What is it?

In late 2020, NSDF & Barrel Organ launched Barrel Organ and Company, an opportunity to support a new theatre company through the development of their first project and provide a meaningful introduction to the theatre industry. We offered extensive artistic support and organisational knowledge to emerging company Thunk It Theatre in the development of their first piece, Common Ground, a work-in-progress which was presented digitally in 2021. Last year, we supported Votive Theatre in the same way. This support gave both companies practical and artistic skills to begin forging a path for their theatre company and careers.

This year, Barrel Organ and Company is back, with even more support and is looking for the next company to develop! 

Barrel Organ will select one new company to support for one year in the development of their first piece of work as well as providing mentoring and organisational development support throughout.

  • £500 contribution to develop the work 
  • A slot at Barrel Organ’s LIVE work-in-progress night for underrepresented artists in Summer 2023
  • One-to-one mentoring with Barrel Organ throughout the year which focuses on work development and company development
  • Travel expenses where appropriate



Programme timeline

August 2022 - Summer 2023: Research and development We will work closely with you to develop the work and support you in shaping the research and development process for the piece, including fundraising.

June/July 2023: LIVE The company will be given a slot at LIVE to present a work-in-progress. You will be supported in the delivery of this by our LIVE producer as well as support from Barrel Organ’s core team.

June - August 2023: Masterclasses Barrel Organ will work with you to create a menu of masterclasses that focuses on your company development and future life of the work, with the aim of having tangible next steps for when the programme is completed in August.

Upon completion of the programme you will continue to have a relationship with Barrel Organ and can receive support from one of their team members as you continue your artistic journey.

How to apply

Submissions are now open and will close on Monday 18th July at midday. Meetings with a shortlist of companies will take place w/c 1st & 8th August. Successful applications will be selected by Monday 29th August 2022. All applicants will be notified about the result of their application.

We are particularly interested to receive applications from Black and Global Majority candidates, candidates who identify as living with a disability, and candidates from backgrounds which are currently underrepresented in arts leadership. If you have any particular requirements which will support your application, please email us on info@barrelorgantheatre.co.uk.

To apply please provide the following information: 

  1. Your company name (if you have one)
  2. A little about why you want to work together, and what inspires you about one another (approx 200 words, or 90 seconds)
  3. How you think this opportunity will help your growth as artists (approx 250 words, or 120 seconds)
  4. Tell us about a live experience you’ve had together (or, if not, separately), which wasn’t at a theatre (approx 100 words, or 45 seconds)


You can send us this information in whatever form you wish - you can write it down, put it in a video, a voice message, paint a picture, make a flow-chart. Whatever works for you; it's about quality not quantity. 

Please note: We define a new company as being multiple artists who have NOT made work together previously, but who have an interest in and commitment to working together, as a company

Please send the application form with the subject title “BO AND CO APPLICATION” to info@barrelorgantheatre.co.uk along with our Equality Monitoring form here.

Barrel Organ & Company

Applications for Barrel Organ & Company 2023 are open - read more about this exciting opportunity for new theatre companies and apply now 

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