The Naseem Khan Commissions

Curve, Bristol Old Vic Fement and The Lowry Salford have joined forces to offer three seed commissions of £2k each to three Artists of Colour (theatre makers or companies led by a majority of POC) to create ambitious new work for our theatres and beyond.

The commissions are named in memory of Naseem Khan OBE, author of the first ever Government inquiry into diversity in British culture (The Arts Britain Ignores, 1976); and lifelong champion of inclusion in theatre.



  • A seed fund award of £2k
  • A residential retreat with fellow participating artists to exchange ideas and practice (all transport/accommodation/subsistence provided).
  • 18 months of support from the partner network to create your show, including production, administrative, fundraising, marketing and dramaturgical support.
  • Up to six weeks’ rehearsal space across the partner network.
  • Programmed slots for scratch, work-in-progress, sharings and premieres across the partner network including technical support and marketing.
  • Support to identify touring and showcasing opportunities beyond the network to sustain a future life for the work created.


We are committed to diversifying the pool of artists and companies successfully making and touring work across the UK,  in recognition of the fact that the theatre workforce is not yet reflective of British society as a whole. We are proud to have supported artists including Rachael Young, Tanuja Amarasuryia, Chanje Kunda, Si Rawlinson and more to make ambitious new work over the past five years; and to have seen this work reach audiences across the country.

We are partnering together now in order to take more artists on this journey, further recognising that true career sustainability for regional artists is usually only achievable by making work that reaches beyond your hometown.

We are looking for artists from Black, Asian or other Minority Ethnic backgrounds; or companies where there is at least a 50% BAME representation/leadership to take on this opportunity.

We are looking for artists who are based in one of the partner areas: East Midlands; Bristol/South West; or Greater Manchester.

We are looking for artists who are interested in making work for medium-scale spaces and who have previously made at least one full-length show (over an hour), that has had at least ten performances.

Due to the skillset of the project network leaders and the resources available, we believe this opportunity will best suit theatremakers/maker-performers, or those already working in a company structure.




28 Feb 2019 – The Lowry Showcase
July 2019 – Ferment Fortnight
October 2019 – Curve Inside Out Festival