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Necessity is the mother of invention
It’s been a spring and summer of invention here at Rusticus. The need for us, this year, was to navigate our way through the exceptional circumstances which the Covid pandemic threw us into. Rusticus activities centre around bringing groups of people together, and so for the last six months, we have had to think of ways to still create and still be active as Rusticus, whilst avoiding bringing anyone together physically.
We hit the ground running. We kept channels of communication open with all our clients and our freelance performers – and we shared insights, and new information as it came in. We were able to access an Emergency Grant from Arts Council England which allowed us both to help look after the actors who had had income reduced as a result of the lockdown in April. We also allocated some of this fund to equipping ourselves to operate in the uncertainty of the Spring and Summer.
This has meant that exciting new plans have been made, and in some cases have already been delivered!
At one point we thought that live performance was completely gone for the Summer. But we hadn’t accounted for the brilliant team at Castle Howard who moved at the speed of light to ensure that the first anniversary of their award-winning Skelf Island playground didn’t go un-marked. Together we created a safe and enjoyable way for audiences and Skelves to interact – in a Skelf habitat trail, which both created an exciting opportunity for families to be creative and enjoy the Skelf performances, whilst also creating activity in the grounds which acted as a pressure valve on the popular Skelf Island itself. That we managed to deliver the experience in the beautiful grounds at Castle Howard, across the whole of the summer holidays – and with universally positive feedback, remains a high spot of a difficult few months.
We have several other exciting new projects and partnerships – and we can’t wait to share these with you over the next few weeks! But for the meantime, here’s three happy Skelves at the end of a long, rewarding day!