In Good Company announces Departure Lounge: Staycation Festival at Derby Theatre this December

Departure Lounge, produced by In Good Company, is celebrating its 8th anniversary, and for 2020, it’s moving to a winter slot as the Staycation Festival: a perfectly packaged two days of on-stage and online performances, workshops, discussions and pre- recorded work, only on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 December.

2020 has panned out very differently to how we all imagined, and we thought Departure Lounge may not happen, but we were determined to produce and present our highly acclaimed Festival. This new combination of in-person and online content for festival-goers can be enjoyed safely whilst proving that the DL is here, and here to stay!

As ever, the Festival will be an exciting and eclectic mix of fresh, contemporary, cutting edge and innovative performance, workshops and interesting and insightful discussion.

On-Stage & Online - Friday 11 December

Highlights on the Friday of Departure Lounge Staycation include: our ever-popular Panel Discussion, Beyond 2020, which for this year will be online. This fascinating and insightful discussion with industry movers and shakers, led by journalist and novelist, Lyn Gardner, will talk about the future of the theatre industry, and how it can survive and thrive by placing community at the heart of what it does.

Panellists include:

Sarah Brigham (Artistic Director and CEO, Derby Theatre where she has championed a new way of working through creating the learning theatre model and the Derby CAN Producing Hub)

- Tobi Kyeremateng FRSA (an award-winning producer, writer and social entrepreneur who uses film, written essays, live public events and community-led and co-designed programmes to create rich cultural experiences, document Black British and Diasporic cultures and facilitate social change)

- Alan Lane (Artistic Director of Slung Low, a theatre company that specialises in making large outdoor people’s theatre and who manage the oldest Working Men’s Club in Britain as a community and arts centre on a Pay What You Decide basis and during the Covid Crisis have run a non-means tested food bank)

- Amahra Spence (a cultural producer, theatre maker, writer and multidisciplinary artist who, in 2013, became the founder of MAIA, an organisation who nurture artists as systems thinkers and supports them in striving for justice, through platforming, resource redistribution, programming and building social infrastructure).

The Beyond 2020 panel discussion is just £5 a ticket and will be held online via Zoom.

Festival performances include:

Fatty Fat Fat by Katie Greenall and Daisy Hale, presented as a livestream and as an in-person performance on the Derby Theatre main stage. A funny, frank and provocative solo show about living in a body the world tells you to hate.

- The Marathon Project: A Choose Your Own Adventure Musical, a work-in-progress piece produced by some of the UK’s most exciting new musical theatre makers who have come together for the first time to collectively create a piece inspired by the 1904 Olympics Marathon.

Festival workshops include:

- Producing in a Pandemic with Paige Jackson, a chance to hear what it’s like behind the scenes, producing an online festival/event and exploring together how we can all navigate new ways of working in an interactive workshop with this Birmingham-based producer

- Making Theatre with Lewis Doherty, a workshop exploring this critically acclaimed theatre maker’s (and creator of the Beast Trilogy) signature style.

- What’s the Crack?, also hosted online, an opportunity for theatre makers to give organisations the low-down on what’s been going down with them. 

The Best of Online - Saturday 12 December

On the Saturday of the Festival, IGC will be showcasing and sharing some of the best work made by theatre makers during the past 7 months via their social media platforms.

Also on the Saturday, we will premiere two new works commissioned by Derby Theatre which have been created under lockdown commissions, All the Places We Could Travel by Rommi Smith, a piece about two lovers separated by the pandemic and Not That Kind of Film by Leo Skilbeck, a piece filmed on location at a deserted mine site where Leo contemplates what it means to have grown up under Section 28.

Ben Anderson (Creative Producer, In Good Company) said: ‘I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to make something happen in the most challenging of circumstances, because by making things happen, we’re still producing our much-loved Festival, whilst also supporting artists. We were determined to produce something, and do so safely, because quite simply, we’re here to stay!'


- Tickets and festival passes on sale from Monday 9 November at 12pm

- Workshops, works-in-progress and Panel Discussion: £5

- Online Performances: £8

- In-Person Performances: £10

- Saturday Pre-Recorded pieces (including new commissions) – FREE to watch on IGC and DT's social media channels

- Festival Pass (including all events and performances) - £15

How To Book

- Online at

- Box Office: 01332 593939 (Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10:30 – 14:30)

- Text Phone: 07717 346964

- Email

- The Festival is recommended for age 14+


The following performances and events will be BSL interpreted:

- Online Panel Discussion: Beyond 2020

- Fatty Fat Fat (both online and onstage)

All performance and workshops spaces at the Theatre (for in-person events and workshops) are wheelchair-accessible.

See It Safely

Full safety measures, in line with government advice and guidelines, have been put in place at the Theatre and include socially distanced seating, reduced capacity, e-tickets, staff wearing protective face visors, hand sanitisation stations, enhanced cleaning schedules, plus much more. 

Find Out More