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

Schools kids in a devised film project

9 tips on community engagement

James Williams, Resident Director (Participation), from Watford Palace Theatre tells us what he’s learned about community engagement.

Image shows man dressed in orange, beige and brown track suit with sharp pointed ears .  He is kneeling on the stage, wearing a backpack.

Fantastic Mr Fox in Southampton

A new stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox will premiere at the Nuffield Southampton this Christmas before setting off on a major UK Tour.

A row of old skulls

How to look after Human Remains

Hear about the team of specialists, funded through our Museum Resilience fund, who make sure anything the dead (and undead) leave behind gets the best possible care!

Plymouth awarded £4.17m capital

Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery have made a successful application for £4,175,000 to our large Capital Investment programme to support world class spaces for contemporary art in the new History Centre, planned to open in 2020.

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. Images from filming the Fallout, an engagement project at Watford Palace Theatre. © James Williams 5. Kiran Sonia Sawar in 'My Name Is'. Photo © Helen Maybanks 6. Greg Barnett as Mr Fox in Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox at Nuffield Theatre, Southampton. A Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Curve co-production in association with Lyric Hammersmith 7. A still from a Hannah Lefeuvre work in progress. Image © Richard Tomlinson. 8. Living Worlds at Manchester Museum. © Manchester Museum 9. No Credit Displaying 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