Night Out – a scheme to bring acclaimed shows to communities in Wales

The programme by the Arts Council of Wales recently brought the theatre tour of Orpheus to Oasis Cardiff last week

A performance of Orpheus on the 13 June

Night Out brings hundreds of shows to community halls and other non-traditional venues every year at more reasonable prices. 

The scheme organised by the Arts Council of Wales, works with local authorities and volunteers to engage more people with the arts, organising cultural events in their village halls or local small venues. 

Peter Gregory, head of Night Out, said, “We aim at allowing communities to put on high-quality performance, without the risk of financial loss.

“We assist promoters providing financial support and also advice on how to promote the events,” he continued, “but we don’t dictate the ticket prices.”  

The scheme works on a guarantee against loss basis. The initial payment for the performers is made by Night Out. The promoter, the community group hosting, pays it back through ticket sales. 

Night Out is taking theatre shows like The Ugly Duckling producedby the Sherman Theatre, to communities all around Wales. 

“I think it’s important to promote the arts anywhere, it’s a chance for the community to come together and see great shows,” Peter added. 

The scheme started in 1980 in South East Wales and it has expanded to all of Wales. Peter said that over the years Night Out has reached communities through volunteering groups and networks such as the Pembroke Association of Voluntary Services.

The Flanagan Collective and Gobbledigook Theatre,two theatre companies from North England, recently worked with Night Out to bring their production of Orpheus to Oasis Cardiff.

Natalie Allison, general manager at Gobbledigook Theatre, said, “This was our very first time coming to Oasis Cardiff and it was very exciting because through Night Out, our company has connected with people have never seen or heard of this production before, creating a conversation with them about storytelling.”