Theatre Green Book One Toolkit – Touring and Co-production


29. Touring Principles

General principles for all Touring Productions

• Consider how to reduce material requirements and volumes for touring so as to minimise the numbers of vehicles required and weight of material to be moved. Flat-packing items reduces the numbers of vehicles needed.

• Rather than tour everything the production needs, research which items could be supplied or hired at the next venue. For example, rigs may already be available at receiving venues.

• In preparing for a tour, reduce or eliminate packaging for transportation, with any unavoidable packaging reusable, biodegradable or recyclable.

• Move away from the use of carbon or diesel vehicles. This will become easier as the UK 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars rapidly influences develop of alternatives and a more accessible electric vehicle network.

• Support cast, crew and staff to access productions using rail and public transport, budgeting for time and cost of tickets as necessary.

• Discuss Green Book standards and minimum requirements with receiving venues. Encourage venues to adopt similar practices and share local knowledge that may support the production to be recreated sustainably. This might include details of in-house systems and floors (saving transportation of bespoke rigs and set pieces), local suppliers and makers who can locally rebuilding of simple objects and local transport networks, electric charging infrastructure and similar.

• Networks of touring venues and consortia can improve sustainability by working together. This includes sharing freight, storage and sharing knowledge and contacts to help deliver shows sustainably.

• Remaking shows in new locations, with local sourcing can be a powerful way to reduce carbon footprints and contribute to local economies on tour. Designers should provide clear instructions for set pieces and lighting systems where local crews will need to build them. Flexibility should be embedded: consider use of commonly available materials, set pieces, or be open to variety in dimensions and objects based on local availability.

• Collaborate with touring consortiums to find resources and teams in different locations – including sets, crew, performers and venues. For smaller productions, co-operating with other arts companies to share touring schedules and combine transport can improve flexibility and reduce delivery requirements when booking sites, festivals and venues.

• Where possible, design lighting rigs based on the smallest equipment list of the receiving houses to avoid hiring & touring unnecessary kit

• Coordinate with the final destination for a tour regarding the dismantling/recycling of a set, rather than assuming it needs to be brought back home.

Intermediate Standard Productions

• In addition to the general guidance, ‘Intermediate’ Standard productions should track all vehicles mileage associated with the production.

Advanced Standard Productions

• ‘Advanced’ Standard shows should use carbon calculators to help with decision-making. Common questions may centre on use of different transport options for long international tours, understanding whether carbon will be saved by recreating sets or building locally, or gauging whether local audience travel has a greater carbon footprint than adding stops to tours. If this information is not available, for example on Baseline and Intermediate shows, productions teams should use seek to maximise sustainability of the most feasible option open to them. This means using the principles in the Green Book:

– Maximise local sourcing at each stop of the tour, but only where local materials can be sourced which are reused/recycled and will be used again.

– Minimise the freight requirement for everything else. These should still follow Green Book principles of sourcing and disposal, and foldable, light and flat-pack designs should be considered to reduce the number of vehicles needed to move between venues;