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A great opportunity for theatre artists and companies at Oval House Theatre!


Anti-heroes and underdogs.
Stories told sideways.
The things under the bed.
Theatre for people with something to say.
New work for new audiences.


Sometime in 2013, Ovalhouse will present a season called counter-culture.

We don’t know what will be in it, or what form it will take, or even quite what counter-culture means.

We have a list of questions and we want to start thinking about them. We want to work with three artists/ companies on seed commissions, which may continue growing into the counter-culture season.

What we’re thinking about:

Does counter-culture exist?
Who gets to be counter-cultural?
What does counter-culture mean?
What does counter-culture look like?
Can counter-culture ever be defined positively, on its own terms? Is counter-culture protest or alternative?
How can counter-culture take place in a society which prizes itself on inclusivity?
When does counter-culture become too ugly/ violent/ intolerant to contemplate?
How is counter-culture different to sub-culture to fringe culture?
How long can counter-culture stay counter-cultural before it is absorbed into the mainstream?
Who wants to be counter-cultural?
What use is counter-cultural navel-gazing in a time of economic recession/ unarmed protesters being killed in Syria/ seemingly uncontrollable climate change?
What relationship is there between counter-cultural performance and political performance?
How would an audience have a counter-cultural experience?
Is there any point in counter-cultural performance or are we preaching to the converted?
Can counter-culture ever take place in a theatre funded by the government?

We want artists/ companies:

• who want to spend 2 weeks developing a new piece of work before showing it to an audience, as a work-in-progress

• whose work only works in a live environment

•  who are intrigued or puzzled or irritated by the questions above

You get

• 1 week in a rehearsal room

• 1 week in a fully equipped performance space

•  3 public performances (Thurs – Sat of 2nd week)

• 10 hrs tech support

• 60% box office takings (tickets £5)

•  inclusion in Ovalhouse brochure (10,000 copies)

• admin space and marketing support

•  £1000 seed commission

SLOT 1:   7 – 19 May 2012
SLOT 2:  14 – 26 May 2012
SLOT 3:  21 May – 2 June 2012

To apply:
Please send us answers to the following questions:
Who are you? (100 words)
What do you want to work on? (500 words)
What will it be like for an audience? (200 words)
Why do you want to make this piece? (100 words)
Tell us 3 influences on your work/ this piece (150 words)

Additionally, you can supply 1 A4 page with images/ links to your work.

Please indicate your availability for the 3 slots.

Please send your application to
Deadline: Thursday 29th March 2012 at 12 noon.

We will be meeting applicants shortlisted for interview on 3rd April.

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