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New Diorama and Underbelly to support emerging artists at Edinburgh Fringe

London's New Diorama Theatre London's New Diorama Theatre
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London’s New Diorama Theatre has formed a three-year partnership with entertainment company Underbelly to help emerging and mid-career artists and companies take work to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The partnership forms part of the London venue’s 2018/19 artist development plan, an initiative designed to further the work of young companies.

For the next three years, three companies each year will receive a £3,000 investment as well as a slot at the Underbelly venues in Edinburgh as part of the scheme, called Underbelly Untapped.

No deposit will be required, press support will be paid for and the companies will receive a flyering team, free marketing help and an enhanced box office split. Access performances will also be paid for by the partnership.

Marina Dixon and Vikki Mizon, heads of programming at Underbelly, said: “This award is one of the best opportunities for the Edinburgh Fringe, making a run in Edinburgh achievable for new ensemble work, allowing new productions to be presented at the highest level.”

Applications for the Untapped Award will open on November 30, 2017, and will close on January 28, 2018.

The 2018/19 artist development plan will also include a partnership wth Green Rooms Hotel, an independent hotel focused on supporting artists and creatives, to provide low-cost rehearsal space and accommodation for companies coming from outside of London.

Other initiatives in the plan include piloting a “funding application library” to allow groups to read successful funding applications.

The number of grants offered to student companies who cannot afford the £98 fee to enter work for the National Student Drama Festival will be doubled, and the New Diorama will increase money available for its loans scheme, which allows companies to borrow up to £4,000 interest free.

New Diorama artistic director David Byrne said: “When we opened in 2010, we had the ambition of being the first ‘companies’ theatre’, supporting ensembles both with their artistic and organisational development. This new programme of support is the culmination of all our work so far.”

The theatre’s Incoming Festival, which programmes work by early-career companies, will be expanded in 2018 so that it runs simultaneously in London and at Home in Manchester. All tickets will be £5.

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