New Diorama Theatre and Underbelly have announced a new partnership with Oberon Books which will substantially extend the scope and ambition of their acclaimed Untapped Award.
The new partnership will give the award recipients the automatic opportunity, for the first time, to have their playtexts published by Oberon Books with a commission fee and agreement beyond the award prize, while the initial prize money increase to an unprecedented £4,500 per show.
Beyond this the Untapped Award by Underbelly, New Diorama Theatre and Oberon Books will select three shows for a run in a prime Underbelly venue slot at the 2020 Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a favourable box office split, followed by a transfer to New Diorama Theatre in London with a separate guarantee, as well as full press and marketing support and mentorship throughout.
The Untapped Award was conceived to support early-mid career companies looking to bring ambitious ensemble work to the Edinburgh Fringe, and over the past two years has grown to become one of the most prestigious, comprehensive and successful Awards to support new theatre work in the UK.
Previous Untapped recipients include Breach Theatre’s Fringe First and Stage Award winner It’s True It’s True It’s True, ThisEgg’s Fringe First Winner and Total Theatre Award nominee dressed. , Nouveau Riche’s Stage Award winner Queens of Sheba and Burnt Lemon’s Les Enfants Terribles award-winning Tokyo Rose, as well as Poltergeist’s Art Heist – the fastest selling show at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe- and Barrel Organ’s sold-out hit Conspiracy.
Applications for this year’s award open on 28 November and close on 15 January 2020, with the shortlist announced later that month.
New Diorama Artistic Director David Byrne said: “Working with Underbelly, we’ve always ensured that Untapped is the very best award for theatre groups showcasing their work at the Edinburgh Festivals. After two incredibly successful years of the prize, this new partnership with Oberon Books makes the 2020 Untapped award a truly unmissable opportunity for theatre-makers.”
Oberon Books MD Charles Glanville said: “We’re thrilled to join New Diorama and Underbelly as partners for the Untapped Award 2020. Oberon Books is a staunch supporter of new writing and devised theatre, and NDT and Underbelly do invaluable work investing in early and mid-career companies. We are delighted to be able to join forces and contribute our backing to this brilliant initiative. Oberon Books counts multiple previous Untapped winners amongst the titles on our list, such as Breach Theatre for their acclaimed It’s True, It’s True, It’s True, ThisEgg, and Nouveau Riche, and we are excited to work with NDT and Underbelly to further ensure a legacy for new writing and devised work.”