Theatre maker will benefit from support package to produce brand new play

Theatre maker and performance artist Jack Dean has been selected as the recipient of Transit 2016. This will enable him to develop a brand new show which will be performed at ARC Stockton, Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter and Derby Theatre.

The three venues are the driving force behind Transit – an incredible package of in-kind support to enable a ‘mid-career’ artist or company to develop a brand new piece of theatre that is ambitious in size and content.

Jack Dean was chosen as the recipient after his proposal to develop Nuketown was considered and chosen by the Artistic Directors of each venue.

Nuketown will be a combined installation and storytelling piece about cities, money and the things that could be. As part of the research process, Jack plans to work with town planners, architects, artists and vast quantities of Lego to create an imaginary city that would be of equivalent value to the estimated £167 billion that is due to be spent on the replacement of the Trident nuclear defence programme.

Alongside the installation a piece of live performance will be developed, in which storytelling, live feeds, music and puppetry will bring the city to life, exploring the stories of the inhabitants set against the backdrop of a looming apocalyptic nuclear event that lurks beneath the streets.

The in-kind package will means Jack will benefit from a range of resources from each venue, including rehearsal space and marketing support, as well as the opportunity to perform the show at all three venues, and make connections with audiences across the country. 

Jack Dean recently performed his family show Horace and the Yeti at ARC, which was received high praise from audience members.

Transit will give him the opportunity to develop a brand new piece of contemporary theatre at a crucial development stage of his career. He said:

“£167 billion is a lot of money. In fact, it’s an inconceivable amount. Nuketown is an attempt to visualise what that kind of money actually looks like, and more importantly, start people talking about what it could be used for. Since it is ordinary people that will be footing this bill, at more than £2000 each, it is ordinary people that are the lead artist in this project, helping conceive, design and physically build the city in line with their own ideas, hope and dreams. In this way, I hope we can bring the debate about public money into an authentically public place.”

Annabel Turpin, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of ARC said:

“Transit 2016 is a fantastic opportunity for an artist to develop a brand new piece of work that will be shared at venues from different corners of the country, during a stage in their career that can often be quite challenging.

“Having worked with Jack before, and seen the brilliant responses to Horace and the Yeti, which delighted our young audiences, we are very excited to be able to assist Jack with developing a brand new piece of theatre for all ages. We’re very much looking forward to seeing how the research and development stages unfold over the coming months.”

Jack will now work on the first stages of the research and development of his new show before five week’s rehearsal in August. The show will receive direction from Dick Bonham, dramaturgy from Middlesbrough artist Daniel Bye and production support by producers Little Mighty. He will perform the show at the three venues during September.

When the show has toured the three venues, it will then have the potential to undergo further development beyond the project timelines, with the possibility of touring nationally.

Further information about Jack Dean’s previous show can be found at