 

  • It’s fun – Of course they will be tired & may not want to talk after the show, although some do & will enjoy a drink with you. But they all special, creative & interesting people – and you and your partner (& children if you have them) get to come for free. Just let us know if you can help.


Who to contact – It may be that this is being organized by the local organizer. If you know them already liaise with them. Otherwise contact Pete by phone if you want to talk about it – 01323-501260 – or by email –

Become a Friend

  • Becoming a volunteer means becoming a Friend – If you become a volunteer then we automatically include you as a Friend & you will receive newsletters from time to time about our work, inspirations, commedia dell’arte & other interesting things – unless of course you don’t want all that, which is fine. In which case just say & we won’t send you all that stuff. Just helping us maybe enough for you.
  • Click on – ‘Becoming a Friend’