Firstly, you need to consider if your show is ready to tour in its current form. Ask yourself the following:

  • Is your show of a high enough quality to garner invitations from promoters?
  • Has this show or previous work by the same artist(s) been the subject of favourable reviews, great audience word of mouth, awards, enthusiastic feedback from other artists?
  • Do you have supporters in the arts world who think highly of your work: programmers who regularly book you, venues who offer developmental support?
  • Are you confident in the technical requirements of this work, and will your work be presented in the best way possible?
  • Are there areas of the UK or the rest of the world where your work would be particularly suitable or effective? Are there any locations in particular that you would like to target or that may not suit your show?
  • What size and type of space does your show suit best: rural and community halls? Schools? Small, middle or large-scale venues? Outdoor or unusual spaces?
  • Are there any elements of the show that will limit the audience, eg nudity, swear words, sexual or political themes? If you are planning an international tour, other additional elements may impact on where you can tour, particularly language or cultural constraints. If your show contains very dense or colloquial text, consider if and how it might be made more accessible: subtitling, plot synopses, amendments to text or accent etc.

If you are confident in your answers to these questions, then you can start to dig into the details and practicalities of how to tour your show.

If you are looking to tour your show, consider ways of adapting your show for budget and environmental purposes.

Consider your set:

  • Is it or can it be made portable?
  • What are its minimal requirements in terms of lighting and sound?
  • Can set, props or any particularly specialised lighting or sound equipment be sourced locally by the inviting promoter?
  • What size van (if travelling by land) and what size flight boxes or packing crates (if travelling be sea or air) will your set, props and equipment require?

The team you work with at the Fringe may not be the same as the team that will tour your show. Consider the following:

  • Is your cast committed and contracted to touring, should the invitations arise?
  • If you lose a member of the cast to other work, what sort of time and cost would be needed for re-rehearsal? Be aware that international bookings can take place anywhere between six months to two years in advance, so make sure the work you are selling is available.
  • Are you a student company? If so, make sure to take term time into account when thinking about onward touring. If you are all about to graduate, will everyone still be in the same place in a year if a tour arises?
  • Does the company have up-to-date passports and are any members likely to have problems with immigration to other countries, for example because of an earlier overstayed visa or criminal conviction?
  • Will any visas or work permits be required by the company? What country are your team’s passports from or does anyone on your team require a new passport?
  • Do you have the administrative support necessary? Remember, pulling together a tour is a time-consuming affair  you may want to consider contracting a producer or tour booker.

You may have to make changes to your show so that it can tour, and so that you can engage in additional opportunities whilst on tour. This may make it more attractive to a booker. Some things to consider are:

  • Is your show adaptable for relaxed, signed or captioned performances and could these be offered?
  • Could your company deliver workshops to the audience/groups that the venue regularly engages with? Always remember to check with the company members who would be delivering these workshops/post-show sessions before agreeing to this and remember they may require a higher fee to be involved.
  • Does the show include unusual elements or skilled performers who would be willing to deliver a workshop to local artists?
  • Does the show include interesting set or props, puppets or found objects used in interesting ways?
  • Can the company offer post-show discussions or Q&A?

For more useful resources around touring considerations, check out Farnham Maltings.