We can support work which is ready to be shown to an audience through our ‘Albany Presents’ artistic programme, and we can also support work we are interested in which needs further development through ‘Albany R&D’.
The type of support we can offer to the work we programme is: rehearsal space, producing support and advice, creative input, support in making grant applications (most of the productions you find in our programme have been supported by the Arts Council’s project funding or other funders). Find out more about how we support artists from the ‘Five Ways to a Fairer Deal’ blog our Chief Executive wrote as part of our project to make the Albany and how we work more transparent.
We have a very small budget of actual cash we can offer to productions as we receive a fairly modest level of public subsidy in comparison to other theatres and arts centres (£175k per year from the Arts Council) which also has to support our staff costs. We support a small number of commissioned projects which we really feel are a good fit for our programme – between 5 and 10 – per year and the usual amount we offer is between £500 and £2000. We completely recognise this is a drop in the ocean in comparison to the costs of making a show and are totally open to working in partnership with other venues and partners, being one of a number of supporters of projects, and we can also support with the resources already listed. If we can’t work with you to commission your work, that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t like to see it in our spaces! We can work with you to work out a deal or a box office split – for more information on how these work have a look at these useful links – Venues North’s Routes In: A Guide to Getting New Work Programmed in the North of England or house network.
On average we give away over £45,000 worth of free rehearsal space each year (costing based on our commercial rates). This rehearsal space is primarily available to artists and companies who are making work to be presented at the venue, and also to artists and companies working on long term projects with us. Find out more about our finances from the ‘Money Matters’ blog our Chief Executive wrote as part of our project to make the Albany and how we work more transparent.
You can also hire our spaces for rehearsal and performance. Further details can be found on the hire us section of the website.
We want to be as open as we can to artists and companies who would like to work with us but we get a huge volume of proposals every week. We do accept unsolicited proposals however, as we are a very small team, we are unable to meet everybody in person to discuss their work and prefer a written proposal in the first instance. We rarely book work by artists or companies that we have not seen first-hand, so if you’d like to be considered for the Albany programme often the first step is to get in touch and send us an invite. We try to see as much work as possible.
We would also encourage you to look through our website and archives to get a feel for the type of work we are interested in programming.
If you are interested in your work being programmed at the Albany please send us an initial short proposal which will help us to understand what you want to do, who you think your audience is, and what you need from us. We are only likely to consider proposals which meet at least three or four of our artistic priorities.
Please have a look through our artistic priorities below and if you think your project fits the bill, send us a couple of paragraphs about your project which include the following:
- Tell us about your idea and the artists involved
- Tell us what you would like the Albany to provide
- Tell us about your audience and how you will reach them
Artistic Programme Priorities
Ideally any shows in our Albany Presents programme would hit at least a few of these, the first two for definite.
- Work (produced or participatory) across our key artforms: spoken word, devised and spoken word theatre, contemporary music (particularly jazz, urban, soul, experimental, electronic), circus, interdisciplinary and outdoor arts and work made for children and families
- Work which is demonstrably high quality, pushes boundaries / artform practice
Work which has clear audience potential and a strong audience development strategy
- Work with a really strong narrative and stories that resonate with our audiences – we want to offer a platform to unheard voices
- Work which reflects the diversity of 21st Century London – South East in particular
- Work which reflects the communities in and around the Albany particularly the African/Caribbean and the Vietnamese communities
- Work which is focused around the development of a high quality artist who already has profile, a following, and is seeking to stretch their artistic practice. We have a particular interest in supporting artists from diverse and non mainstream backgrounds who will really benefit from having a platform and support for their work
- Intergenerational work which meaningfully engages older and/or younger participants in a co-collaborative opportunity
- Work as part of regional or international partnerships with other venues with similar artistic ambition – and equally – work which could only happen at the Albany
- Work which is co-created with communities and audiences
- Work which has the potential to engage audiences in a ‘Creative Town Hall’ experience at the Albany – a platform for communities to come together to discuss ‘live’ issues, and take action!
Artists and projects should be able to demonstrate a good artistic fit with our priorities as above, but we would expect to be supporting work in progress.
- We would not expect large-scale audience engagement at this stage but would need to see the potential for this
- We will prioritise artists who have been previously involved with Albany projects and have shown a good fit with our ethos
- We would expect to have a level of producing involvement with an Albany R&D project
- We are particularly interested in artists aged 25+ as this is an under-served area of support.
If you’re creating your first project/show, or you’re trying something new and need some help or advice, we offer an advice surgery for artists on the last Thursday of the month, every month, between 2pm and 6pm. Book a slot with our Creative Programmes Manager to discuss any of the following:
- Your project or show and how to make it happen; this might be producing advice, creative discussion, participation, recruitment, marketing or anything else connected to your project or show
- Help with Arts Council England or other funding applications
- Find out how things work at the Albany, why we programme what we programme and what the process is
If you can’t come in person due to access challenges or because you’re not based in London, get in touch and we can arrange a session over the phone instead.
To book a slot, email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Artist Surgery’ in the subject line, and let us know what you’d like to talk about and your preferred month. We’ll get back to you within one week to offer you a time slot.
Other things to note:
- We don’t really see ourselves as a home for new writing or traditional repertory / scripted plays as we believe there are lots of other London theatres that are doing a brilliant job of that.
- However if you have a scripted play which fits other artistic priorities for us we would still consider it.
- We’re not a venue which focuses on mainstream pop/rock/garage/indie bands.
- We also are much more interested in acting as an artistic partner for projects as opposed to being a ‘recruitment partner’/venue host – if you have a project which needs support with recruiting participants we can support it but you need to have a good plan in place
Top image shows Uchenna Dance’s The Head Wrap Diaries. Photo Foteini Christofilopoulou.