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Christmas show commission 2019 and 2020

ARC Stockton and The Albany, Deptford are seeking to commission two new Christmas shows for children aged 3 – 7. Each show will be presented in one venue in 2019, and then in the other venue in 2020.


About the venues:


The Albany is a performing arts centre with a history stretching back to the nineteenth century. Over the last few years, it has emerged as a new type of arts venue, very much driven by the cultural diversity and creative mix of South East London. Involving people, through participation and partnerships, is central to our work and is essential to the delivery of our vision.


The Albany has re-established itself as a significant London arts venue, building on our reputation as a home and seeding ground for creative development in the performing arts. Our programme encompasses a range of music, theatre and spoken word, as well as an array of participatory projects. The Albany also manages and programmes Canada Water Theatre, an intimate 150 seat theatre inside Canada Water Library, run in partnership with Southwark Council.


The Albany has a year-round focus on family audiences for children of all ages, with an annual audience of over 15,000. We present regular Family Sundays focused on theatre for under 7s, self-produced Disco Kids events, holiday activities and a four-week run at Christmas, as well as work at our sister venues Deptford Lounge and Canada Water Theatre.


ARC Stockton is committed to supporting and improving the amount and quality of artistic work being made in the North and is the artist development hub for the North East region. We deliver a comprehensive programme of artist development, primarily aimed at drama, dance and spoken word artists.


ARC’s artistic policy is to present work that is contemporary and relevant. By that, we mean we want to show work that helps us understand and enjoy the world as it is today. We want to look forward, to excite our audiences about the future.


ARC’s family programme is mainly focused on work for under 7s, although we present some work for 8 – 12 year olds. As well as an extended run for ages 3+ at Christmas, we present theatre, dance and puppetry performances on Saturdays approximately once a month.


For more information about the venues, visit and


What are we looking for?


·         to commission artists or companies that have experience of making work for this age group (3 – 7 year olds)

·         for book adaptations, shows that draw on familiar titles or new stories that respond to seasonal themes, with a contemporary bias

·         for shows that will appeal to both nursery/primary school audiences and family audiences

·         for a company that considers our local demographic in the making and content of the work

·         for a show that is as accessible to as many people as possible

·         for a show that responds to our performance spaces (see below).


We welcome applications from companies who reflect the diversity of 21st century Britain.


Commission arrangements


Each commission package includes the following:


·         Up to £40,000 in cash towards the cost of making and presenting the show

·         Up to four weeks free rehearsal space

·         Space and technical support for production week, in both 2019 and 2020

·         Marketing support including design and print of publicity


In return the company will be expected to:


·         Make and present a new show, in one venue in 2019 and the other in 2020

·         Deliver up to 50 performances in Dec 2019 and again in Dec 2020


Performance schedules for both venues usually include schools performances from the first week of December, running through to either Christmas Eve (ARC Stockton) or the end of December (the Albany).



Financial arrangements


To support the selected company’s cashflow, the commissioning fee would be split as follows:


£20,000 in advance, during the making period of the show

£10,000 in instalments around the presentation of the show in Year 1

£10,000 in instalments around the presentation of the show in Year 2


We expect that the selected companies would bring some of their own resource to the project, and/or that the commissioning fee would be used as match funding to lever additional financial resource from other sources.


An appropriate royalty for the future life of the show will be agreed with the selected companies.






·         Deadline for proposals 10am, Mon 23 April 2018

·         Shortlisted candidates will be informed by Fri 4 May 2018

·         Interviews on Tues 15 May 2018

·         Confirmation of selection by 31 May 2018

·         Contracts and confirmed funding in place by 31 December 2018

·         On sale 1 April 2019



Technical arrangements


The Albany’s Christmas show will be presented either in the Albany Theatre or Canada Water Theatre – tech specs for both spaces here


ARC’s Christmas show takes place in The Point, a space primarily designed for music and comedy – tech spec here



How to apply


Please submit the following information:


·         Appropriate contact details (if you are applying as a collective/company of artists please specify a main contact person)

·         A biography detailing who you are, your background, professional experience and description of the creative team

·         An artistic description contextualising the show you will develop for this commission

·         An indication of your approach to marketing and audience development, including how you would make your work accessible to as many people as possible

·         Clips or links to examples of your previous work

·         An outline production budget, including performances of the show at the Albany and ARC, showing income and expenditure.


We anticipate that the commission and in kind support may be used as seed funding for further grant support for the development of the work. If you are including unconfirmed funding in your budget, please provide details of your past fundraising record.


Proposals should be no more than 4 sides of A4 and emailed to: by 10am, Mon 23 Apr 2018


If you need to submit your application in an alternative accessible format, please contact us in advance so that we know to expect it.


POSTED: 16 Mar