Here's what we're doing to keep you safe 👍

Latest Covid info


Are you a theatre maker or company based in Bristol or South West England with an idea for a show you want to develop?

The Wardrobe Ensemble are delighted to offer a brand new commission of £10,000 for an artist or company based in South West England to develop a new piece of theatre and present it at The Theatre on the Downs.

After the last 18 months, we understand how vital financial and venue support is for artists to continue making and presenting work. Having received funding from Arts Council England for this project and commission, we hope to enable one South West artist or company to keep doing what they do best.

We have tried to make this commission as open ended as possible so that applicants can use it in the way that best supports them.

We are interested in new show ideas that sit within the theatre genre, but what kind of theatre – we don’t mind. You might want to use this commission to research and develop an idea you’ve been thinking about for a while and use the theatre for a work-in-progress sharing. You might be ready to take your piece into final production and present it at The Theatre on the Downs. Whatever stage it’s at, we’d love to hear about it.

Alongside the £10k commission, the successful artist or company will also receive 4 x one-to-one sessions with members of The Wardrobe Ensemble to support you in your next steps.


  • Bristol or South West based artist or company
  • Proposal for a new piece of theatre
  • At any stage of development
  • No age restriction

Budget: £10,000

Deadline: Wednesday 4th August 2021

Interviews: Tuesday 17th August 2021


  • Development period 23rd August – 27th September.
  • 5 night performance or presentation slot available at The Theatre on the Downs, 28th September to 2nd October 2021.
  • Two mentoring sessions across August and September with two follow up sessions to support your next steps.

Application process

The successful artist/company will be selected by a panel of representatives, which include two members of The Wardrobe Ensemble, Aisha Ali (co-founder of Kiota), Jay Zorenti-Nakhid (RYTDS Assistant Director at Tobacco Factory Theatres)

A shortlist will be selected from the received applications who will be invited for an informal chat to discuss your proposal further, before a final decision is made.


The budget is £10,000 and will be treated as a grant. This is inclusive of all expenses and must therefore cover fees, travel, accommodation, materials, access costs and marketing (if necessary). There will also be promotion from The Wardrobe Ensemble and its partners.

If you are applying with a joint commission, one artist will need to be a designated project lead and all payments will be made to them. Payments will be paid in instalments on receipt of an invoice.

The £10,000 can be used as match funding for a larger project, however if this is the preferred approach please make this clear in your application.

How to apply

We want to hear about…

…you/your company and the work you do

…your project idea and what stage of development your project is at

…how would you use The Theatre on the Downs

If you feel more comfortable submitting an application by video or voice recording, please send to covering the areas above. It should be no longer than 5 minutes and ideally sent as a google link.

As a company we regularly review how we can best create opportunities and widen access, and we understand the positive impact that working with people form diverse backgrounds has on the company and all aspects of its work.

We therefore welcome applications from those from the widest range of backgrounds and particularly those who are underrepresented in the theatre and the arts. Including those who identify as D/deaf and/or disabled; Trans and non-binary; those from low socio-economic backgrounds; people of African or Caribbean heritage, South Asian heritage, East Asian heritage, South East Asian heritage; people of Middle East heritage and North African Heritage; and anyone who has experienced racism due to the colour of their skin, their race and/or their culture

Deadline for applications is midnight Wednesday 4 August 2021.

Panel conversations will be held via Zoom w/c 16th August, where we’ll talk more about you and your application.

If you have any questions about the commission call out and want to discuss your application before applying, please get in touch by emailing

About The Wardrobe Ensemble

The Wardrobe Ensemble are a group of theatre artists working to dissect the 21st century experience. We write, devise and perform original work for all ages, using a collaborative process developed together over the last decade. With nine core members and a large community of associate artists, we are one of the largest ensembles working in the country today. We are based in Bristol.

Coming up next