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A celebration of new voices, new work, new stories

Wildcard and The Watermill Theatre are proud to partner on a new artist development programme LAUNCHPAD.

LAUNCHPAD is intended to be a responsive programme, able to adapt to the
individual needs of each company. In a nutshell, the programme will provide four emerging theatre companies with:

  • a cash injection of up to £2,000 to put towards creating a new piece of work.
  • a week of free rehearsal space at Wildcard Studios or at The Watermill Theatre.
  • Artistic/Dramaturgical Support.
  • Producing support.

We are looking for companies who would benefit from utilising this grant on a week’s development time either at Wildcard’s base in central London or on site at The Watermill in Bagnor, near Newbury (accommodation will be provided).

The successful companies will receive support from The Watermill and Wildcard’s team both in the run up to the development week and following it to ensure a future life for the piece. This support might take the form of dramaturgical guidance, working with you to find the right collaborators, advice on putting together a touring pack or introductions to other venues and companies. As part of this we will explore the possibility of arranging a sharing of your work at The Watermill.

Research and Development time will be provided between May and June 2021 and consequently we are looking for companies who will be in a position to hit the ground running fairly swiftly.

We look forward to hearing from you.


  • Deadline for applications: Thursday 1 st April
  • Meetings with shortlisted companies: w/c 12 th April
  • Grants awarded: w/c 19 th April
  • Research and Development weeks: May – June


Please apply by filling out the form at the link below by 5pm on Thursday 1st April. As part of the application you will need to provide a simple budget for the R&D week. This is to help give us a further understanding of your piece and isn’t intended to put anyone off. We have included a budget template below and a link to a video that breaks down the template too. If you have any questions about this or about the application on the whole, please get in touch: james@wildcardtheatre.co.uk.

If we can support your application by offering an alternative format please do let us know. Likewise we want to ensure interviews are as accessible as possible so please do let us know in your application if there is anything we can do to support this.


  • This is an opportunity for Theatre Companies or Collectives. You don’t need to be an official organisation but you do need to be operating as a company or collective. This could be a limited company, a CIC, a Charity or just a collective of artists/creatives working under a company name with no formal registration.  
  • This is not an opportunity for individual producers who have acquired the licence for a show.
  • Emerging company just means those who identify as emerging. This would likely be a company that is relatively close to the beginning of its journey. Perhaps you haven’t produced a full length show yet or perhaps you have a couple of a Fringe/Off West End shows under your belt but you want to upscale or tour your work.  Whatever level you feel you are at, your company must be able to demonstrate how it will benefit from producing, artistic and financial support.
  • We have asked you to submit a budget. This is just for the R&D week and doesn’t need to be for a full production. We have provided a budget template which you can use if you would like to but please feel free to use your own template if you would prefer. We have also provided a video explaining the template. The budget is purely to give us an understanding of your piece from a cost perspective so that we can figure out how we can best help you. If you have any questions about this part of the application then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 
  • This is an opportunity for new work. That could be new writing, a new adaptation or a new performance piece based on something pre-existing like a news story or a public event. However, we will be unlikely to accept revivals of pre-existing plays. 
  • The piece you are applying with must not have been previously produced. Work in progress sharings or scratch performances are fine but we can’t accept anything that has had a full production that ran for more than three days or received individual press coverage.
  • You must be based in the UK and able to deliver a week of R&D at Wildcard or at The Watermill (there is accommodation available at The Watermill if you are not local to either organisation). 
  • If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch at james@wildcardtheatre.co.uk