Programming

What work do we programme?

Barbican Theatre programmes a variety of work in our auditorium, reflecting our interest in showcasing talent from across a range of disciplines.

As a small-scale venue our focus is on emerging and fringe-scale work across areas including:

  • Theatre
  • Dance
  • Spoken word
  • Stand-up and sketch comedy
  • Cabaret & drag

We are interested in work which appeals to wide and diverse audiences, and will offer audiences a great night out with might entertain, inform or challenge them - and will live with them long after the leave the theatre.

Our programming focuses mostly on local artists, in particular those across Devon or who wish to develop a strong connection to Plymouth. This is a reflection of our commitment to supporting and developing local talent.

At present, we are limited in the amount of touring work we can receive. Artists from outside the region with a track record of touring who match our programming focus may be considered on occasion - particularly those who offer workshops which help develop young people and local artists.

USEFUL INFORMATION
Our Auditorium has 110 fixed seats in a seating rake - the capacity can be increased to 144 seats by using pit seating, but please be aware that this reduces the playing size of the stage.
We ask that companies ideally provide their own technical operator. If you do not have one, please flag this to us early so we can bear this in mind.
There is no parking available at the venue, and it is not possible to load in directly onto the stage - please speak to us if you have any concerns regarding your get-in.
We sell tickets for all shows directly through our website, and offer marketing support in various ways - including helping with design, publicity through social media and linking you with the local press.
Photo by Idil Sukan/Draw HQ
Luke Wright, Poet Laureate (Image: Idil Sukan)

What financial deals can we offer?

Fagins Twist image NEW 2
Avant Garde Dance, Fagin's Twist
The type of deals we can offer are negotiable on a case-by-case basis - but as a general rule, we typically offer a 70/30 Box Office split. Shows tend to be one-night bookings, in order to be cost-effective for both us and the artists.

For companies/artists with a track record of touring, we can consider offering guaranteed fees, or guarantees against a Box Office split. Guarantees are more likely for shows with a workshop/outreach element available.

TERMINOLOGY:
Box Office Split: A deal where Box Office money after deductions is shared between the venue and the artist/company as a percentage. The artist gets the percentage listed first, i.e. in a 70/30 split the artist gets 70%.
Guarantee: A fee agreed in advance, which is not dependent on ticket sales
Guarantee against a split : The company/artist gets either a guaranteed fee
or a share of the net Box Office income – they get the larger amount.

What types of shows do we not programme?

We do not programme work as much as some other venues, as we have limited space and money to do so. Our Barbican Theatre Performance Training programme uses our main stage during the year, so programming is usually limited to being between Thursday and Saturday evenings.

From a theatre perspective, we tend not to to programme classic texts or straight revivals - however, if there is a particularly unique take on a piece like this we might consider it.

We also tend not to book shows particularly aimed at early years/young audiences, as we tend to struggle to get an audience for those shows.

In terms of dance, forms such as classical ballet are not considered for programming as we are keen to platform more diverse and modern forms.

Live music does happen in the venue, although this is not programmed by us - if you have a music act then enquiries should be emailed to events@b-bar.co.uk.

As a venue with very limited budgets and space, we don't do long runs of shows - it is challenging to get an audience across multiple performances, and we think it's safer to stick to limited runs.

WOMANS (like Romans but with a W) presented by Scratchworks Thetare Company
Scratchworks Theatre Company, WOMANS (Like Romans but with a 'W')

Would we consider a co-production?

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Le Navet Bete and Barbican Theatre, A Christmas Carol
One of our biggest successes in recent times has been co-producing work with other companies.

Our co-producing relationship with Le Navet Bete has seen us deliver successful Christmas shows which reach wide audiences, and we have also co-produced work with partners including The Wheel, Scratchworks Theatre Company and Situations.

We co-produce with artists/companies who we develop a relationship with through our general programming, but currently do not entertain speculative approaches from anyone we have not previously worked with.

However, we are interested in talking to venues who may be interested in co-producing. If you represent a venue and are interested in a co-production then please email Dan Baker, Creative Producer on dan@barbicantheatre.co.uk.

How can I contact you about programming?

If you've read through this page and think your work might fit our programme, then please do get in touch with us. We'd ideally like you to provide us with the following information:
  • Name of company/artist & title of your show
  • Potential touring period or dates you would be interested (ideally Thursdays / Fridays / Saturdays)
  • Information regarding your show, including images/video (if you have some)
  • Technical specifications, if they are ready
  • Potential deal you might be asking for

Barbican Theatre's technical specifications can be downloaded here, if you have anything in your show you think might be tricky tech-wise.

Please send this information by email to programming@barbicantheatre.co.uk, or by post to:

Programming Team, Barbican Theatre, Castle Street, Plymouth, Devon PL1 2NJ