Farnham Maltings forge new creative partnership with Lost Dog Dance Company

London, UK. 12.02.2017. Lost Dog presents "Juliet and Romeo: A Guide to Long Life and Happy Marriage", at Battersea Arts Centre. Conceived and directed by Ben Duke. Devised and performed by Ben Duke and Solene Weinachter. Artistic Collaborator: Raquel Meseguer. Lighting design by Jackie Shemesh, costume design by James Perkins. Juliet and Romeo - A Guide to Long Life & Happy Marriage is co-commissioned by Battersea Arts Centre, The Place, and Warwick Arts Centre. The work is funded by Arts Council England via Grants for the Arts. Production time supported by Lancaster Arts. Ben Duke is a Work Place artist. Photograph © Jane Hobson.

Photograph © Jane Hobson.

The Olivier-nominated, multi-award winning contemporary dance/theatre company LOST DOG, and FARNHAM MALTINGS, the hugely popular theatre and arts centre in Farnham, Surrey, have announced that they will be working together in a new partnership from March 2019.  This very exciting support model has been designed to ensure Lost Dog has the ability and support to flourish in the best way possible while contributing to Farnham Maltings’ ambitions to increase the range, quality and audience for contemporary performance across the south east.  Farnham Maltings will employ a part time administrator for Lost Dog, based at Lost Dog’s studio in Laughton, Sussex, for the next three years.


Gavin Stride, Director of the Maltings said: “In talking to Lost Dog it became obvious that, in addition to the advice and access to resources we offer, what the company most needed was practical, organisational support.  By agreeing to second a member of our team to work as part of Lost Dog felt completely right.  The administrator will be based at Lost Dog’s studios in Laughton, Sussex and will support the company’s core activities thereby freeing up Ben and the producing team to focus on making and touring shows.  We’re very excited about the new partnership with Lost Dog – we love the company and we believe we can make a difference.”

This new ‘Supported by’ model builds on the work Farnham Maltings already does in producing Little Bulb Theatre, performance artist Victoria Melody, and theatre company Bucket Club along with a number of associate relationships.


Ben Duke, Artistic Director of Lost Dog said: “I am delighted to be beginning this new relationship with Farnham Maltings.  From our first meeting with Gavin it was clear that he was interested in understanding our needs as a company and finding a way that the Maltings could help us.  It was so refreshing to feel that we were not being asked to fit into a pre-existing model but were instead part of an open and inspiring dialogue.

As a small scale company we value our creative independence but are dependent on the support of larger organisations.  The support that Farnham Maltings are offering us is exactly what we need at this stage of our company development.  It’ll enable us to really look at the development of our own work and our work for other companies and, most crucially, it will enable us to reach more people through touring and participation.

Work that Gavin and the Maltings have done so far in supporting independent companies shows that this is a building that lives a model of interdependence and mutual support and in this time of uncertainty and division I am grateful for and excited about this new partnership.”



LOST DOG was formed in 2004 by Ben Duke and Raquel Meseguer to create work using text, movement and music in which dance is framed by stories and characters.  Since then the company has won a number of awards including the Bonnie Bird UK New Choreographers Award (2005) for The Drowner; the Bloomberg Place Prize Award 2011 for It Needs Horses; Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Outstanding Male Performance 2016 and the Rural Touring Award 2017 for Paradise Lost which was also nominated for a South Bank Sky Arts Award.

Other work includes Home For Broken Turns (2012), Like Rabbits, made in collaboration with the British playwright Lucy Kirkwood (2014).  Ben has directed and choreographed works for Rambert, Scottish Dance Theatre, Dance Umbrella, Phoenix Dance Theatre and more.  He has performed with Probe, Hofesh Shechter Company, The Gate Theatre, National Theatre of Scotland, Glyndebourne Opera and Punchdrunk.


Farnham Maltings

Farnham Maltings is an independent arts organisation based in South West Surrey that works locally to contribute to the shape and character of the town and regionally to make, produce and support contemporary popular theatre. We lead house as a regional programming  network of 190 venues and caravan, an international showcase of English performance.


Download full press release here


New Popular – call out for proposals

new popular website

Awards of £3000-£8000 to seed a new piece of theatre

New Popular is a five year initiative supported by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation designed to test and create new theatre projects with the ambition of reaching broader audiences in new places with new experiences.

We are looking to invest in the production of new work which connects with those who may not regularly engage with theatre in the South East, work that is enticing and relevant; work that plays with new forms, that addresses the priorities and ambitions of a wider audience.

This might encompass site-specific work, theatre that doesn’t look like theatre, work in village fetes, care homes, high streets, seafronts and work that rediscovers an appetite for contemporary, popular entertainment.

We are looking to make a small number of investments of £3000-£8000 that test new approaches and seed ideas for new pieces of theatre that seeks to achieve these ambitions. We hope to support some of these projects further to full production.


Our investment will be made to partnerships, forged by shared ambitions to reach new theatre audiences. We expect lead applicants may be theatre makers and venues but we particularly welcome partnerships with non-arts partners ranging from local authorities, housing associations to community groups such as allotment societies, walking groups, residents associations, playgroups and hairdressers.

We’re looking for the most promising, bold, mischievous yet considered ideas that have the potential to result in compelling theatre while furthering the ambitions and expectations of all partners. We are hoping to support a range of different approaches working with theatre makers from local emerging companies to experienced, international artists.

Making a proposal

Visit http://theatre.farnhammaltings.com/portfolio/new-popular/ to download the proposal form. All proposals should be accompanied with an outline  budget and submitted by email to: katy.potter@farnhammaltings.com
Closing date for submissions is 9am Monday 25 March 2019

Proposals will be selected by a small curatorial panel and decisions will be based on:

  • the artistic idea
  • the approach to engaging new audiences, both its practicality and authenticity
  • the depth of the partnership and how far the project supports mutual ambitions

Successful proposals will be posted on the Farnham Maltings website.

Get in touch

If you would like to talk though your idea with us at any stage, we would welcome that conversation; contact Katy Potter, Producer on 07798 812548 Mon-Thurs or katy.potter@farnhammaltings.co.uk

‘New Conversations’ unveils exciting first round investments in UK-Canada creative partnerships

Canada UK pin image


British Council, Farnham Maltings, and the High Commission of Canada in the UK are delighted to announce £62,300 of investment in nine new creative partnerships between UK and Canadian performing arts companies. This is the inaugural investment from the New Conversations programme, funded and delivered by the three partners.

Initially a two-year pilot, New Conversations aims to increase cultural exchanges between the UK and Canada, allowing for more artist mobility and international opportunities, with a goal of initiating long term partnerships that benefit both the UK and Canadian arts sectors.

Gavin Stride, Director of the Maltings, said: “We received more than 100 applications for this unique program and narrowing them down was a true challenge. Those selected demonstrate clear objectives and a curiosity to explore new ideas and ways of working. The hope is that this initial support will lead to long term partnerships. Our involvement in this programme is made possible through support and investment of Arts Council of England”


Bucket Club (UK) and Ghost River (Canada)

Is theatre dead? A provocation will explore, reframe and rediscover what theatre is – and what it can be – through week-long residencies in the company’s home towns of Calgary and Brighton.

Wild Works (UK) and The Only Animal (Canada)

Conversations will see each company participate creatively in the others’ R&D process in order to explore the potential for a new, outdoor, site specific co-production.

Flintlock Theatre (UK) and Gwaai Edenshaw (Canada)

Sovereign Nation will explore the potency of “empire” and how we relate to our shared past, and will lay the groundwork for a new international touring production.

The Marlborough Theatre (UK) and Buddies in Bad Times (Canada)

A Queer Conversation aims to produce an empowering exchange between the two organisations that paves the way for the LGBTQ+ artists to be able to tour more easily between Canada and the UK.

Forest Fringe (UK) and The Chop (Canada)

Playing Fields will explore land, ownership, ecology and the complex, inextricable histories of the two countries using the game of soccer and will investigate the possibility of a new collaborative performance.

Rachel Warr (UK) and Théâtre de la Pire Espèce (Canada)

Working Models will combine creative exchange, skills sharing, and network building, with the aim of opening new doors and increasing the visibility of visual theatre in both countries.

Poetic Unity (UK) and R.I.S.E Edutainment (Canada)

Through performance opportunities, leadership knowledge-sharing and work with local artists, Poetic RISE aims to build a sustainable international network for spoken word artists.

Action Hero (UK) and Mia & Eric (Canada)

Development of Collaboration is a residency that will initiate an experimental process designed to incubate a new, shared way of working and a long-term collaborative relationship.

Lyth Arts Centre (UK) and Pat the Dog Theatre Creation (Canada)

Women’s Room: North aims to create a template for supporting the development of female artists based in rural locations through exchange visits, new commissions and discussions.


The second round of New Conversations will be announced in March 2019.


Full Press Release in English / en Français.

Surrey Community Touring Callout 2019 – 2020

Webp.net-compress-image (1)


Community Touring in Surrey Autumn 2019 – Spring 2020

Applications are open for new work to tour across Surrey in Autumn 2019 – Spring 2020.

Farnham Maltings together with Arts Partnership Surrey are looking to develop new opportunities for contemporary theatre performances to tour into local communities across Surrey.

Arts Partnership Surrey and Farnham Maltings are passionate about strengthening the relationship between artists and audiences in Surrey by working with local communities to provide affordable, playful and exciting performances that can be enjoyed in familiar places.

The Project
Together we are looking for artists and companies with an interest and track record of making theatre for community spaces and places who would like to be present during the period from Sep 2019 – May 2020.

We are inviting applications from UK based companies for work that is suitable to tour to venues in Surrey which might include: leisure centres, village halls, community centres, churches, shopping centres etc.

In this first year we are looking to tour 2 pieces of work and hope that one of these will be a piece of work suitable for younger children and families programmed presented during daytime hours and the second piece for evening programming.

Technical Challenges
Work will be presented in a variety of community settings which may be ‘blank canvas’ with little or no technical support so you will need to be fully self-sufficient.  Please bear this in mind when considering if the show is suitable for community touring eg full black out will not be possible during the day, no wing spaces or pre-rigged lighting.  We can guarantee chairs will be provided by the venue.

Our touring fees are fully inclusive of all accommodation and travel and we expect to pay within the range of £400 – £800 per performance date.

We will be responsible for booking places and dates for your show and helping to build an audience but you will be responsible for finalising specific details with venues and promoters.  Promoters are volunteers so you will need to be flexible, understanding and informative.

Your show needs to be available for a minimum of 6 performance dates during the period: Sept 2019 – May 2020. Shortlisted companies will be asked to provide a selection of dates which could be all in one month or broader, the more flexible you can be the more bookings can result. Final tour dates will be confirmed back to the artists and companies after successful selection and consultation with the venues and promoters

Application Process

Please email your expression of interest on one page describing what the work is, who you are and why we should work with you to janice.brittain@farnhammaltings.com by 9am 07/02/19. Please include details of your website, video clips, production shots and examples of marketing and any audience feedback.

Those artists shortlisted from this initial application process will be informed by email by 13/02/19 and invited to submit a more detailed proposal.  We will acknowledge receipt of all applications however we regret we are unable to provide feedback to non-shortlisted applicants.

no strings attached

girl with umbrella pexels-photo-57851 credit Edu Lauton smaller

no strings attached is a grant scheme to help young people make their first piece of theatre. Grants of between £500 and £1,000 are available to young people from across the south-east region. The grant is for anyone aged between 18 and 25 who hasn’t previously received a grant from Arts Council England.

In October we ran a pitching day for fourteen artists/companies to come and share their ideas with us and as ever it was a real privilege to hear from such ambitious, committed and passionate young makers!

We are now pleased to announce the successful artists/companies to be awarded a grant for 2018-19.  They are as follows:

Sophie Hatton

Sophie applied to no strings attached on behalf of Ditto, a family theatre company specialising in puppetry, movement and storytelling. The pitch was for a new family show that the panel feel could be exciting, inspiring and educational to young audiences.

Chantelle Walker

Chantelle is a performance artist and maker who pitched to no strings attached to help develop her new piece of work about breaking down stereotypes through spoken word and movement.

Rhodri Mayer

Rhodri pitched his idea of a new piece of work that would explore his world as a young autistic person. The piece would look to create a atmosphere in which the audience could understand the world from his perspective and how it feels to have ASD.

Amy Tribe

Amy applied to no strings attached on behalf of Buried Thunder Theatre Company a physical theatre company who tell stories through movement. The company pitched the idea of a tour of  their new show which will look at telling stories of British Folklore in a new contemporary way.

Grace Scott

Grace applied to no strings attached on behalf of The Ordinary People. Grace and Max pitched the idea for a rural touring puppetry piece that will look at the seclusion and loneliness of an elderly woman.

Ema Boswood

Ema pitched the idea of a one woman show exploring ghosting, a comedy using paranormal techniques and dealing with rejection.


All successful candidates are also matched with a mentor in which they will have two sessions on their chosen area.

Each will be working on developing their individual ideas over the next year and we wish them all every success.

For more information about the scheme and about the next round of applications please click here


Farnham Maltings and Unlimited Partnership Commission


Farnham Maltings is proud to announce a joint commission with Unlimited for a project that gives innovative and exciting responses to the context of rural touring and village halls, and that place audiences at the heart of their artistic process.

We can provide expert advice and resources to those who are invited to submit a full application to the Farnham Maltings and Unlimited partnership award.  It is expected that the commissioned piece will tour to at least 3 rural communities during the project and be available to tour or shown by Spring 2020.

Projects wishing to be considered for this award will also need to meet the following criteria:

  • to be in the form of an event and/or performance
  • disability-led
  • to be innovative, ambitious and quality driven
  • have audience response and engagement at the heart of their creative process
  • strong track record of creating work and reaching audiences
  • strong artist/producer relationship evidenced
  • strong collaborations and partnerships (these can include those with non-disabled led companies/artists/producers)
  • technically suitable for touring into village halls and rural contexts
  • lead artist or company is resident in England or Wales
  • are applying for up to £25,000

Gavin Stride, Director of Farnham Maltings says “For us, there are extraordinary opportunities in making work for village halls and we want to encourage everybody to explore what happens when you make work with geographic communities rather than necessarily arts goers. There is something democratic in spaces in which everyone enters and leaves through the same door.

We want to make sure that the widest set of artists are offered the opportunity to play in this context. To discover what is special and ordinary in a space in which most people are turning up, not for the theatre but because something is happening in their community.”

Artists are invited to apply in the first instance with expressions of interest by 12pm 29th October 2018.

For more information and details of how to apply click here.

‘New Popular’ theatre programme launched for south east England


‘New Popular’ theatre programme launched for south east England

Farnham Maltings has secured £339,575 from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to deliver a five-year programme designed to test new theatre ideas that aim to reach new, broader audiences. Following in the tradition of John McGrath’s A Good Night Out, the ambition is to explore what popular means in the twenty-first century. New Popular will seed-fund artists, venues and audience to test new ideas and take the most promising propositions into full production, potentially to tour through the house network across the south east of England.

The project will also host a series of conversations and events that explore the relationship between artists and audiences.

Gavin Stride, director of the Maltings says ‘we are completely committed to developing a strand of work that is artist-led and audience-focused. We want to challenge the idea that popular and experimental are opposites, and that notions of high or low art are in any way relevant in a fast changing world. Thanks to Esmée Fairbairn and ACE we have a remarkable opportunity to encourage a ‘theatre for all’ culture across the South East of England which has the potential to connect with everyone.’

This work builds on the experiences of Greenhouse, a four-year programme, also funded by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, that set out to connect the ambitions of artists with venues and programmers. Over four years, more than 30 ideas were seed-funded, of which 16 were developed into full production, including Pursued by a Bear’s The Lamallar Project, which toured internationally and Mars.tarrab’s Roller, which won the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award in 2017.

With further investment from ACE and local partners a total of £553,000 is being committed to the New Popular programme which will be led by house, a network delivered by Farnham Maltings that supports 190 arts venues who are working together to build a vibrant arts ecology across the south-east region.

Following the appointment of a project lead in September, New Popular will start early in 2019 with an open call to theatre-makers for potential propositions.


Press contact:
Gavin Stride on 01252 745400

Photo credit is  EA Given / Shutterstock.com


Advancing Artists 2: A year of bespoke professional development for arts practitioners based in or working in Surrey County.

dark111 edge

Advancing Artists 2  – Call for Artists

Are you an artist, musician, theatre maker, poet or dancer interested in developing your practice in a socially engaged way?  Arts Partnership Surrey and Farnham Maltings seek arts practitioners working in or based in Surrey with ambitions to develop high quality, relevant, new, creative and socially engaged projects that support its aims to enhance wellbeing, increase participation and create a strong and positive sense of place through the arts.

If this is you, we invite you to apply to us for a year of bespoke continuing professional development.

Our 2019 Advancing Artists 2 Programme includes:

  • Targeted workshops and training
  • Mentor Support
  • Fundraising and Management support and advice
  • Action Learning
  • Hands on learning and shadowing on live projects
  • Conversations with established arts and cultural organisations
  • Tickets to performances and events
  • Building links to other, potential project partners and professional networks
  • Potential for seed funding for projects towards the end of the programme
  • Opportunity to pitch and showcase work to potential partners

Practitioners will be offered bespoke development support based upon their professional and creative aspirations. Practitioners will be encouraged to engage with people and places across Surrey.

We welcome applications from artists at various stages of their careers, from a range of backgrounds. We are particularly interested in artists who are keen to explore and develop work which encourages creativity in the community.

Successful applicants will be asked to commit to the full Advancing Artists 2 programme which will take place throughout 2019. The programme will include around 4 workshops, 2 larger networking events, with support to attend additional events such as conferences outside of the County.

We will, where possible timetable events to suit individual artists’ availability during the course of the programme. Each artist will be partnered with an appropriate mentor who will support throughout the programme.

We will select artists on the basis of the quality of their practice, their potential to benefit from our support, their interest in participating as part of the cohort and their interest in working with people and/or places within Surrey County.


Application process:

Applicants will be asked to respond to 3 prompts:

  • Please tell us about your artistic work so far and your professional /creative aspirations for the future. Please also include any examples of your work and details of partners or collaborators who have engaged with or supported your work. (You may include videos and web-links).
  • Please tell us about any specific areas and skills you wish to develop (for example; project development, working in mental health settings, working with young people etc.
  • Please tell us how you intend to engage communities and/ or places within Surrey County in the future and how Advancing Artists 2 might help you better respond to local opportunities.

Fees:  AA2 is a fully funded programme and so, if selected you will not be required to pay any fees

If you require any access support with your application; please contact: Lucy Murray: lucy.murray@farnhammaltings.com

Deadline for Applications:  Friday 14th September 2018.

Download your application here: AA2 Application Form

Please return your application form to Lucy Murray: lucy.murray@farnhammaltings.com

Decisions will communicated by Monday 8th October 2018

We look forward to hearing from you.

Arts Partnership Surrey

Arts Partnership Surrey is a strategic alliance of nine local councils and trusts working together to shape and deliver a cultural offering for the whole county. We are committed to working in partnership with a wide range of statutory and non-statutory organisations, the voluntary sector, faith groups, charities and many others who share our ambitions to achieve our priorities.

Farnham Maltings

Farnham Maltings is a cultural organisation, based in south west Surrey, that exists to encourage the people of Farnham and further afield to participate in, shape and understand the world in which we live.  We believe that by being actively creative, connecting with others and articulating new ideas we will foster a happier, healthier and more inclusive set of communities.

Farnham Maltings fellowship and two new associate companies announced



Louise Blackwell is this year’s recipient of the Farnham Maltings Fellowship. Louise, who was previously the co-director of Fuel, an independent producing company, has done much to shape the way theatre is created and presented in the UK and is now beginning a new chapter developing a structure to support artists aged 9 to 90 years old in Brighton and beyond.

Gavin Stride, director of the Maltings, says ‘We are delighted to be working with Louise in the realisation of her latest ambitions. This fellowship is based on the idea that if we can support others to achieve the things they want, then we are more likely to be realising our own ambitions to ensure that the south east has a vibrant independent theatre sector.’

This is the third Farnham Maltings Fellowship, following awards to Bucket Club and Action Hero as investments in time, money and support for artists and producers to take their ideas forward. The awards are made possible with the support of the Maltings Patrons and each runs for a year. Action Hero have spoken about the impact of their award in a blog here

Speaking about the potential value of the fellowship Louise commented “This is just what I need right now; money, time and space to develop ideas that will help visionary artists of the future. I look forward to supporting  people who may not have access to the opportunities I have had in my career so far.’

Farnham Maltings is also pleased to announce two new associate companies with whom they will be working to ensure the best independent theatre is made and presented across the region: Action Hero, who are currently working on Oh Europa and Flintlock Theatre who have secured Arts Council investment to produce Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People.


no strings attached

girl with umbrella

no strings attached is a grant scheme to help young people make their first piece of performance.Grants of between £500 and £1,000 are available to young people from across the south east region. The grant is for anyone aged between 18 and 25 who hasn’t previously received a grant for their work.

In October 2017 we ran a pitching day for artists to come and share their ideas with us and as ever it was a real privilege to hear from such ambitious, committed and passionate young makers!

We are pleased to announce the successful artists and companies to be awarded a grant for 2017-18 are as follows:

Alice Guile

Hooked Theatre

Lovehart Productions

Iona McTaggart

Monument Theatre Company

Harriet Porter

Each will be working on developing their individual ideas and we wish them all every success.

For more information about the scheme and about the next round of applications please click here