New Diorama & Underbelly Announce Return of Untapped Award for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022

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·       Applications are now open for Underbelly & New Diorama’s 2022 Untapped Award, newly supported by Methuen Drama.

·       After missing two years, the Award is expanded to support four companies with greater cash investment and support than ever.

·       Nationwide search commences for exciting, new talent, following the Award’s hitmaking record with companies including Breach and Nouveau Riche.

Applications open today (Tuesday 15th February, 2022) for the return of the Underbelly & New Diorama Untapped Award,supported by Methuen Drama. With a deadline of 14th March, a nationwide hunt is now on for exciting, new early and mid-career artists from across the UK, looking to present bold ensemble theatre at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022.

After missing the 2020 & 2021 editions, the Untapped Award’s post-pandemic return is bigger and better than ever, making up for lost time with more support and companies receiving even greater investment than before. Up to four companies will each receive; a £5,000 cash grant provided by Underbelly and New Diorama, brilliant programming slots at Underbelly at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on an enhanced deal, paid-for PR & marketing support, plus the option for publication by Methuen Drama and rehearsal space at New Diorama’s acclaimed NDT Broadgate hub in London.

The deadline for applications is 10am, Monday 14th March, 2022.

The Untapped Award has a trailblazing record for supercharging ambitious new work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and propelling companies to national profile. Previous Untapped recipients and productions include Breach Theatre’s Fringe First Award-winner It’s True It’s True It’s True which went on to a sell-out London run and BBC TV broadcast; Nouveau Riche’s Stage Award-winner Queens of Sheba, still touring nationally and currently enjoying a third sell-out run at Soho Theatre; and Burnt Lemon Theatre’s Tokyo Rose which has transferred to some the UK’s largest musical theatre houses.

“The Untapped trio ranked among the best of the entire festival, proof that support from organisations like Underbelly and New Diorama can pay off in spades.”Matt Trueman, WhatsOnStage

Full details and application portal are now live at

David Byrne, New Diorama Artistic Director, said: “Through lockdowns, the most consistent email I received from new artists was asking if we were going to bring back Untapped. I couldn’t be happier to announce our most substantial package ever, with a brand-new partner. Summer 2022 is going to culminate in a legendary Edinburgh Fringe, I’m delighted NDT will be there with some of the UK’s most exciting new theatre.”

Underbelly Co-Directors, Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood said: “Underbelly has always been committed to supporting and developing new work at the Fringe and the Untapped Award plays a crucial part in achieving this, which is why we are thrilled to be able to bring it back this year after a two-year hiatus. The brand-new partnership and support from Methuen Drama will enhance the Untapped Award further, making it one of the best offers available to theatre companies wanting to present their work at the Fringe. We cannot wait to see what 2022 will bring.”


New Diorama Theatre is a pioneering venue dedicated to providing a home for the country’s best independent theatre companies and ensembles. Based on the corner of Regent’s Park in London, over the last 10 years New Diorama has been at the heart of a movement in British theatre, with work commissioned and produced at the venue frequently touring nationally and internationally, including regular transfers Off-Broadway.

In February 2022, New Diorama was named Fringe Theatre of the Year at the Stage Awards, marking the second time the venue has won that award in its short history. New Diorama has also previously won three prestigious Peter Brook Awards and seven OffWestEnd Awards for their programme, been named Fringe Theatre of The Year at The Stage Awards, OffWestEnd Artistic Director of the Year, and won The Stage’s Innovation Prize for our radical programming model.

In 2021, New Diorama opened the revolutionary NDT Broadgate, a brand new 20,000 square foot rehearsal and development complex offered entirely free to independent artists to support post-Covid recovery.


Underbelly is a UK based live entertainment company that specialises in producing and programming ground-breaking theatrical productions and the creation of city centre the creation of city centre cultural events and festivals. Established in 2000 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Underbelly has since produced shows and events in locations from theatres to roundabouts from London and Edinburgh to Asia. In 2019, we welcomed more than 9 million people to our productions, events and festivals. 

Underbelly is one of the leading venue producers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Highlights of our 21 years at the festival include presenting Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag in 2013, Marlow & Moss’ SIX in 2018, Manual Cinema’s Ada/Ava in 20161927’s Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea in 2007and Life Jacket’s America is Hard to See in 2019.On the West End, Underbelly is co-producing the celebrated revival of Cabaret, starring Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley, with Ambassador Theatre Group Productions.

Current London festivals include Underbelly Festival, London Wonderground at Earls Court and Christmas in Leicester Square. Underbelly is also the event production partner for West End Live in Trafalgar Square (on behalf of Westminster City Council and Society of London Theatre) and Pride in London. In Scotland, we produce Underbelly at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh’s Christmas, and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. In 2020, in lieu of live events, we produced the Fare Well drone film for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay which was seen by a global audience of over 1 billion. 

Other recent credits include Five Guys Named Moe (Marble Arch Theatre) Olivier Award nominated for Best Entertainment; Austentatious (Fortune Theatre); and La Clique (London and Singapore, 2021).

Contact information is:


Methuen Drama, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, has been publishing landmark works of dramatic literature for over a century, beginning in 1889 with the publication of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Today, Methuen Drama provides a thriving frontlist of leading contemporary playwrights, theatre scholarship, performance and backstage guides as well as the award-winning digital library Drama Online for playtexts, audio and video resources.