New Popular

New Popular

This five-year project, supported by Esmée Fairbairn, will invest in the testing and creation of new theatre with the ambition of reaching broader audiences in new places with new experiences.

Working across the South East of England we will be developing partnerships with communities and theatre makers who are curious to play with form. This might encompass site-specific work, theatre that doesn’t look like theatre, work in village fetes, care homes, high streets and sea fronts; work that rediscovers an appetite for contemporary, popular entertainment.

We are keen to encourage unlikely alliances between regional venues or promoters including theatres, local authorities, libraries, community centres or maybe grandparents, cycling clubs, astrologists and artists to test new ideas with seed funding from us and to see the best of these into full production.

Call Out for Proposals

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

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.

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.


Submissions are now CLOSED. All applicants will hear by 11 May at the very latest.