Since 2018, New Diorama has partnered with Underbelly to support exceptional companies bringing work to the Edinburgh Fringe. Last year, we were thrilled to be joined by Concord Theatricals to present a supercharged prize re-launch, doubling the level of investment in response to the increasing challenges faced by artists presenting new work. Over the years, the Edinburgh Untapped Award has become a major launchpad, nationally-recognised for its success identifying and platforming brilliant new talent with winners going on to countless awards, tours, transfers and international opportunities.
The challenge of bringing work to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is tougher than we've ever known it, which is why we're back for another round of our flagship prize.
New Diorama, Underbelly and Concord Theatricals are teaming up for the second year running to make a game-changing investment in theatre companies wanting to showcase their work at the Fringe.
We're going on a nationwide search to find the best early- and mid-career theatre companies who have the ambition to present their work at the world's largest arts festival. We're making a festival-leading cash investment and boosting our whole offer to help meet the challenges artists are facing.
So come on, send us your boldest, wildest, most ambitious ideas - we're waiting to hear from you.
What's On Offer
For 2024, we're looking for up to three early- or mid-career theatre companies. Each of these Untapped Award winners will receive:
→ £10,000 cash straight into your bank account
→ A prime venue and slot at Underbelly at the Fringe
→ A preferential 65/35 box office split - with no upfront venue fees or upfront deposit
→ Specialist marketing support at the Fringe, with access to Underbelly's flyering team and outdoor poster boards
→ Individual show press campaign
→ Show imagery designed by NDT's Art Director Guy J Sanders
→ Publishing and licensing deal with Concord Theatricals
→ Support & funding to present accessible performances, for example captioned and relaxed performances
→ Support, guidance and advice from a team with extensive experience of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
→ Preview shows at New Diorama Theatre in London
→ Mentoring and well-being support throughout the process, tailored to the needs of the winning companies
We're looking for early and mid-career theatre companies. To be eligible to apply for Untapped you need to:
Be based in the UK.
Available to perform for the full month at the 2024 Fringe.
Able to attend the in-person showcase days in London on Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th January.
Be a theatre company or ensemble. We are not accepting applications from comedy groups or solo shows - there need to be a minimum of 2 performers on stage.
Have not previously presented the show you're proposing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Have not previously published the show you're proposing for the award.
The Untapped Award has become a significant springboard for diverse and thrilling work, winning awards and selling out at the Fringe and beyond.
Previous winners include ThisEgg's dressed., which won a Fringe First award and toured nationally, Burnt Lemon's Tokyo Rose, which toured extensively and transferred to Southwark Playhouse, and Max Percy + Friends' Fringe First-winning This is Not a Show About Hong Kong. Last year's winners Side eYe Productions and FlawBored have recently announced national and international touring plans, with Side eYe's smash-hit Dugsi Dayz winning the BBC Writersroom Popcorn Award.
Breach Theatre’s Fringe First and Stage Award-winning historical drama It’s True, It’s True, It’s True, which went on to tour nationally and internationally, was performed at the Barbican and was filmed for broadcast by the BBC.
And Nouveau Riche’s Stage Award-winning Queens of Sheba, which toured extensively, enjoyed four sold-out runs at Soho Theatre, and was recently presented at The Public Theater's prestigious Under the Radar Festival in NYC. Their latest show For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy, which was commissioned by New Diorama, went on to a historic West End transfer, after sold-out runs at NDT and the Royal Court.
“The Untapped shows ranked among the best of the entire festival, proof that support from organisations like Underbelly & New Diorama can pay off in spades.” WhatsOnStage
The Shortlisting Process
Every year, UK arts professionals help us shortlist applications - giving us insight into their networks and regions. Alongside the New Diorama, Underbelly, and Concord Theatricals teams, our Untapped Shortlisting Team for 2024 is:
Hannah Abdule, Artistic Director of Side eYe Productions (Untapped Winner 2023)
Blythe Brett, Performance Designer
Nicola T. Chang, Composer & Sound Designer
Alan Fielden, Writer, Theatre Maker & Artist
Tian Glasgow, Theatre Maker & Artistic Director of New Slang Productions
Lora Krasteva, Artist & Co-Founder of Global Voices Theatre & Migrants in Theatre
Ben Kulvichit, Performance Maker & Co-Founder of Emergency Chorus
Maimuna Memon, Actor, Composer & Co-Founder of Wildcard Theatre
Tatenda Shamiso, Theatre Maker & Musician
Chris Sonnex, Artistic Director of Cardboard Citizens
Johanna Taylor, Theatre Producer at The Yard Theatre
All applicants will need to be available to attend an in-person session in Central London on Saturday 27th January or Sunday 28th January to share a short rehearsal room extract of their work. Shortlisted companies will be paid £200 each for their participation, and we will cover travel for groups coming from outside of London.
This final selection panel will consist of representatives from New Diorama, Underbelly, and Concord Theatricals.
We want to ensure this award continues to particularly support artists who may face the most significant barriers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We will prioritise support for companies that are led by Black, Asian, and/or Global Majority artists, Disabled or Deaf artists, and/or Working Class artists.
It's important to say that 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 a 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.
Applications for the 2024 Untapped Award are now closed. All applicants will receive an email reply ahead of the shortlist announcement on Monday 15th January.
If you have any remaining questions about the process, we recommend taking a look at our Frequently Asked Questions.
If there's anything that hasn't been covered by the FAQs, you can get in touch with us at [email protected].