New Diorama announces that it will present no public programme for the rest of the year. The London studio – Currently The Stage Fringe Theatre of the Year 2022 and fresh from the acclaimed NDT Broadgate project and the hit Royal Court transfer For Black Boys… – will instead offer a moment of full artistic reset, aiming to rejuvenate theatre’s status quo.
‘Intervention 01’ will call together the UK’s most exciting independent theatre companies to develop a bold slate of ambitious, risk-taking work. Aiming to break the current norm in short-term programming and artist development cycles, NDT has raised over £250,000 for artistic dreamtime, creative and production support, and funded R&D projects for 15 companies to take part – relieved of pressure for programming or immediate outcomes.
NDT Artistic Director David Byrne said: ‘Post-pandemic, we promised to listen more and do better. The sheer catalytic energy required to ‘bring theatre back’ has left artists on the brink of burn-out and exhaustion. So New Diorama is going to do the most radical thing we can imagine: stop. Marking a once-in-a-generation moment, we’ll work behind the scenes to return in 2023 with a renewed artistic vision, a re-energised artist family, and our boldest ever slate of work.’
NDT will also go dark across social media during this period. Outlining the mission and challenges ahead, Artistic Director David Byrne has published a personal statement, including a brief for artists wanting to join titled ‘Towards a New Movement In British Theatre’. The submissions window for artists is also now open.
‘Intervention 01’ is supported by creative partners Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, a new collaboration centred on artist support and opportunities to access its new Creative Space, Studio Theatre and mid-scale Corn Exchange; and NDT’s neighbouring creative hub Old Diorama Arts Centre (ODAC), building on the two organisations’ close working relationship. Funding partners include Arts Council England, Jerwood Arts and the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation.
NDT Executive Director Will Young said: ‘Having fought so hard to survive lockdowns, we need to go beyond recovery to a greater ambition: re-inspiring audiences and reminding them why theatre is essential to our lives. NDT has some of the best audiences in London, those most energised by new talent and bold ideas, so we know they’ll bear with us during this temporary closure, and be ready for us on the other side.’
Further interventions will follow.
Lilli Geissendorfer, Director of Jerwood Arts, said: ‘Intervention 01 will offer some of the most exciting ensemble-based theatre makers from across the UK a chance to reimagine their artistic practice and redefine what being a theatre company means. We have heard loud and clear the frustrations artists are feeling following the last few exceptionally challenging years. We are proud to be able to support new collaborative performance makers to benefit from NTD’s dedicated support and powerful belief that there must be better ways forward for creating exceptional theatre – and crucially, that it is artists themselves who hold the keys to this.’