Theatre makers in the capital are the focus for a new network aiming to improve working practices and support for artists. 

Photo of audience watching performance
The Yard Theatre: one of 26 members of the new STAMP network

Improving support for theatre artists and advocating for the role of theatre is the remit of a new London-based network of theatre organisations.

Known as STAMP (Supporting Theatre and Makers of Performance), the network aims to improve working practices for artists who make new theatre and performance by sharing knowledge and increasing dialogue between member organisations and artists.

STAMP will also act as a lobbying body to ensure that London “continues to be the home for visionary artists and ground-breaking new theatre at a time of economic and political uncertainty”.

“Practical collective action” by the group will include a series of events for producers and artists, and a programming database for London venues.

Research projects will inform how it supports artists. These will explore ways of improving access to rehearsal space; commissioning models that enhance collaboration, not competition; and the living and working conditions of London-based theatre artists.

Responding to need

The network has been established in response to research by Dr Hannah Nicklin on behalf of Camden People’s Theatre (CPT), which examined the experiences of emerging theatre makers.

Brian Logan, Artistic Director of Camden People’s Theatre, said: “Artists told us loudly and clearly that they wanted joined-up thinking, transparency and collaboration between London venues and artist support programmes. STAMP is the result, and we’re thrilled it’s happening.

“Alongside our partner organisations, we at CPT are dedicated to ensuring STAMP makes London a more accommodating, easy-to-navigate and creative landscape for artists making new theatre and performance.”

Inspired by similar models elsewhere in the country, such as Venues North, the network includes 26 member organisations based across inner and outer London. These range from large, publicly funded theatre buildings, such as the National Theatre and the Barbican, to smaller scale companies such as the Yard Theatre, Penned in the Margins and Yellow Earth.

A website will list information about how each STAMP organisation programmes work and develops artists.

Liz Hill