New Diorama 2018 Artist Development programme ft Underbelly /Hotel for Theatre Companies

David Byrne

David Byrne

  • New Diorama announce plans to offer more support for emerging and mid-career artists than ever before – with genuinely innovative schemes and opportunities not on offer anywhere else.
  • A major three-year partnership with Underbelly to provide unprecedented support to help some of the UK’s best theatre companies bring shows to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
  • New Diorama become the first London fringe venue to have a hotel partner – teaming up with arts-led hotel, Green Rooms, to offer free rooms and £15 beds for artists coming to London.
  • New Diorama’s Artist Development Programme is supported by Arts Council England, and our 2018/19 Artist Development Sponsor is The Mandy Network.

New Diorama Theatre’s award-winning artist development programme, launched in early 2016, was described by Exeunt as “the most exciting artist development plan Britain has ever seen”. On 30th November, NDT are launching their updated offering for early and mid-career theatre companies – without question their most exciting yet.

Headlining New Diorama’s new programme is a major new partnership with Underbelly. Each year, for the next three years, theUntapped Award presented by Underbelly and New Diorama will support nine companies – three each year – removing the barriers that prevent some of the most talented groups from showcasing their work at the Fringe.

New Diorama’s Artistic & Executive Director, David Byrne, says “this is genuinely the best and most exciting opportunity for theatre ensembles and companies wanting to present their work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Alongside a £3,000 investment in each chosen group, they’ll receive a great slot at Underbelly – with no venue deposit or guarantee, press support paid for, a flyering team, free marketing support and an enhanced box office split. We’re even going to pay for access performances for every selected group. We really believe it’ll be game-changing for the successful early and mid-career companies selected”.

Marina Dixon and Vikki Mizon, Heads of Programming, Underbelly, said “Underbelly is delighted to be working in partnership with New Diorama Theatre to award three outstanding theatre companies the fantastic opportunity to present their shows at the Fringe. This award is one of the best opportunities for the Edinburgh Fringe, making a run in Edinburgh achievable for new ensemble work, allowing new productions to be presented at the highest level.

“Underbelly has run a scheme supporting new writing at the Fringe for the last six years, and has a proven track record of discovering fantastic new talent. This new three-year partnership with New Diorama Theatre is particularly exciting to us because NDT share our commitment and passion for supporting new artists. Together we hope to discover and develop some of the exceptional talent the UK has to offer.”

Applications for the Untapped Award presented by Underbelly and New Diorama will be open on the 30th November 2017 and close on 28th January 2018.

One of the biggest additions to the Artist Development Programme is a partnership with Green Rooms Hotel. With so many of New Diorama’s supported companies coming from outside of London, and accommodation being a major prohibitive factor in companies making the trip, the partnership will mean NDT can offer an allocation of rehearsal space, free rooms and, when they are exhausted, a discounted offer of £15 a bed for artists and groups.

Green Rooms’ Sylvia Dietz said:

 Green Rooms is the UK’s first arts-led independent social enterprise hotel. We opened in May 2016 and our mission is to support artists and creatives with affordable accommodation and event spaces in a beautiful setting that inspires creativity. As such we are an integral part of the London arts community and are delighted to join forces with the New Diorama Theatre and support the great work they are doing in that field. We understand that London is becoming an increasingly unaffordable place for many artists and Green Room is helping to bridge that gap.

As a partner of the New Diorama Theatre we are excited to support their unique Artist Development Programme and very much look forward to welcoming young theatre companies from all over the UK and offer their artists a place to stay, a base where creative ideas and some brilliant ventures will be conceived.”

New Diorama are also working to share our expertise with artists who are not currently supported by the theatre. Starting in January 2018, NDT will be offering artist surgeries once a month – offering advice to any groups who book an appointment.

Alongside these new opportunities, NDT will be enhancing our existing programme by:

  1. More than doubling the number of grants we offer to student companies who can’t afford the £98 to enter productions toNational Student Drama Festival.
  2. Continuing our Cash-Flow loans, lending up to £4,000 to companies, interest-free. We’re increasing the pot of money that these funds come from to £12,000. Since the scheme was announced, New Diorama has lent over £200,000 to our supported companies, unlocking numerous opportunities that would have otherwise been out of reach.
  3. Boosting the number of benefits on offer to all our supported groups – including piloting a Funding Application Library, so new groups can read successful funding applications to better understand how to access further funds for their work.
  4. INCOMING Festival will continue in partnership with A Younger Theatre, but will be growing significantly in 2018 – happening simultaneously in London at New Diorama and in Manchester at HOME, with all tickets remaining only £5.

New Diorama are also committed to securing more rehearsal space after our successful ND2 project comes to an end in Spring 2018. During the project, New Diorama has offered over 50 weeks of free rehearsal space to diversity-led groups and over 70 weeks of free space to  NDT supported companies.

Artistic Director David Byrne says “when we opened in 2010, we had the ambition of being the first “companies’ theatre”, supporting ensembles both with their artistic and organisational development. This new programme of support is the culmination of all our work so far. While all theatre companies are different, many face the same hurdles. We hope these new ideas and innovations will keep many of the most exceptional theatre companies in the UK making their best work for years to come.”

The Mandy Network will be New Diorama’s Artist Development Sponsor 2018/19. brings together the world’s largest network of actors, backstage and theatre professionals working in the UK today. Collaborating throughout the year, will start by supporting New Diorama in creating an application portal for the many opportunities on offer.