Call Out: applications to perform at Departure Lounge 2019 now open

Two fantastic opportunities for theatre makers in the Midlands and from across the UK to be a part of highly acclaimed performance festival.

In Good Company, the flagship creative, professional and business development programme for theatre makers in the Midlands, is offering two fantastic opportunities to theatre makers to be a part of Departure Lounge, Derby Theatre’s annual summer festival of ground-breaking work, and fresh and exciting performance in the heart of the country.

Departure Lounge is a nationally recognised and highly acclaimed festival that IGC and the Theatre will produce and present for a 7th year in 2019, that will once again consist of a bumper line-up of shows, Edinburgh previews, a panel discussion with leading industry professionals, workshops, talks plus much more. Ahead of the Festival next year, Midlands theatre makers who are planning to take their show to the world renowned Edinburgh Festival, are being offered the opportunity to apply for testing their pieces out at Departure Lounge, plus companies and artists from across the UK are being offered the chance to apply for next year’s Package Holiday development and performance opportunity.

“Departure Lounge is one of the most crucial dates on the annual theatre calendar”
Lyn Gardner (British Theatre writer, critic and journalist)

Pre-Edinburgh sharing at Departure Lounge

In Good Company invites artists and companies from the Midlands area to apply to showcase their work at the Festival before they head off to Edinburgh and are committed to increasing opportunities and support for all and this being reflected on their stages. We recognise the need within ‘all’ to be diverse and representative of the world we live in today. ‘All’ includes (but is not exclusively): people of colour, people from non-British backgrounds, lesbian, bisexual, gay and queer people, gender diverse people, people from working class backgrounds, D/deaf and disabled people (including hidden disabilities).

We recognise that one of the most crucial things to consider for regional artists when making work is timelines that is why this year we have decided to do an open call out. Midland’s theatre makers and artists can plan, get organised and work Departure Lounge into their timelines.

As well as this call out, we will still be programming some slots in our traditional way. Particularly national and international work.

What are in Good Company looking for?

You tell us! We don’t know what we’re looking for until it hits us in the face. We want to be challenged, we want the Festival to be open and we love new ideas. We want companies and artists to have ambition for their work both in the short and long term, whilst also being deliverable; and we also want staging practicalities and how the piece will benefit from taking off at Departure Lounge to have been considered.


Please send a production pack to by Friday 18 January 2019, 6pm.
If your show is in development and you've not got a production pack together yet. Please send us an outline of the production using the information above as a guide. Please include contact details and a summary of technical requirements. This should be no more than one A4. 




Package Holiday

Cheeky Chin at Derby Theatre 2018

Package Holiday is the second amazing opportunity being offered by In Good Company once again this year in the run up to Departure Lounge, for one lucky company or artist (from anywhere in the UK) to receive a wealth of opportunities and support to develop a piece of theatre, culminating in their performance being part of the Festival line-up.

The successful company or artist will receive: 1 week’s free rehearsal space at The HopBarn, a beautiful artistic retreat in the heart of rural Nottinghamshire, working in the main studio; on-site accommodation; their performance programmed as part of Departure Lounge (on Saturday 20 July 2019) and branded as our ‘Departure Lounge Package Holiday Production’; a performance fee of £500; guidance and support on funding applications and an opportunity to share their work with the In Good Company and Derby Theatre’s artistic and programming teams.

In Good Company are particularly looking for: work made by artists of colour (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic - BAME), in recognition of the fact that these artists are currently underrepresented in contemporary theatre (and In Good Company’s ambition to address this imbalance); work that fits in a studio space contemporary performances; work that is between 50 and 60 minutes; work already in the process of development that will be finished by the week before the Festival, at the latest.

For the first time, In Good Company are also open to receiving split applications, a bespoke opportunity to present a finished show at the Festival and to develop a different show at The Hopbarn.


Please submit an application outlining the following on one A4 sheet:

- Who you are (biography or CV) and where you are based

- Information about the show/s you would like to develop and perform,

- Why this Package Holiday opportunity would benefit you, your company and the work

- What stage your production is currently at, how you will be supporting the production financially and if you intend on taking your show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

All submissions should be sent sent to Sophie Hack at and need to be received by Tuesday 26 February 2019.

Interviews will take place at Derby Theatre on Friday 8th March 2019.

All applications in relation to Departure Lounge are reviewed by an Advisory Artistic Panel, a team made up of artists drawn from the industry, IGC’s previous associate companies and the Festival’s previous participants, then selection will be undertaken by Ben, In Good Company’s Creative Producer and Sarah, Derby Theatre’s Artistic Director and Chief Executive. 

Due to the high number of applications that will be received we are unfortunately unable to respond to every application. However, we will announce the selected the artists/companies a short while after the deadline.



Photo 1 - Major Labia's Vulva la Revolution at Departure Lounge 2018 © Pamela Raith

Photo 2 - Open Wound by Cheeky Chin, 2018 Package Holiday recipient