The total fee available per company, including presentation of the work in both venues, is £44,000.
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, 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 also a performing arts centre, which uses arts and cultural activity to support our local communities. We work locally, in Stockton and the Tees Valley, and nationally, through our leadership of networks and partnerships. We have events and activities going on all year round including live performances, film screenings, workshops and classes. We are particularly keen that people who might feel that the arts isn’t for them are able to take part.
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 occasionally present 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.
ARC and the Albany have been successfully co-commissioning Christmas shows together since 2017. Previous shows have included:
• tutti frutti – Ugly Duckling
• Nearly There Yet – Pinocchio
• Stuff & Nonsense – The Man Who Wanted to be a Penguin
• Dumbshow – The Hedgehog Who Couldn’t Sleep
• Wrongsemble – The Snow Queen
• Kitchen Zoo – The Tin Foil Astronaut
What are we looking for?
• to commission artists or companies that have experience of making work for this age group (3 – 7 year olds) or can evidence a commitment to collaborating with others who have
• for shows that will appeal to both nursery/primary school audiences and family audiences
• for book adaptations, shows that draw on familiar titles or new stories that respond to seasonal themes, with a contemporary bias
• for a company that considers our local demographic at both venues in the making and content of the work
• for a show that is accessible to as many people as possible
• for a show that responds to our performance spaces (see below)
• for a company that considers how they can reduce the impact of their work on the environment
We are actively encouraging applications from creatives from under-represented communities. Our programming aim is to always reflect the diversity of 21st century Britain.
Each commission package includes the following:
• Up to £44,000 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 2023 and 2024
• Marketing support
In return the company will be expected to:
• Make and present a new show, in one venue in 2023 and the other in 2024
• Deliver up to 50 performances in Dec 2023 and again in Dec 2024
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).
To support the selected company’s cashflow, the commissioning fee would be split as follows:
• £22,000 in advance, during the making period of the show
• £11,000 in instalments around the presentation of the show in Year 1
• £11,000 in instalments around the presentation of the show in Year 2
The venues retain 100% of the box office income. 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, Monday 28 March 2022
• Shortlisted candidates will be informed by Friday 8 April 2022
• Selection meetings for shortlisted candidates will take place on Wed 20/Thur 21 April 2022 (either at the Albany, ARC or via Zoom)
• Confirmation of selection by Friday 29 April 2022
• Contracts and confirmed funding in place by Saturday 31 December 2022
The Albany’s Christmas show will be presented either in the Albany Theatre or Canada Water Theatre – details 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
• A brief outline about how you will minimise any negative impact on the environment in the making and presentation of your work
• 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 or 8 mins of audio/video and emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org by 10am, Monday 28 March 2022
If you need to submit your application in an alternative accessible format, please contact us in advance so that we know to expect it.
All proposals will be read by Annabel Turpin, Chief Executive & Artistic Director, ARC Stockton and Remy Moynes, Family Programme & Engagement Coordinator, The Albany as well as other members of our teams. They will be shortlisted based on:
• the idea/concept for the show
• experience of the creative team
• attractiveness to audiences
• deliverability in terms of budget/timescale
• commitment to access, environmental sustainability, diversity and representation
Shortlisted companies will then be invited to meet Annabel and Remy to talk more about their proposal, which will include an opportunity share any visuals to help us understand the aesthetic of your show. Areas for discussion will be shared in advance.
Meetings will take place on Wed 20 Apr/Thur 21 Apr 2022 either at The Albany in Deptford, ARC in Stockton or via Zoom. Access support can be provided if required, and shortlisted companies will receive a contribution of £50 plus travel to attend the selection meeting.
If you have any questions about the opportunity or have any access requirements relating to your application, then please do get in touch by email:
Main Image : The Snow Queen (2021) Photography credit : Lian Furness