Introducing the delightful Dionne…


Hello, I’m Dionne and I am coving the role of Company Administrator whilst the Kirsty is off on maternity leave. I am originally from Warwick, although I now live in beautiful rural south Warwickshire with my family: a MAMIL, two teenage boys and a rescued greyhound. I am very lucky to live in a lovely community where the local village hall has put on many fabulous Live and Local shows over the years, so I have seen several of the shows that Live and Local has supported. I’ve enjoyed every one (even the ones which I initially thought might not be my cup of tea) and have always been impressed by the quality of the performances.

Previous to joining Live and Local, I was a Parish Clerk and an administrator for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon. Although I did once accidently bump into David Tennant backstage (and it was not intentional, honestly – in fact he may have actually bumped into me), my highlight was definitely being involved with the planning of a major incident training exercise with the emergency services. We staged a real-time armed hostage situation with over 200 participants, so that the police, fire service and paramedics could practice their procedures. The whole exercise was very interesting and I was permitted to observe the whole event – it was fascinating listening to the specialist police negotiators and hugely exciting when armed officers stormed the building and neutralised the threat. And it was certainly very dramatic, as you would expect with the RSC!

I am a massive fan of live performance and have a particular love of music, so when I am not at work I am likely to be either playing my saxophone or involved with Stratford Jazz where I am the Club Secretary. I also lead a jazz quartet called The Lounge Club and I regularly perform with a rather lively and sassy jump-jive 7-peice outfit called Boperator Boogie Band. And when I’m not being noisy, I am usually found pottering around my garden.


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Brighton Fringe

Collage 2017-06-06 16_58_35Ally and Jo were lucky enough to receive a grant from the NRTF through the Rural Touring Dance Initiative to go and see some dance shows at the Brighton Fringe this year. They packed in as many shows as possible to see if any would be suitable for Rural Touring. Here’s what they had to say about it:

Jo: Never having been to the Brighton Fringe before I was thrilled to have this opportunity to see some fantastic shows.
Ally: I have never been to an Arts Festival and have never been to Brighton so this was a double whammy for me!brig3
Jo: And the weather was absolutely gorgeous.
Ally: We both have the sunburn to prove it! Brighton is such a hub of culture with some beautiful areas, I was thrilled to be there for the Fringe.
Jo: When we arrived, the team at the Arts Industry tent were extremely helpful in getting all our tickets for us.
Ally: Especially when I had misplaced some tickets and had to go back…
Jo: Don’t remind me! We had two days to see as much as possible, which often meant dashing off to the next show or jumping in a taxi to make sure we caught the next one! All the effort was worth it as we some truly great shows.brig2
Ally: My highlight was ‘We are Ian’ by In Bed With My Brother at the Komedia. An immersive dance performance based around the house and rave scene of 1989, delving into the frenzied drug fixation and party madness known around that time. The audience was in for a treat and an experience from the get go!
Jo: I am very jealous I missed that one! But I was seeing some fantastic ones myself. My highlight was a contemporary dance show, ‘WATCHING Ceci n’est de deux’ with an alien looking life sized puppet! Which I think would be great for rural touring albeit a bit shocking!brig4.jpg
Ally: That sounds bizarre but I think I would’ve loved it!
Jo: We also managed to catch a show together at the end, a comedy mime called Trygve Wakenshaw.
Ally: He was truly incredible! We were in stitches and having to hold on to each other for almost the whole 75 minutes! I could’ve seen him again and again.
Jo: All in all a fantastic experience which enabled us to scout out things that might be possible to bring to you through our rural touring programme.
Ally: We have definitely come back with some ideas for new and fresh productions we could bring on for rural touring but only time will tell – stay tuned!

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A warm welcome to Ally the new Assistant Administrator!

Hi there!

polaroid temp ally 2

People have said they love my OTT facial expressions…I think it’s because they love a good laugh!

My name is Ally and I’m the new Assistant Administrator for Live & Local. I reign originally from Wales (and yes I can pronounce the long village name!) and spent three years in York studying Philosophy. I will be assisting Kirsty, the Company Administrator, in the office with day-to-day tasks including being the first point of contact for incoming queries – so no doubt you will speak with me at some point!

Previous to my job here at Live & Local, I have been a Chocolate Factory Tour Guide, a Halloween ‘Scare’ Actor, an Assistant Agent for Actors and a Family information Service Support Assistant. Quite an array! However, I am very happy to be here at Live & Local supporting the Arts in Rural Communities. I’ve already been to see a show, Remi Harris, since starting three months ago and it was fantastic!

In my spare time I enjoy playing piano and violin, reading, watching films and acting in Amateur Dramatics! rugby

Since moving to Warwick I have also taken up Rugby which I have never played before! What a fun, crazy and brilliant game!

I’m looking forward to my time at Live & Local and I cannot wait to see some more shows and support you all in achieving some stand out performances! 


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Introducing our new Marketing Assistant!



I’m Jo the new Marketing Assistant here at Live and Local. I am thrilled to be joining the team and help spread the joy of theatre and music to rural areas. Having been working for a couple of months now I am getting to know how the marketing department works as well as getting to know all the lovely staff who work here.

Having graduated from the Arts University Bournemouth in Costume with Performance Design I have done an array of things from designing set and costume for fringe theatre in London to working backstage in pantomime land and even working on cruise ships in the Caribbean!

I also completed an internship for the King’s Lynn Festival as their Communications and Marketing Assistant which I thoroughly enjoyed. I am looking forward to getting to know all the areas that Live and Local work with and especially Leamington Spa where I have just moved in with some lovely fellow theatre lovers.

I love going to see shows of any type from Balinese dance to Alternative folk or a one man band, so I can’t wait to meet you all and see and create some brilliant events together.

All the best!



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Discover: Warwickshire Storytrails

The launch of our new Warwickshire heritage cyber storytrail was a huge success!

Friday 9 September saw St Peter’s Church, Wellesbourne packed with over 130 people for the launch of Live & Local’s new ‘Discover: Warwickshire Storytrails’ project. With the first hands-on use of the pilot ‘Discover: Chedham’s Stories’ mobile website and the premiere of 11 story-songs about Chedham’s Yard’s past by local musicians Kel Elliott & Her Three Man Orchestra, the night was a huge success.

picmonkey-collageSupported by Warwickshire County Council’s Tourism Event Fund, Live & Local is developing an innovative way to explore heritage sites through stories and songs. The pilot, ‘Discover: Chedham’s Stories’ launched on the Heritage Open Days weekend, offering an enhanced visitor experience at the Chedham’s Yard blacksmith heritage site. The brand new storytrail mobile website ( blends historical and folklore stories, music and interactive artwork together to uncover the wonders of the site’s tools, machines and buildings.

Attendee’s said of the launch event:

‘Well done Kel. Well done the band. Well done Live & Local and well done to all the Chedham’s volunteers for being something special.’

‘Absolutely outstanding!’

‘Just a lovely imaginative interpretation.’

‘It was educational… I will go and visit.’

Following the success of the launch, Live & Local and Chedham’s Yard invite visitors to take advantage of the storytrail. Visit for site opening times.

A limited edition run of 500 CD’s has been produced for the pilot project, featuring all of the songs performed at the launch event and to be heard on the online storytrail. CD’s are £10 each and are available from Chedham’s Yard (raising money for the Yard) or from Live & Local on 01926 402 173 or by emailing (raising money to extend the project to other heritage sites).

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Live & Local roll out dance shows as part of Rural Touring Dance Initiative

Live & Local are proud to announce our involvement in the Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI), a brand new and exciting dance project bringing high-quality dance shows to rural audiences.

We have completed the first three spectacular dance performances of ‘May Contain Food-May Contain You’ by Protein Dance at Manton Village Hall, Ropsley Village Hall and Kineton Sports & Social Centre. The shows went down a storm bringing song, theatre, comedy, dance and of course…food!


Keep your eyes peeled for our Spring/Summer season when we have Panta Rei Danse Teatr from Norway and Sonia Sabri Dance Company. These shows are fantastic value for money as they boast supplementary activities including workshops, taster sessions and installations; aimed at inspiring all generations to fall in love with dance, these additional extras enhance the audience experience, engaging them in this vibrant art form for long after the show has finished.

We look forward to a long and fruitful future with the RTDI and will be bringing more compelling dance shows to rural areas over the coming years!

More information on the RTDI can be found here.

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Volunteers’ Week 2016: A Big Thank You to You All

With Volunteers Week upon us, who could ask for a better time to celebrate the invaluable contribution that our Volunteer Promoters make to their local communities?

Over the last 12 months, our promoters have held over 500 live shows and film screenings throughout Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

We would like to say a big thank you to the over 3600 volunteers who make up the voluntary organisations across the Midlands whose hard work and commitment has allowed high quality, professional theatre, music and dance to be performed right on their doorstep!

Our Volunteer Promoters have collectively spent a total of over 20,000 volunteer hours supporting shows throughout the Midlands.

Team Photo copy1

The 2015/16 season has now drawn to a close but the promoters and Live & Local team are busy preparing for the Autumn/Winter 2016/17 season.

Keep your eyes peeled for the new season launch in September when we will have lots of new, entertaining and exciting shows for you.

If you’re looking for an event to go to over the summer, there will be film screenings taking place with our Big Picture Show rural cinema network across Staffordshire and Warwickshire. Click here to see what’s on.

And if you would like to get involved as a local Volunteer Promoter, bringing affordable live entertainment to the heart of your community, please click here.

Thank you for your support and have a fantastic summer!

Volunteers’ week is a UK-wide campaign to promote the role of volunteering. It is an annual event which takes place at the start of June and celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK. It is run by National Council For Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) in partnership with Volunteer Development Scotland, Volunteer Now (Northern Ireland) and Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

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