Supporting theatre

Hand drawn iIllustration by Supermundane with lots of intricate lines and patterns

Theatre in England is vibrant and thriving, with a diverse range of artists and companies producing exciting and varied work.

Theatre companies represent the largest group in our current National Portfolio. They range from tiny fringe venues to large theatres with multiple performing spaces.

In 2014–15 we invested £178.3 million in theatre to fund producing venues, companies, touring and festivals, as well as individual artists and producers.

We want everyone to be able to enjoy theatre. We fund organisations across England and those that tour widely, as well as supporting high quality work for children, young people and their families. We're also developing new ways to make productions available digitally.

We hope to widen the understanding and appreciation of the many and varied kinds of theatre, which reflect our diverse and rich society.

Find out more

A woman in a showercap has buckets of water chucked over her.

Grants for the Arts

Individuals and organisations that make theatre can apply for this open funding programme

Latest news, blog posts and case studies

young audience members engaged in theatre

The Isle is Full of Noises

In light of the new Analysis of Theatre in England report, Simon Mellor blogs about how the theatre landscape is evolving in the digital age

ANNOUNCING: our budget for 2018-22

We have just published details of our budget for our next investment period, alongside guidance for applying to our National Portfolio

Performance Live: Kate Tempest

Tune into BBC Two on Saturday night to see award-winning artist Kate Tempest perform her new album 'Let them Eat Chaos'. It’s first programme in a new series called Performance Live which will see innovative live performance broadcast on BBC television over the next two years.‎

A young woman in a Create t-shirt holds a dance pose while performing on stage against a bright green backdrop

On culture and caring

Nicky Goulder on the impact of art and culture on young carers, and how creativity can helps us to step into someone else's shoes

Image captions
Top left to bottom right: 1. Steven Elliot in Educating Rita at Oldham Coliseum Theatre. Photo © Joel C Fildes / Oldham Coliseum Theatre. 2. The Revenge of Mr Trout! by TongueTied Theatre. Photo © Kyle Davies / TongueTied Theatre. 3. Scattered by Motionhouse. Photo © Chris Nash / Motionhouse 4. Dusk by Fevered Sleep 5. Birmingham Repertory Theatre in association with Ramps On The Moon: Kiruna Stamell, David Carlyle and Francesca Mills in The Government Inspector at The New Wolsey Theatre, 2016 6. No Credit Displaying 7. Kate Tempest_Performance Live (c) Alex Brenner 8. Les Petits' Captin Flinn at the Edinburgh Fringe 2016 Photo © Richard Davenport 9. A young carer performs at Sadler’s Wells during inspired:arts. Photo © Alicia Clarke 10. Land Speed Record Toys. Photo © Tom Wood / National Motor Museum 11. 'Transe Express' by Seachange Arts at the Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts, 2015. Photo © David Street / Streetview Marketing 12. Rifco Arts: Break the Floorboards @ Watford Palace Theatre, 2013. Photo © Manuel Harlan. 13. Daniel Copeland performs Joseph Coelho's Tree Child on the Spark Arts tour. Photo © Pamela Raith Photography / The Spark Arts 14. New Wolsey Youth Theatre's Through The Looking Glass. Photo © Mike Kwasniak 15. Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery. Photo © RAMM Exeter 16. Musiko Musika's ECCO Concert at Southbank Centre, February 2014. Photo © Harriet Armstrong / Musiko Musika. 17. Love is Enough: William Morris and Andy Warhol exhibition at Modern Art Oxford. Photo © Andy Keate