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

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Grants for the Arts

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

Latest news, blog posts and case studies

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£382k awarded to theatre in the North

With the help of our Strategic Touring programme, theatre performances will be presented in pubs, sports clubs and other non-traditional venues in the North.

A World War 1 soldier sits next to commuters on a train station bench

We Are Here

Why social media is vital to the impact of large public artworks like #wearehere.

A group of dancers clad in feathers perform before the dome in London.

A blast of oxygen

Five questions with...Mark Ball, Artistic Director of LIFT, about cultural connections and ‘the heat and light’ of the festival.

Men with paces painted like skulls bang huge drums, in front of red smoke and sparks

Outdoor arts celebrated in south London

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival - London’s largest festival of outdoor arts celebrates its 21st birthday with 6 world premieres, 5 UK premieres and 12 London premieres

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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. Rabbitskin and Wrong’un, part of Northern Social Circuit programme © Red Ladder Theatre Company 5. Photo courtesy of 14-18 NOW 6. The Trench. Image courtesy of Collective Arts. 7. Requardt and Rosenburg: Motor Show. London International Festival of Theatre 2012. Photo © Stu Mayhew. 8. Cast of Into The West as the crashing waves.Image © Camilla Adams. 9. The Clash of Drums, by Les Commandos Percu and Deabru Beltzak, GDIF 2016. Photo © Marion Le Fournier 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