Intervention 01: Opportunity

From Autumn 2022, New Diorama is taking an unprecedented step.

We're ceasing public performances for six months to offer a once-in-a-generation intervention to rejuvenate independent companies, develop bold new work and re-imagine NDT.

This page is for artists, laying out what’s on offer and how to get involved. First, if you’ve not already, please read our Artistic Director David Byrne’s blog about what we’re doing and why. If that resonates, you’ve come to the right place.

Intervention 01 is supported by creative partners Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival and Old Diorama Arts Centre; and by the intrepid folk at Arts Council England, Jerwood Arts and The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation.


What We're Looking For

We're looking for independent theatre companies and ensembles inspired by the idea of rejuvenation, who believe a new theatrical movement is possible. Groups that are up for joining with peers in a collective effort, including being generous with their time, insight and creativity.

We’re not after fully-formed ideas or perfect show-ready pitches. We’re looking for ideas that scare and excite you in form or content – that need space to breathe and develop. Work that would make us nervous and energised to put on stage, but is probably too messy right now for programming, ripe for real R&D.

Those ideas could come from anyone: established companies or lead creatives, be they directors, designers, performers – anyone inspired by this ambition.

We’re still NDT, so we’re not looking for solo work or traditional new writing, but ensemble shows with collaborative, devised values at their heart.

Our partner Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival is especially interested in hearing from companies in the Greater Brighton area, so if that applies then be sure to let us know.

Ensuring we work wtih artists outside of our current networks from across the country, Jerwood Arts' funding is predominantly supporting groups who have not been programmed by NDT before.


What We Can Offer

Everyone is likely going to need something different, bespoke to your work. However, with the resources we've pulled together a rough idea of what we can provide for around 15 companies includes:

Up to £10,000 investment, completely flexible for creative thinking and research time and genuine workshop R&D with no programming pressure (almost unheard of in the UK where ‘R&D’ is usually code for extended rehearsals for committed work).

Free access to our theatre & rehearsal spaces with tech/production support whenever needed, including a budget for space out of London where that’s most appropriate.

→ Supported sharings of new ideas in our theatre for an audience of peers, supporters and local community members (not industry pitch presentations or production-ready shows).

→ A residential retreat to collectively think, dream & debate how theatre as a whole – and New Diorama specifically – might need to change, and how it can become more radically meaningful post-pandemic.

→ Artist stipends, supporting attendance at sharings, gatherings & residency.

Supported reflection, together, backed by commitment from NDT and partners to resource your next steps and build the new structures needed, promising we’ll have your backs like never before. We're going dark across all socials, allowing us to support risky work without having to ask artists to package their thinking or ideas immediately for public consumption.


Where We're Heading

If all goes to plan, at the end of this intervention we’ll have:

→ The boldest slate of new work and ambitious ideas – able to unlock new, substantial audiences, partners and commissions for the next generation.

→ Refreshed creativity, renewed energy & artistic confidence – driving risk and innovation, whether or not (and more likely not) your individual project is immediately ready to move into production.

→ A divergent future: the new thinking, peer networks & partner support for artists to take brave next steps, knowing we’re committed for the long term and open to anything.

This is a huge swing: the biggest, most ambitious artist support moment we’ve attempted. We need artists willing to try with us.


Finding Out More

First, read David’s blog and give it time. The best responses aren't likely to be your first thought or a pitch already up your sleeve. You'll likely have questions. There are a lot of things we don't know yet ourselves.

Join one of our open zooms to hear the team talk and ask questions – sign up below:

12th August 10:00-11:00am
Register HERE

31st August 6:00-7:00pm
Register HERE

6th September 12:30-1:30pm (co-hosted with Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival)
Register HERE

Otter.ai live captioning available on all Zooms.


Diversity and Inclusion

NDT has a reputation for supporting artists who have been traditionally under-represented on UK stages. In particular we'd love to hear from companies led by artists who are Black, Asian and from the Global Majority; working class; and deaf or disabled.

Your work does not need to be linked to or centred on your identity for us to be interested. It's important for us to have wide range of voices on our stage, and that those voices are saying whatever they want, free to make the art they truly want to make.


How & when to get in touch

This isn’t your normal artist development scheme.

We’re open for conversations from now until the end of September. If that doesn’t work for you, or what we’re talking about doesn’t quite resonate right now, then don’t worry – we’ll have more opportunities in future.

The best way to start is emailing us on [email protected].

This doesn’t need to be a full pitch. It could be the beginnings of an idea, or some creative thoughts. For anything that grabs our attention, we’ll find time for a meeting or a phone call to talk it through.

We don’t want artists spending ages of unpaid labour on detailed form-based applications. We’re not publishing extensive criteria or ruling anyone out on a technicality. We’re looking for meaningful dialogue and an exchange of ideas that could unlock new thinking.

Put simply: take some time, sit with this thinking, and if you want to join us send an email with an idea at whatever stage you're at. It really is as simple as that. 

We won’t be able to support everyone, and that’s ok. We’ll let everyone know if we’re able to take their interest forward as soon as we can. And if you’re already doing some funded R&D that you think addresses our aims, then we’d also love to hear about it. Just drop us an email with an invitation.

We can’t wait to hear from you.