‘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.

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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

call out for artists to participate in the caravan marketplace 2018

caravan airstrip marketplace

caravan 2018 is a three-day showcase presenting the best new performance from England to a selection of international and national promoters and presenters, delivered by Farnham Maltings and Brighton Festival.  caravan is a convivial event designed to encourage artists, commissioners, programmers and potential collaborators to explore new ways of working together, to share ambitions and to reach new audiences.

The caravan marketplace will be held on Tuesday 15 May 2018 between 10.00am and 12.00pm and is an opportunity for artists and companies to host a stand and to share information about current or future projects with approximately 60 national and international delegates.   A small subsidy is available to support travel and/or access costs.

For more information and to apply to be part of the marketplace, please complete the Application Form and submit by email to Jane Dunningham at jane.dunningham@farnhammaltings.com by 12.00pm on Friday 02 February 2018. 

Find out more about the caravan showcase

Farnham Maltings joins £1M bid to end middle class domination of arts organisations

Forty of Britain’s biggest – and smallest – arts organisations will join a flagship £1 million scheme to help end the middle class domination of the arts by employing more graduates from lower income backgrounds.

Sage Gateshead, Turner Contemporary, Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival and Farnham Maltings are amongst 40 arts organisations taking part in the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme.  Each get funding to host a graduate placement from a low income background for 12 months in a role new to the organisation, significantly increasing the host organisation’s capacity.

The bursary programme, now in its third and biggest phase, aims to open up entry level work opportunities for gifted graduates who received a full maintenance grant throughout university and who would struggle to do the unpaid work which acts as a gateway into the sector for up 88% of young people working in the arts today*.

The programme has already delivered success, with a new evaluation report showing how 60% of employers on the last phase had extended contracts with placements, or made them permanent, once the actual bursary ended.

Kate Danielson, Programme Director said: “Diversity is absolutely fundamental to the continued success of UK art and culture – whether it is diversity of artists, audiences or those working for arts organisations.”

“The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries is about breaking down barriers to support this, levelling the playing field for young people from lower income backgrounds and making sure arts organisations can benefit from the skills and experience of all young talent.”

“This third phase is the most in-depth ever and we’re delighted to be working with 40 arts organisations who between them represent all corners of the country, a wide range of art forms and occupy very different positions within the wider arts and culture ecology of the UK.”

The Creative Bursaries programme, launched in 2010, also aims to embed diverse recruitment practices amongst the host organisations, share best practice across the sector about how to recruit as widely as possible to support diversity at entry level, and have an impact on the diversity and vibrancy of our future arts workforce.

For the first time ever, 12 of the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursary placements will get the chance to spend some of their year with an overseas arts organisation after the British Council joined the programme as a key delivery partner, and all 40 placements will attend an international arts festival together as part of the programme. Also for the first time, three of the hosts have been supported through PRS Foundation specifically to create music production roles.

Under this third edition of the programme, host organisations will pay 25% of the placement’s wage, with the remaining 75% coming from the bursary fund. All placements will be paid according to the Living Wage Foundation’s recommended salary. The selected hosts will now spend the autumn recruiting their participant before launching their individual placements in the New Year. The programme will end in February 2019 and the final evaluation of the programme will be completed in summer 2019.

The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2017-19 programme is designed and managed by Jerwood Charitable Foundation in partnership with the British Council. It has been made possible through the combined support of Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, CHK Charities Limited and PRS Foundation.

Download the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2014-16 Evaluation Report.

Download the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2017-19 Hosts Announced press release.

weston jerwood creative bursaries 2017-19 LOGO


Craft and Theatre commission for new project ‘My Shout’

Farnham Maltings is looking to commission and present a new piece of theatre which will be created and performed by elders from the Farnham area.

What is ‘My Shout’?

This new creation will be one of four pieces of art created by elders for ‘My Shout’, a Celebrating Age project (an initiative funded by Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation). My Shout aims to challenge stereotypes of ageing and present a vibrant and surprising alternative for what it means to grow old in England. We want to enable elders from our community to create art that has integrity, resonance and perhaps a touch of mischief.

Theatre performance commission

We will commission a theatre maker (an individual or small group) to work with a newly-formed group of elders to workshop, devise, develop and create a new performance. The theatre maker(s) will be responsible for leading the group, as well as writing, rehearsing and directing the performance. They will also produce the technical and design aspects of the production (although we can work with you to bring in the right people, as required).

The production will be a short performance of up to 30 minutes. The performance will be presented as part of Spark Youth Arts Festival and the audience is likely to be predominately young people living in Surrey.

We are looking for makers that can demonstrate their ability to work on bold, considered ideas with communities.

Theatre commission brief

Craft commission

We will commission a craft maker to work with a newly-formed group of elders to develop, design and create a new piece of craft that will sit in a public context. The piece will be displayed long-term in Farnham – potential sites include indoor and outdoor locations at Farnham Maltings, soon-to-be-renovated Gostrey Memorial Hall or another location in the town (subject to permission). We are looking for makers that can demonstrate their ability to work on bold, considered ideas with communities.

Craft commission brief

Closing date 12pm on Thursday 20 July 2017

For more information, visit My Shout

Farnham Maltings announces its first production at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Following on from its London run in 2016 at the Orange Tree Theatre, Jess and Joe Forever will play at the Traverse Theatre and features the same cast and creative team.

Meet Jess and Joe. They want to tell you their story. Joe is Norfolk born and bred. Jess holidays there with her au pair. They are miles apart even when they stand next to each other.

Jess and Joe Forever is a coming of age tale that explores rural life and what it means to belong. It is a story of growing up, fitting in (or not), secrets, scotch eggs, love and friendship that will make you both laugh and cry.

Gavin Stride, Director of Farnham Maltings said: I am so pleased that we are working with the Traverse to show Zoe’s play. We are pleased because of the story it tells, because of the characters and people on the stage and everyone who made it and because we are really proud of it as a show from Farnham Maltings, the first we have presented at the Fringe.’

Zoe Cooper (Petrification and Nativities at Live Theatre Newcastle and Man on the Moon for New Writing North/Sage) received the Off West End Award for Most Promising Playwright 2017 for Jess and Joe Forever during its run at Orange Tree Theatre. Zoe was also longlisted for Most Promising Playwright at the 2016 Evening Standard Awards. The play will again be directed by Derek Bond (Sweet Charity and Little Shop of Horrors at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Stig of the Dump at Storyhouse, Chester and Alice Birch’s Many Moons at Theatre503).

Jess and Joe Forever was originally commissioned by Old Vic New Voices.

See the full Press Release

Tickets available from the Edinburgh Fringe website

Job Opportunity: Marketing Coordinator for house

We are looking to appoint a new Marketing Coordinator for house. This role works across the whole network supporting both touring companies and venue marketing teams as well as leading on all audience development initiatives. We are looking for someone with 2 years experience in an arts role, with excellent communication skills and knowledge of the South East and/or touring sector.

This is a full time role based in Farnham with a salary of £26,500.

Deadline for applications is 12 noon, Tuesday 4 July 2017. Interviews will be held on Monday 10 July 2017.

Marketing Coordinator Jobpack (May 2017)

Advancing Artists in Surrey

“Completely inspiring two days […] I feel energised and excited about my own paths.” Participant, Advancing Artists in Surrey 2017
“We’ve been given such a golden opportunity through this course […] Sky’s the limit!”  Rachel Burn, Advancing Artists in Surrey 2017

Last week saw the first 2 days of Advancing Artists in Surrey: Working In A Social Context. Sixteen established Surrey-based artists (of a multitude of disciplines) came together to discuss and discover the world of creating art in social contexts. The course was guided by arts consultant and creative director Chris Fogg who created a warm and engaging atmosphere.

On day 1, there were sessions lead by guest speakers Maya Twardzicki, the Public Health Lead for Surrey County Council; Diane Amans, an Independent Performing Arts Professional who works predominantly with movement and older people; and Lucy Cash, an Artist and Moving-Image Maker.

Day 2 began with a practical demonstration with Digital Media Artist Richard Tomlinson and his ‘carrot piano’. Caroline Barnes, a Hospital Art Coordinator in Yeovil, and Viv Gordon, Artistic Director, Independent Artist and advocate of mental health awareness, demonstrated very different approaches to working with health and wellbeing. Ali Clarke, of Surrey Hills Arts, finished day 2 with a session about her experiences of commissioning and receiving proposals.

The participants got the opportunity to meet representatives of Watts Gallery, Ruth Williams, and Prospero Theatre’s Artistic Director Beth Wood, whose contributions as Surrey-based organisations were valued greatly.

The final day of the course will take place in June and will be a chance for the artists to reflect on their learning and network with local arts organisations.

Advancing Artists in Surrey was delivered by Arts Partnership Surrey and Farnham Maltings.