About ArtsLab

Through a programme of initiatives across the year, including ground-breaking residential workshops, The North Wall supports the production of new work and development opportunities for early-career and professional artists. We call this our ArtsLab. To find out about current opportunities, click here.

Who is it for?

Early-Career Artists

ArtsLab provides opportunities for young, talented theatre artists aged 18-25 to succeed and excel as professionals. Through our residential training programmes, young artists work as an ensemble with professionals to a deadline to create, rehearse and perform. They gain rare experience of being part of a company producing new work.

We hold an open national call out to recruit young people from across the UK through auditions and interviews. They are united by their talent and by their desire to pursue a career in the arts.

Artistic Development and R&D

ArtsLab supports professional writers, directors and actors, giving them the space and time to research and develop new work.

We establish ongoing, creative partnerships with theatre companies including: Iron Shoes, previously associate company at The Bush; and multi-award-winning international ensemble Theatre Ad Infinitum. We also work closely with individuals at all stages in their careers, including Tom Wainwright, alumnus of the prestigious Royal Court Young Writer’s Programme; Al Smith, under commission to the Royal Court Theatre and winner of the inaugural BFI Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Prize; and Barney Norris; winner of the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright in 2015.

What do we do?

ArtsLab Summer Residency

The annual ArtsLab Summer residency focuses on all aspects of the performing arts including theatre, music and dance. Offered free of charge with up to 35 places each year won through audition and interview, it offers talented young actors, writers, designers, musicians and directors the chance to work as an ensemble to create new work, in collaboration with professional theatre-makers, to the benefit of both.


A two-week Easter residency, Catalyst provides a framework of support for early-career writers and directors aged 18-25 to progress their work. Six writers and three directors are selected through a national call-out, and paired with professional mentors and a company of actors. The residency culminates in a showcase, marking the first day of Alchymy, our annual festival of new work.

Productions and Co-productions

The North Wall produces home-grown work and also collaborates with other theatre companies on new productions. Our most recent in-house production, E8, premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019, and was directed by The North Wall’s Co-Director Ria Parry. Writer Marika Mckennell first developed E8 as part of our Catalyst programme.

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