Bridging the Gap on Tour 2019

Open to North East and Yorkshire based artists and companies


Bridging the Gap was a project developed by ARC, originally in conjunction with Newcastle Theatre Royal and The Maltings, designed to contribute towards the creation and presentation of new theatre work within the North East region.

The venues worked together to offer a joint package of in-kind support to enable North East based artists/theatre companies to develop and present new pieces of work across the venues. Over the years the scheme expanded to include other North East venues, and in 2018, it expanded to Yorkshire taking in York Theatre Royal.

To date Bridging the Gap has supported:

• Rabbit Damage: Wherever I Lay My Hat (2010)
• INK Productions: Wanting for Anghus (2011)
• Daniel Bye: Ash or How to Occupy an Oil Rig (2012)
• Black Coffee Theatre: Found  (2013)
• Amy Mackelden: Retail (2013)
• Encounter Productions: Choir (2014)
• Northern Nomads: Butterfly (2014)
• Camisado Club: You, Me and Everything Else (2015)
• Zoe Murtagh: The Lamppost Petition (2016)
• The Six Twenty: FANS (2016)
• SBC Theatre: Where We Began (2017-18)

The scheme is managed by ARC Stockton and now includes Arts Centre Washington, Gala Theatre, Harrogate Theatre, Live Theatre, Northern Stage, Sunderland Culture, The Maltings in Berwick, Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, York Theatre Royal and The Witham in Barnard Castle.

New for 2019

As the theatre ecology in the North East and beyond has developed, it has become easier for artists to access support in kind – but harder to get their work programmed. In recognition of this, we are shifting the emphasis away from supporting the creation of the work, and focussing on the opportunities Bridging the Gap offers to artists and companies to present their work.

Bridging the Gap on Tour will offer two ready-made three week tours in September 2019, as follows:

Tour A

Wed 4 & Thur 5 Sept – ARC Stockton
Fri 6 & Sat 7 Sept – Arts Centre Washington
Wed 11 & Thur 12 Sept – Gala Theatre, Durham
Fri 13 & Sat 14 Sept – Northern Stage, Newcastle
Tues 17 & Wed 18 Sept – York Theatre Royal
Thur 19 & Fri 20 Sept – Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham

Tour B

Tues & Wed 18 Sept – Harrogate Theatre
Fri 20 & Sat 21 Sept – Live Theatre, Newcastle
Wed 25 & Thur 26 Sept – The Maltings, Berwick
Fri 27 & Sat 28 Sept – The Witham, Barnard Castle
Tues 1 & Wed 2 Oct – Sunderland (venue TBC)
Thur 3 & Fri 4 Oct – ARC Stockton

In addition to the performance dates, a tailored package of support in kind will be developed with the selected artists/companies, based on what they need and what the venues can offer. This may include:

• R&D space
• Opportunities to share work in progress with an invited and/or public audience
• Rehearsal space
• Production week at ARC (Tour A only)
• Regular meetings with ARC as the project manager, and other venue representatives to offer advice/support, including guidance around funding applications
• Support to develop marketing and audience development plans
• Technical support for the performance days

Financial arrangements

Box office monies will be split with the companies 70:30 in their favour. Ticket prices will be agreed across all venues, with an allocation of complimentary tickets for both companies and venues for press and ‘showcasing’ purposes.

What we are looking for

For programmers, Bridging the Gap on Tour provides an opportunity to be ‘active’ programmers, to influence the work that is available for our audiences, and to enter into a dialogue with artists/companies at the earliest stage about what the audience experience will be. By being closer to the work from the outset, venues are in a better position to attract audiences.

We are looking for artists/companies committed to making contemporary theatre – this may be devised work or new writing, or work that explores the boundaries of theatrical form.

Applications must be to present brand new work, ie shows that will not have been presented elsewhere prior to this tour, suitable for studios and small theatre spaces.

This scheme is open to professional artists and companies based in Yorkshire or the North East regions (as defined by Arts Council England). Artists/companies can be at any stage of their career but must have experience of producing at least one show.

Companies that are members of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio are not eligible to apply.

For more information about the partner venues please visit;;;;;;;;;; and

How to apply

If you are interested in applying please email us a proposal (max 3 pages) including details about:

• You/your company – who you are, what stage of development you are at, biogs of key members, reviews of previous shows
• The show you would like to tour
• How you will fund it
• An outline timescale for the creation of the work
• What kind of support in kind you would like
• One sentence summarising why people should come and see the show
• How you would benefit from Bridging the Gap, and why we should select you
• Some visuals to support your application

Please send your proposals to: [email protected]

If you would like to submit your application in an alternative format, please let us know.

Closing date for applications is 10am, Mon 15 Oct 2018

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to meet the venue panel on Wed 14 Nov 2018 at ARC Stockton.


Image Credit: SBC Theatre – Where We Began – Bridging the Gap 2018