Through the expansion and development of In Good Company, the scheme will deliver an enhanced programme of artist development opportunities, including:

  • Masterclasses and workshops
  • Rolling artist-support fund, offering seed commissions to regional artists
  • Three commissioning funds for mid-career artists
  • New writing development opportunities
  • Platforms to showcase new work through festivals and scratch nights (including Departure Lounge and Check-In Festivals)
  • A subsidised touring programme supporting partner venues to programme three high quality, diverse shows
  • Regular newsletters, social events, 1-2-1 advice meetings for artists and an online directory allowing artists upload and share CVs and portfolios (delivered as part of The Big House consortium).

Artist Support Fund

In Good Company is evolving; we’re incredibly proud of our associate artist programme and to date have supported 14 associate companies over 4 years who have received tailored support to their needs. 

We are delighted to have led the way in the midlands in this model meaning lots venues now run Associate Artist Schemes.  We therefore are evolving our programme to offer even more artists the chance to receive tailored support. 

We have listened to what artists want and need and from 2019 onwards, In Good Company will have a rolling programme of bursaries of up to £1,000 that will be awarded in January and June. 

Artists are constantly having to write bids and applications, but for smaller pots of seed funding we think we can do things differently to foster better artist/venue relationships, reduce admin time, focus support around ideas not words and improve the general health and wellbeing of our sector. 

In Good Company are on a mission to continue to transform how artists and venues communicate and co-create exciting new performance platforms, commissions and touring networks and it is for that reason that we have placed the onus on venues to foster and develop relationships, and in collaboration with artists nominate them for this fund. We encourage you to have a discussion about your project with them, thus providing an opportuntiy for them to nominate you. Venues recieve a limited number of nominations; so this might not always be possible, and we appreciate that making contact with venues can sometimes be difficult, particularly if you are an early career theatre maker - so we also want to give you the opportuntiy to nominate yourself.

If you have an idea that you think might need support, please fill out this form. The deadline for this is the 10th January 2020. If we recieve your application post 10th January 2020, your application will be reviewed in the June 2020 window. You will also need to fill out this Equality and Diversity form and submit this along with your application. 

Artist Support Fund Partner Venues 

Derby Theatre – www.derbytheatre.co.uk

Attenborough Arts Centre - www2.le.ac.uk/hosted/attenborougharts

Lincolnshire One Venues - lincolnshireonevenues.com

Nonsuch - wearenonsuch.com

Brewhouse Arts Centre - www.brewhouse.co.uk

Curve, Leicester - www.curveonline.co.uk

Nottingham Playhouse - www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk

Arena Theatre - www.wlv.ac.uk/arena-theatre/

Mansfield Old Library - www.inspireculture.org.uk/about-us/roomhire/old-library/

Take Off – New writing Development opportunity 

In light of our expanding programme and partnership, In Good Company are increasing the support on offer for writers across the region. This new writing development opportunity aims to support writers in their careers to get feedback, raise their profile, connect them with opportunities and organisations; and support them to help themselves in the future.

This opportunity was intended for a Midland’s writer who is developing a new piece of work at crucial stage in the development process. It incorporated a £1000 writers fee, rehearsal space at Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton with a week of rehearsal space at Nottingham Playhouse and presentations and technical support at their Tilstone Studio and Neville Studio.

This is part of In Good Company’s commitment to take 3 pieces of new writing from page to stage over the course of the programme, providing both directors and two actors to workshop the pieces and get them on their feet.

Statement of Selection for the 2019 cohort of Take Off applications

In order to make best use of the resources that we have available for this opportunity, we made a conscious effort to make the criteria fairly specific, to really support a piece in a very particular moment of its creation. A piece which was ready to go from page to stage, but not yet ready for full production. We looked for writers with a strong ‘voice’, who were telling an interesting story and had a clear understanding of how their story works as theatre.

This opportunity was built in response to the lack of opportunities for writers in the region, in particular theatre makers interested in new writing exclusively. The shortlisted writers both demonstrated a clear understanding of dialogue, stagecraft and an understanding of structure and plot through their synopsis. There was a clear difference between those applications that had employed marketing copy for their synopsis and those that had described narrative and plot. 

It was really interesting to read the synopsis’ and 10 page extracts and there was a really thorough and interesting discussion around the table In Good Company partners Arena Theatre and Nottingham Playhouse in order to come to this decision. 

Check back for further announcements of who was selected in due course. 

Departure Lounge Festivals

Our annual Check-in Festival takes place at Attenborough Arts Centre and is designed for local artists to experiment and play ahead of Departure Lounge.

Our annual Departure Lounge Festival is a performance platform of national importance, attended by artists, industry and audiences. Presented with Derby Theatre, we invite local and national artists to showcase their work and celebrate new and innovative performance. Departure Lounge is the arts festival for groundbreaking work in the heart of the country. Every corner of Derby Theatre and beyond will be brought to life by extraordinary performances, workshops and discussion. 

Statement of Selection for Scratch that Itch: Performing Parents/Carers

We understand that writing and submitting an application for a scratch night is time and energy consuming, particularly as it’s unlikely you’ll get feedback if you were unsuccessful. While we’re not able to give feedback on each application we wanted to give a bit of an overview about the process of shortlisting to help give an insight into why we’ve selected the artists for the IGC Summer Scratch.

We have a limited number of slots for every scratch night we run and we pay all artist/s companies who are selected £250-£300 to cover their basic expenses. As a general rule we ring-fence 3-4 slots for Midlands based artists, and 1 slot for national artists with a general focus on theatre makers (rather than dance, music, live art etc).

As a commitment to increasing opportunities and support for all we always shortlist at least one project with a lead artist who identifies as BAME, from a non-British background, Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Queer, Gender diverse, from a working class background and D/deaf and Disabled people (including hidden disabilities). 

This Scratch Night was specifically for Parents/Carers in the Arts and was shortlisted in association with Not Now Collective. The IGC team talks and meets with artists about their projects on a weekly basis and we’re also really aware of those who regularly engage with the wider programme, on occasion these artists, and the knowledge we have about their work and other support we might be, or have recently, offered informs whether or not they are shortlisted. 

We always get a lot of applications for our scratch nights and the process of deciding who is selected is a very difficult one, often with 3-5 members of staff feeding in, so we always encourage artists to apply again if they’ve not been successful on this occasion.


The Artists' Network

The Artists' Network is a digital and physical collection of artists. It is open access - it brings together the “I”s to make a “we”, it turns acquaintances into friends and competition into collaborators.

We send a bi-weekly e-newsletter and your one-stop-shop for all artist development opportunities across the region.

Email igc@derby.ac.uk to join.

As a local artist who is a member of the Artists' Network you are welcome to request a 1-2-1 mentoring session with our creative producer.


PlayShuffle is an open mic night for new writing, designed to lift plays off the page so they can stand on their own two feet.  We provide the Dutch courage so actors can stretch their sight-reading muscles; producers and directors test their ability to sniff out potential and playwrights hear their work for the first time.

Scratch Nights

Our scratch nights offer a selection of new work from the most exciting artists in the region. This is a chance for artists to try out new ideas in front of an audience and for audiences to feed into the development of the next big thing. Come along to get inspired or just enjoy a great evening of new writing. 


We offer year-round 1-2-1 mentoring meetings for all artists working in the region to give advice on funding, touring, sustainability, wellbeing, artistic practice etc. 

Hang Outs

In Good Company knows that it can be lonely being an artist, so we’re committed to providing you with opportunities to connect – about art, but also just the stuff of life. Come hang out with us and each other. From drinks to dancing and picnics to day trips keep watching the IGC calendar for upcoming socials.