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Applecross, Resolis, Ardross and Cromarty venues hook-up to 'micronetwork' to put on more events

By Hector MacKenzie

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SMALL communities in Ross-shire are set to benefit from a variety of live performances after banding together as part of an initiative that also supports music, theatre and dance acts.

Applecross Community Hall, Ardross Hall, Cromarty Arts Trust and Resolis Community Arts are amongst the groups to have collaboratively booked theatre, music, and dance performances, aided by £20,000 and advice from The Touring Network, an initiative supported by Creative Scotland.

Eden Court in Inverness and Nairn Community Centre are also involved.


Jasmin Vardimon's Alice in VR Wonderland, Stafford & Collett Productions' comedy Gold! and alt-rock band Frankie Morrow's performance are among the tours which will see the benefits of this new network.

Venues worked together through mutually agreed dates and clear routes between locations to make tours more viable financially and environmentally.

By joining forces, resources and expertise, arts venues and village halls can take risks and book and promote performances they might not normally programme.

Claire Mackay, director of The Touring Network, said: “An amazing live performance isn't just something that happens in cities.

"Thanks to our network of 60-plus venues and volunteers – all working tirelessly to make their communities better places to live, work and visit – we are seeing more and more wonderful live performances reach the nooks and crannies of Scotland.

"We're delighted to see that our first micro-network will support less 'one-off' dates, meaning a reduction in emissions, less admin and costs for performers and a supportive network for the people booking shows, who are often volunteers.

"Their programme selection had a common vision to diversify their audiences and get more young people through the doors. I have no doubt that the shows selected will offer everyone a brilliant cultural experience on their doorstep.”

In addition, performers can spend more time in each area, allowing for engagement with schools and community groups, and contribute to the local economy."

Barbara Gillies of Applecross Community Hall committee said as the smallest venue on the micronetwork, organisers are "excited and delighted".

She said: "It’s been a great experience for our volunteers to meet the staff from the other venues and plan rural tours for three sets of performers who we would have been very unlikely to have had the opportunity to host otherwise due to our remote location and small audience number.

"It has been very exciting to see Applecross Community Hall listed as one of venues on tour posters alongside much bigger highland venues and we can’t wait to welcome the performers to Applecross."

Who is involved and where can I see them?

Jasmin Vardimon: Alice in VR Wonderland

Jasmin Vardimon: Alice in VR Wonderland.
Jasmin Vardimon: Alice in VR Wonderland.

Step out of the ordinary and into the unexpected, fantastical, and fearless world of Alice – a multi-sensory virtual reality experience. This unique dance theatre VR experience is an imaginative adaptation of the timeless story Alice in Wonderland. Feel up close with the performers in a magical adventure and be completely immersed in a VR Wonderland.

Thursday 4 April - Eden Court

Friday 5 April - Applecross

Sat 6 April - Cromarty

Sun 7 April - Ardross

Mon 8 April - Nairn

Stafford & Collett Productions: Gold!


Fresh from a successful run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Gold! is a sharp new comedy, with a cracking soundtrack. Featuring Kate Stafford and Nicholas Collett as Julie and Dave, a middle-aged couple who find themselves in a very sticky situation. For four decades they have been hiding a secret behind their comfortable suburban lifestyle: a huge stash of gold bars, originating in an infamous heist. A comedy with a big heart, this is a fun night out at the theatre, with a huge dollop of nostalgia for anyone who was young in the 1980s.

Fri 3 May - Cromarty

Sat 4 May - Applecross

Tue 7 May - Eden Court

Thursday 9 May - Nairn

Saturday 11 May - Ardross

Frankie Morrow

Frankie Morrow.
Frankie Morrow.

Rocking guitars and electric bass lines from Scottish alt-rock band. The five-piece have moved away from the hazy indie-folk of their debut EP (Blue Parrot Backpackers Hotel, 2022) and will be ramping up the amps, bringing their emphatic sound and full live show to the Highlands. Musicians Maz McMillan, James Smith, Duncan Carswell, Samuel Nicholson and Neev stormed Glastonbury last year and have received airplay from the likes of BBC Radio One.

Thurs 30 May - Nairn

Friday 31 May - Resolis

Sat 1 June - Applecross

Sun 2 June - Eden Court

Mon 3 June - Ardross

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