Routes North: Opportunity for theatre-makers

5 Geddes Loom (strip triptych)
Routes North is an initiative to help make theatre happen in the North of England and offers a package of support to help enable one artist/company to make and tour a new piece of work.
As the initiative enters its third year, we are now looking for an emerging professional artist or company to make a new piece of work with us in early 2015.

Routes North are offering rehearsal space along with performance dates in each of the partner venues, plus advice, support and guidance throughout the production process.

Routes North are looking for work that is contemporary and relevant, that meets the challenges of theatre in the 21st Century and offers elements of innovation and originality. Whilst the performance should be designed for theatre spaces, we are open to ideas that break down the boundaries between art forms.

The package includes two weeks rehearsal space in each of the venues, which in addition to providing time and space to make the work, provides an opportunity to build a relationship with venue staff and audiences.

Who can apply?

This opportunity is open to anyone, but we would like to encourage applications from artists and companies based in the North region. You should have experience of producing at least one show.

What about funding?

Routes North offers in kind support only. However, we will support you to fundraise to finance your show, and have set timescales to allow time for this to happen. The selected company will be informed by the end of May 2014, providing a seventh-month period for fundraising before the realisation of the show begins in January 2015.

Box office monies would be split with the artist/company 70:30 in their favour. Ticket prices would be agreed across all three venues, with an allocation of complimentary tickets for both companies/venues for press and ‘showcasing’ purposes.

What are we offering?

  • Six weeks rehearsal space – approx two weeks in each venue as follows:

Mon 12 – Fri 23 Jan 2015 – The Lowry
Mon 26 Jan – Sat 7 Feb 2015 – ARC
Mon 9 – Thur 19 Feb 2015 – Theatre in the Mill

  • Six performances, two in each venue as follows:

Fri 20 & Sat 21 Feb 2015 – Theatre in the Mill
Tues 24 & Wed 25 Feb 2015 – ARC
Thur 26 & Fri 27 Feb 2015 – The Lowry

  • Regular contact with venue representatives to offer advice/support. Venue staff are also available to attend rehearsals/sharings/work in progress to give feedback.
  • Marketing support – extensive support available to develop a professional marketing pack, to assist with selling work to other venues and to audiences. The company will be responsible for producing leaflets/posters, but venues will support via distribution, press, direct e/mail, website and online listings etc.
  • Audience development – where appropriate, venues will work with the artist/company to develop creative learning and other audience development activity associated with the show.
  • Technical support – venues will provide a technician for the get in/performance days (but not during rehearsal period); technical advice will also be available including support to draw up technical specifications for the show.
  • Box Office – full box office services available at all three venues to manage ticket sales and audience data collection.
  • Advocacy and PR – as the selected artist/company for this project, all three venues would act as ambassadors for the work, both in the lead up to the performances, and postperformance in terms of recommendations to potential touring venues etc.

How to apply: 

If you are interested in applying, please email Routes North a proposal (max two pages) including details about:

  • You/your company – who you are, what stage of development you are at, biogs of key members, reviews of previous shows
  • The show you would like to develop
  • How you will fund it
  • How you would benefit from Routes North and why we should select you
  • Some visuals to support your application
  • Please send your proposals to: by 10am on Mon 28 April


The closing date for applications is 10am on Mon 28 April.
Interviews for shortlisted companies will be held in Stockton on Thur 8 May 2014. Routes North will make a contribution of up to £75 per company to travel expenses to the interview.

The scheme has previously supported:

  • 154 Collective Dancing with the Orange Dog (2012-13)
  • Geddes Loom Prelude to a Number (2013-14)

“Thank you so much for the opportunity Routes North gave us to make Orange Dog. There is no way we would have been able to get the project/idea off the ground without the venues support.” Dan Mallaghan, 154 Collective

“Developing our first show through the Routes North commission was a great experience, one that was essential to the creation of the piece and hugely beneficial to our work as a company as a whole. The support we were given, not only technically and administratively but creatively from the three venues was overwhelming, and it would have been an entirely different, and less accomplished, show without it.”
Ben Mellor, Geddes Loom

A partnership between ARC, Stockton; The Lowry, Salford and Theatre in the Mill, Bradford.

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