In case you have not seen…the call out for Mayfest and Theatre Bristol Commission 2013


Dear artists and theatre makers,

Mayfest and Theatre Bristol would like to invite performance companies, artists and makers to propose ideas for a commissioned work to be presented at Mayfest 2013. We would like to commission a performance project to take place in a non-theatre-based location (indoors or outdoors) somewhere in Bristol.

This is the third year Mayfest and Theatre Bristol have collaborated to commission a new work, following the huge success of Molly Naylor and Byron Vincent’s Made Up in 2012 and Search Party’s Save Me in 2011.

“The combination of Mayfest and Theatre Bristol as commissioning partners created a genuine sense of care and ambition – creating a work that quite simply wouldn’t have been possible without the money, time, support and creativity of all involved.”  Pete Phillips and Jodie Hawkes, Search Party (2011)

“Mayfest allowed us the opportunity to deliver affecting art which had profound impact on people’s lives. The Made Up project brought families together across generations, inspired five-year-olds to reinterpret our work and kept alive stories which might otherwise have been lost forever. I was proud to be a part of something so poignant and sincere and am incredibly grateful to Mayfest for recognising the value in our project.”  Byron Vincent, Made Up (2012)

This is your opportunity to propose an ambitious, exciting idea for presentation during Mayfest with the support of Mayfest’s producers MAYK and Theatre Bristol.

Mayfest and Theatre Bristol want to build on the exciting energy and vision of artists making live performance in the South West. We are particularly looking for:

•    Ideas that are original, exciting and of the highest quality.
•    Ideas that are achievable: be realistic about the time and resources you have and match them to your vision.
•    New work – but this could be a redevelopment of an already existing work, or work which is already in development
•    Ideas that engage with their surroundings and respond to the space in which they are staged
•    Ideas that could take place in parts of Bristol in which not much arts activity happens
•    Ideas that engage a broad audience, who may not be regular theatre-goers
•    Work that can have an onward life (find other contexts and networks to tour) even if this is not a straightforward proposition.
Your work will need to be finished and ready for public presentation during Mayfest 2013 (Thursday 16th – Sunday 26th May 2013.)

We’re particularly interested in work that may be relatively new or unusual to the public realm.

Each commission will receive:

  • Up to £3000 commission (funding pending)
  • Production support and marketing support, including listing in Mayfest brochure, print, and on Mayfest and Theatre Bristol websites.
  • Technical support during the festival
  • Support and advocacy in exploring future life for the project and increasing the profile of the work in an ‘industry’ context
  • Producer advice/creative feedback during development and realisation

How to apply:

1.    Tell us what you want to do by writing a short proposal (no longer than one side of A4). Your proposal should include:
a.    What you want to do and the ideas behind the work
b.    A proposed location and why you have selected this location
c.    Information about you and your artistic practice

2.    Please provide us with an outline budget for how much the show will cost to make and give a breakdown of how you will spend the money. You do not need to include presentation costs at this stage.

3.    You can include still images of your work (please keep file sizes small) or links to websites which include information and footage about you and your work. Please DO NOT send DVDs.

Email your completed application to by midnight Friday 4 January 2013.

Shortlisted applications will be invited to meet the panel for an interview on Tuesday 29 January. We will aim to notify the successful applicant in early February.

Due to the anticipated response and selection schedule, we regret that we will not be able to contact unsuccessful applicants prior to 29 January, but we will endeavour to email brief feedback to unsuccessful applicants after the process, if feedback is requested.

If you have any further questions, please see our FAQ sheet.

Download Mayfest & Theatre Bristol Commission FAQs 

If you can’t find the answer there, please email your question to and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Mayfest and Theatre Bristol want to be as fully accessible as possible. If you would like this information in a different format, or would like to complete your application in an alternative format, please call: 0117 373 0873.

Good luck from the Mayfest and Theatre Bristol teams.


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