Curve's New Work Festival responds to needs of local creatives with free space and support

Thu 28 Oct 2021

From Monday 1 to Saturday 6 November, artists will takeover Leicester’s Curve, receiving free space and support from staff from departments across the theatre.

Originally scheduled as Curve’s annual New Work Festival, the team adjusted plans in response to feedback from local creatives who requested more time to develop their work, rather than a platform to present performances.

“I’m so happy that Curve actually see that we need more than just a platform to perform but also to grow”, commented Sasha Utami of Leicester-based Copa In Motion Dance Theatre, one of the artists who will be developing skills and new work at Curve during the week, “this is such positive news for artists in and around Leicester”.

Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster added:

“Each year we look forward to our New Work Festival as a celebration of the innovative work created by our local artists. Our local community of creatives rallied together brilliantly for our recent Curve on the Square events and we are thrilled the building will be filled with local artists once again this autumn, preparing for our 2022 New Work Festival.

“Trying out new ideas, meeting other artists, using our rehearsal rooms, technical resources, our team will be available throughout these artist residencies to offer advice on budgets, funding applications, marketing and more.

“Now more than ever we need to do all we can to support the ongoing development of theatre-makers and we can’t wait to welcome this extraordinary team of artists to take over Curve.”

Throughout the week creatives will be able to join free sessions including a talk on midscale theatre budgets and tax relief with Chris Stafford, an introduction to self-producing and a playwriting workshop with Ben Weatherill, as well as one-to-one advice from Curve staff and networking events.

On Saturday 6 November at 5:30pm audiences will have the chance to experience a free 20-minute work-in-progress performance of Othello’s Sister, a co-production from Derby-based theatre companies 1623 and Anansi. A semi-autobiographical response piece to Shakespeare’s tragedy, Lauren Nicole Whitter will perform this new solo show directed by Sam Beckett Jr., which tells the story of two young Black women separated by time and place.

Following this week of development, Curve will reschedule its New Work Festival in full to 2022, where creatives will be able to continue their growth, participate in sessions and share their work with audiences.

Curve is committed to supporting and nurturing local talent. Its free Curve Connect network offers Midlands creatives a chance to hear about the latest opportunities and workshops at the theatre, arrange meetings with Curve team members and more. To find out more about Curve Connect and sign-up now, visit – or email [email protected].

To learn more about opportunities available during the week, click here.