Dramatic Arts

This initiative is not open to applications.

In 2014 we introduced a new five year initiative in the Dramatic Arts. It has two key strands: an annual Clothworkers’ Theatre Award; and bursaries for talented students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to accept a place at a leading drama school. 

Clothworkers’ Theatre Award

In 2014 we allocated £750,000 over five years to a Clothworkers’ Theatre Award and have since awarded £150,000 a year to a producing English regional theatre. The first award was won by Theatre Royal Plymouth (Southwest), followed by York Theatre Royal (2015, Yorkshire), Northern Stage (2016, Northeast and Northwest), and Derby Theatre (2017, East and West Midlands).

2018 Award

2018 is the final year of the Clothworkers’ Theatre Award which was won by the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch for Essex on Stage which will test an innovative approach to champion positive notions of Essex as a cultural space, celebrating theatre made by working class artists and raising aspirations for emerging artists from Essex.   It will include commissioned work, talent development of local artists, and audience development in areas of low engagement.

From left, John Coombe-Tennant (Master of The Clothworkers' Company) with Douglas Rintoul (Artistic Director of Queen's Theatre Hornchurch)

Photo: Pamela Raith

Support for drama students

Concerns have been voiced in the dramatic arts sector that there are significant barriers to entering the profession for young people from low income backgrounds.
We have awarded £180,000 each to the London Academy of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts to enable them to offer three year bursaries to one talented student a year for the next five years to complete a course in acting or technical theatre studies.  By the end of the programme, our funding will have supported 10 students to complete their training at these leading UK drama schools.
We have also awarded: £50,000 to the National Youth Theatre to fund places in their repertory company or to commission young writers; and £37,500 to the Society of London Theatre for their annual Laurence Olivier bursary which helps drama students at accredited drama schools in their final year of study.  As with the LAMDA and RADA grants, the purpose of both is to support students from low income backgrounds.
All funding for the Dramatic Arts initiative has now been allocated.
 Photos: London Academy of Dramatic Arts