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Theatre N16 launches First Credit scheme for writers and directors

The Bedford pub in Balham, home of Theatre N16. Photo: Andreas Lambis

South London fringe venue Theatre N16 has unveiled a new scheme for up-and-coming actors, directors and writers to have their first professional show staged.

The theatre, now based in Balham, has helped fund four actors and two directors to stage the play Swing By Around 8, giving them their first credit for a professionally staged show as well as training and development.

Each actor and director involved will receive a stipend to support their work on the production as part of the new scheme, dubbed First Credit.

Theatre N16 artistic director Jamie Eastlake said he had spoken to many actors graduating from drama school who were finding it extremely difficult to land their first role.

“It’s a bit of a catch-22. A lot of people want to look at CVs for actors that have experience on them,” he said.

He said every actor and director involved in Swing By Around 8 would be getting their “first professional credit where they are getting paid for it”.

“Hopefully with the workshop that we’re leading, it will give people that experience and that little bit on the CV to get the the next role,” he added.

First Credit was funded by a £1,000 grant from the Matthew Martino Benevolent Fund, which the theatre matched with its own cash.

Theatre N16 hopes to run the scheme once or twice a year depending on the availability of funding.

Swing By Around 8, by Jess Bray, will run at the theatre from November 20 to December 1.