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Would you like £2000 to develop an outstanding, Imaginative piece of theatre?

Applications are once again open for the Live Theatre Bursaries of £2000 to support innovative approach to story-based theatre.

The bursary winners will also receive dramaturgical and producing support, rehearsal/R&D space and a performance slot at the Elevator Festival 2020. We want to see something new and unexpected so send us your innovative ideas and tell us what you have to say.

This is an open opportunity to UK based individuals, collaborations or companies.

Previous bursary winners include Rat Boy by Christina Berriman Dawson and Lee Mattinson (now scheduled for full production in autumn 2020), Nuclear Futures by Gameshow Theatre, Sex with Robots and Other Devices by Claokroom theatre, Lists for the End of the World by fanSHEN, The Soaking of Vera Shrimp by Alison Carr and Captain Amazing by Alistair McDowall

‘For young artists, it is a luxury to have the time to dedicate to the process of making a show, without constantly have to think about the end product. Having the support of Live Theatre gave us more confidence, we got to meet other artists working in the building and we had a space to develop and thrive’ Cameron Sharp and Jake Jarret, recipients of 2018 Bursary for Wank Buddies which will be performed at Elevator Festival this year

Winning the Bursary last year helped us make a show we’re now very proud of but also more importantly, as newcomers to the region, gave us a home. Presenting our work to audiences, next to other exciting companies, really helped us develop what we were trying to do - that’s what every artist needs!” Rachel Briscoe – fanSHEN (bursary Recipients 2016)

How to Apply

Please send proposals on one side of A4 outlining the project, the artists involved and the process of how you work. 

You may also want to send images and video links of the idea or previous projects.  

We aim to meet everyone’s access requirements, so please specify any access requirements for you or your team, in your application.

Deadline: Proposals should be sent to by Monday 22 April 2019.

Bursary criteria

  • Originality of the idea and its suitability for theatrical production.
  • Story-led
  • Complimentary to Live Theatre’s aims and current programming.
  • Artistic process- plausibility/ evidence that the artists involved will competently see their project through.
  • Exciting content and form that will challenge both artist and audience.
  • Does the project proposed give platform to under-represented groups within the arts?
  • We are looking to develop a new piece of work, work that has been developed to full production elsewhere is ineligible.
  • Why now? Why Live Theatre?


Are there specific criteria around the type of work we are looking for?

We are not looking for adaptations, reimagining’s, children’s theatre, dance or circus work. Outside of this we are open to all ideas.

Do we accept proposals from companies working outside of the North East?

We are happy to consider proposals from anywhere within the UK, however we are unable to accept applications from artists based internationally. There is an expectation that the recipient artist or company will want to develop an artistic relationship with Live Theatre.

Do I need to have a complete creative team to apply?

We understand that some artists will be applying in the very early stages of their projects and we are happy to support successful artists to find suitable collaborators and performers. However it is important the artist has a clear idea of what they would need from potential collaborators.  We are happy to consider submissions from companies and individuals.

At what stage of development are the artists involved at?

We are keen to engage with artists at all levels of development. Whether an emerging or established artist, whatever your age, this opportunity is open to you.

Bursary winners for 2018 are:
Matthew Greenhough for It'll be Alt-Right On the Night
Adam Hughes for West End Girls
Charlotte Josephine for Pops
Ashleigh Nugent for Locks
Cameron Sharp & Jake Jarratt for W*nk Buddies

Matthew Greenhough

Matt Greenhough is an award-winning theatre maker, actor, playwright and comedian from Sheffield. He trained as an actor at Northumbria University graduating in 2013 with First Class Honors. While studying, as well as working front of house at Live, he was part of the team that was awarded first prize at the Dioiz International Theatre Festival in Croatia for a devised piece: In Our Hands.

He is the creative director of Wound Up Theatre, formed in Newcastle in 2013, now based between London and the North. Wound Up's latest production was a restaging of their 2015 Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award listed show: Bismillah! An ISIS Tragicomedy. The show, which Matthew wrote and performed was 'highly commended' during its sell out critically acclaimed run at the VAULT Festival 2018, before transferring to The Pleasance Theatre, Islington for a three weeks to open their new 'Pleasance Downstairs' space. Bismillah! is enjoying a national tour in the Autumn.

Adam Hughes

Adam is Playwright-on-Attachment at the Finborough Theatre and a FUSE Playwright at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. He is a past recipient of the OffWestEnd Adopt a Playwright Award and was recently invited onto the BBC WritersRoom Shadow Scheme. Previous credits include Beeston (Finborough Theatre), Young Girl (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Login Error (Southwark Playhouse) and Marching On Together (Old Red Lion Theatre).

Charlotte Josephine

Charlotte Josephine is an actress and writer. Graduate of the Contemporary Theatre Course, East 15 Acting School, she’s co-artistic director of Snuff Box Theatre. Charlotte wrote and performed Bitch Boxer, which won the Soho Theatre Young Writers Award 2012, the Old Vic New Voices Edinburgh Season 2012 and the Holden Street Theatres Award 2013. Her latest play Blush sold out at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016, winning a Stage Edinburgh Award. She is currently under commission at BBC Films and playing Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet at the RSC. 

Ashleigh Nugent

Much of Ash Nugent’s work as is inspired by his own journey, including a past criminal lifestyle. Locks Live tells the story of the time he spent his seventeenth birthday in a Jamaican prison. Locks, the memoir, won the 2013 Commonword Memoir Competition and reached the final of Writing on the Wall’s 2014 Pulp Idol competition. Locks Live has won financial and developmental support from SLATE / Eclipse Theatre and a development bursary from Live Theatre, Newcastle. Ash has a 1st class degree in English Literature and has had articles published in magazines and an academic journal. He is also a director at RiseUp CiC, where he works to support prisoners and inspire change.

Cameron Sharp & Jake Jarratt

Cameron Sharp
Cameron is a North East based queer performance artist, theatre maker, and co-founder of theatre company Bonnie and The Bonnettes with works such as “Drag Me to Love”, touring into Autumn 2018, and “And She” with development on the show beginning in August 2018. His work is largely influenced by storytelling, identities, gender, sexuality, and all things that sparkle.

Jake Jarratt
Jake is a theatre maker based in the North East of England. He creates performative work that engages audiences in themes that explore identity and community structures. Coming from a working-class background, Jake seeks to incorporate this into his work to engage a variation of audiences.

After both studying on the MA Theatre and Performance degree at Northumbria University, this is the first show the duo have worked on together. With this project, supported by Live Theatre, they want to question how do two young men from similar working class communities end up as two different people? Are they that different? They want to explore how they have come to be the people they are today, and how their different journeys have respectively bought them to this one space in time. Dads, school, sport, dance, music, films, and porn. From being masculine, to being feminine, to being a bit of both. What was dismissed and when did they know when to dismiss it? What was taken forward and how does it impact them now?

Winning the Live Theatre Bursary helped us make a show we’re now very proud of. Presenting our work to audiences, next to other exciting companies, really helped us develop what we were trying to do - that’s what every artist needs!” 

Rachel Briscoe, fanSHEN, bursary winners 2016

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