Edinburgh Untapped Award


Untapped Award

Since 2019, New Diorama has partnered with Underbelly - and most recently also Concord Theatricals and Nouveau Riche - to support exceptional companies bringing work to the Edinburgh Fringe. Over the years, the award has become a major launchpad, nationally-recognised for its success identifying and platforming brilliant new talent wiith winners going on to countless awards, tours, transfers and international opportunities.

Applications are currently closed, with the page below providing a snapshot of the 2023 award programme.

2023: Double the Money, Double the Fun

The challenge of bringing work to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is tougher than we've ever known it, which is why we're back with a supercharged re-launch of our flagship prize. 

New Diorama, Underbelly and Concord Theatricals are coming together to make a game-changing investment in theatre companies wanting to showcase their work at the Fringe.

In 2023 we're also partnering with Untapped Award-winning trailblazers Nouveau Riche, to bring their expertise to the selection process and boost our mentoring and well-being offer for our selected companies. 

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've doubled the cash investment and boosted 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 2023, 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 from PR gurus Mobius

→ 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

→ For 2023, Nouveau Riche will offer their extensive Fringe insight, delivering a bespoke workshop programme and hosting some of their legendary get-togethers at the festival (with the Untapped partners picking up the tab) 

Well-being support provided during the festival, 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 2023 Fringe.

  • Able to attend the in-person showcase day in London on Sunday 19th March.

  • 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.

Previous Winners

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.

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, just announced 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, Concord Theatricals and Nouveau Riche teams, our Untapped Shortlisting Team for 2023 is:

Claire Swanson, Capital Theatres

Edalia Day, Freelance Theatre Maker

Fergus Morgan, The Stage

Frey Kwa Hawking, Freelance Dramaturg & Theatre Critic

Gillian Greer, Soho Theatre

Jess Hagan, Freelance Playwright & Writer of Queens of Sheba (Untapped Winner 2018)

Melina Namdar, Freelance Director

Nikita Karia, Bush Theatre

Shankho Chaudhuri, Freelance Designer & Company Member of Poltergeist Theatre (Untapped Winner 2019)

Vikesh Godhwani, Freelance Director & Co-AD of Chalk Line Theatre (Untapped Winner 2022)

Final Selection

All applicants will need to be available to attend an in-person session in Central London on Sunday 19th March 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:

Aisling Galligan, Festival Programmer, Underbelly

David Byrne, Artistic Director, New Diorama

Emma Clark, Creative Associate, New Diorama

Marina DixonHead of Programming, Underbelly

Ryan Calais Cameron, Artistic Director, Nouveau Riche

Sarah Jordan Verghese, Producer, Nouveau Riche

Steven Greenhalgh, Vice President of Acquisitions and Artistic Development (Europe), Concord Theatricals

All shortlisted companies will be supported on selection day by NDT's Senior Production Manager, Sayeedah Supersad

Reserved Space

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.