New Theatre in Your Neighbourhood

New Theatre in your Neighbourhood
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We'd like to share our learnings with you.

Click on the following links to find out what we've learned and how it can help you tour better.

Theatre Club Handbook

Local Engagement Specialist Handbook

New Theatre in your Neighbourhood Project Evaluation by Morris Hargreaves Macintyre

The Neighbourhood Watch: an essay by Maddy Costa

The New Theatre in Your Neighbourhood research project aims to explore ways in which Fuel can improve the way it tours shows; building stronger relationships with partners, connecting artists and the communities we visit in inspiring and meaningful ways, and developing audiences.  It’s a chance for us to work out how to tour and present interesting new performance better around the UK.

What we are doing now

We are working in partnership with organisations in six areas around England: The Lakeside in Colchester, Malvern Theatres in Malvern, Theatre Royal and The Tom Thumb Theatre in Margate, They Eat Culture in Preston, The Lighthouse in Poole and ARC in Stockton.  We are taking productions to these places, hosting workshops and post show events with artists and in collaboration with Maddy Costa.  We are sending artists on missions to these places, to help us get under the skin of the place and to begin the process of commissioning shows specifically for that place.

We are sharing our discoveries, thoughts and experiences, artists missions and neighbourhood reviews through the New Theatre in Your Neighbourhood blog  We’d love you to join in the conversation.

You can read the evaluation of the first part of the New Theatre in your Neighbourhood project and a report by Catherine Love, ‘What can we do about touring?’ based on conversations with artists, other producers and venues, by clicking here.

Here’s what some of the audiences have had to say about shows that were part of the research phase:

I enjoyed the event very much! The venue is great and the effort to put in ambitious performances on in Preston is much appreciated.

New audience member at The Continental, Preston for The 14th Tale by Inua Ellams

This was my first experience of this type of performance. I … was soon won over by the honesty and humour and emotion. The stories told weren’t outlandish or extraordinary but were told with grace and power.

Chris, audience member at The Lighthouse Poole for The 14th Tale by Inua Ellams

Absolutely wonderful ! Please bring more work like this to Malvern

Megan, Malvern Theatres for The Victorian in the Wall by Will Adamsdale


Really enjoyed the show, a breath of fresh air for Malvern and just what is needed to attract a different audience.

Anna, new audience member at Malvern Theatres for The Victorian in the Wall by Will Adamsdale


The last 3 years I have been deaf and unable to go to the theatre…caption performances are so wonderful for me and to have one in my hometown is fantastic.  I thought it was an excellent play, beautifully acted.  Thank you so much.  We both loved it.

Norma and Dallas, new audience members at Poole for The Victorian in the Wall by Will Adamsdale


Emotionally challenging but great being involved, I felt comfortable being there surprisingly.

Nicole, new audience member at ARC, Stockton for Love Letters Straight From Your Heart by Uninvited Guests

A brilliant and vibrant musical score; excellent live performance...It grabs your attention from the outset and doesn't let go! Completely innovative original and unlike anything I have seen before.

Nigel, new audience member at Malvern Theatres for Zero by Clod Ensemble


The idea

“I have just seen Andrew Dawson's performance at The Regis Centre (Bognor) which I thought was a unique, excellent, inspired and moving autobiographical work. Then the following day we had a celebration on Havelock Road where I live and were presented with a book "Unlock Havelock". A most entertaining and delightful experience from theatre to street.”

Audience member, My Street, 2010

We want to create a following for contemporary theatre: one that is sustainable, growing and ever-changing.

We want to open up opportunities for artists to explore different starting points for their shows rooted in the community. The legacy of this will underpin how Fuel can make new, high quality and adventurous shows in the future, and how we tour existing shows, that these communities will enjoy.

We want to enable our partners to continue these conversations and local collaborations throughout the year, opening themselves up to new audiences and facilitating a richer, deeper cultural exchange in their constituencies.


To find out more about New Theatre in your Neighbourhood, please contact us at

Funded by Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

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