The internet is awash with articles about cultural events in big cities. However, living in a small town, away from any major cities, can often leave you feeling as though you are living in a cultural vacuum. While reviews of acclaimed theatre productions come flooding in from larger cities, towns and villages are often not home to such cultural events, as there is simply not the audience for them. The cost of travelling, or even moving, to places where there is more happening is often inconceivable, leaving you feeling isolated and out of the loop. It is irritating that culture is not on your doorstep, however with a little work from you, there may be more lurking than you previously thought.

Theatre at the Cinema

It is often frustrating to read reviews of productions that declare it to be an essential in the world of theatre, yet know that with the cost of travel, accommodation and tickets, it is very unlikely that you will be able to see it for yourself. However, in the past few years, cinemas that were previously only home to the summer’s lastest blockbusters have started showing screenings of popular stage productions. This summer, my local cinema is screening Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet at The Barbican thanks to National Theatre Live, along with performances from The Royal Ballet, and luckily the same can be said for cinemas across the UK.

Local Councils

Library Entrance | European University Institute

Library Entrance | European University Institute

All local councils are different, but some are thankfully working hard at bringing culture to small communities. With just a bit of research and perhaps a visit to your local library or town hall, you can find lots of information about small events and groups that you may not have previously known about. For example, there may be a reading or theatre group that you are interested in joining or a series of exhibitions or productions that catch your fancy. Organisations and events like these are often run or supported by council investment, and rely on public interest to keep them thriving, so make sure that you don’t ignore them. Living in a small area means you may have to work harder than others to find out about culture, however a little bit of effort could reap big rewards. You should also take care not to write off theatres because they don’t tend to put on shows that grab your interest. Have a look at their programme, and you may find one off shows or touring productions that are a diamond in the rough.


Research into your local area may not reap any rewards, so now is the time to use your initiative and go out there and make something happen yourself. There may be many people in your community who are just like you, but are waiting for someone else to bring them together. You could start your own discussion group, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you could investigate setting up a small theatre company to put on the productions that you’re interested in. You can also look into setting up art exhibitions with entries from the local area. It’s likely that there are many people who have an interest in the arts and culture around you, it’s just a case of finding them and bringing them together.

The Internet

There comes a point where you must sadly admit that you have exhausted all that your local area has to offer. However, we are now blessed with an online community of billions, among whom you are sure to find likeminded people. Admittedly, this is no replacement for finding people who live nearby with whom you can set up links and events, but it is the next best thing. The vast size of the internet means that there are plenty of niche corners, meaning you’re more than likely to find websites that cater to your interests. By joining forums you can enter into discussions with others, by watching videos and accessing images you can be a spectator of the wider world, and by reading blogs you can experience second hand the world of culture that is sadly not on your doorstep. The internet is no replacement for the real thing, but it can provide a place of refuge for the weary people who sadly find themselves in a town bereft of culture.