Grants now available for theatre archives!

A lovely array of panto programmes (Oh yes they are!) courtesy University of Kent, Pantomime Archive

Calling all archives! If you, or someone you know, has connections with any type of theatre archive then this may be a great opportunity for 2023. But you’ll need to apply by February 10th.

Cataloguing grants of up to £45,000 are now available from The National Archives and The Wolfson Foundation, with The Pilgrim Trust.

This funding strand of Archives Revealed provides grants of up to £45,000 for the cataloguing of archives. Archives Revealed aims to ensure that significant archive collections, representing the lives and perspectives of all people across the UK, are made accessible to the public for research and enjoyment.

The latest round- Round 6- is open – you can now apply for a cataloguing grant here. The deadline for Phase 1 (Expressions of Interest) is 12.00pm on Friday 10 February. Applicants are strongly advised to read the guidance webpages below before applying.

Applicants are also strongly advised to watch a guidance webinar for the grants which is now available to watch here.

Let us know if you are applying and how your application goes.

Good luck to all applicants!

Hulme Hippodrome Campaign Group starts monthly meetings

Two welcome pieces of new from the Hulme Hippodrome , currently very much at risk through opaque ownership tangles and owners indifference. The campaigning group is string a series of meetings, held on the second Monday in each month, starting with this coming Monday May 9th at 6.30pm. Supporters, interested parties and other visitors are welcome to meet outside the Hippodrome to hear latest news about the campaign to bring the venue back into public use, and to find out how they can contribute.

Also, a university research student has been working with the Hippodrome team to identify and compile shows and performers that have appeared at the Hippodrome during its 120-year history. They hope that the results of this research project will be available soon. More news on this as it becomes available.

Nottingham theatrical collaboration enriches tour audiences’ experience

Emily Connell, Ade Andrews (tour guide) and Maddy Clark

In Nottingham, the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall team cleverly used the lengthy break in backstage tours due to Covid-19, along with National Lottery Heritage Funding, by reassessing, updating and bringing a fascinating new dimension to the venue’s popular backstage tours via a bespoke costume commission.

Two costume design students from Nottingham Trent University (NTU), Maddy Clark and Emily Connell, were commissioned to produce a unique new costume for tour guide Ade Andrews, inspired by materials found in the venue’s extensive archive Heritage Archive at Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Nottingham.

Maddy Clark, a second year BA (Hons) Costume Design and Construction student at NTU, said: “The design of the waistcoat is based on wallpaper patterns from the original plans for the building, and I also used original designs for the pillars, stone and marblework. The design for the scarves is taken from a huge variety of postcards featuring actors and lots of interesting characters and faces from the archive. It was really fun to consider all the theatrical needs of the costume.”

Emily Connell, in her final year studying BA (Hons) Costume Design and Construction at NTU, said: “The best part of this project has been the freedom to have fun and look into the archive. The waistcoat fabric matches the venue perfectly. It’s really cool to see our work up on stage.”

Ade Andrews, who leads the Limelight Backstage Tour in character as storyteller Ezekial Bone, said: “It’s a joy doing the Limelight Backstage Tour, but I haven’t done it for a couple of years so being here again, in the costume, is really bringing it back to me. Before, the costume I wore was some bits and bobs I had of my own to conjure up the character, but now I have the definitive costume it’s going to really help breathe life into the whole thing again.”

Character-led Limelight Backstage Tours of the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall recommence from April 23rd. See the attached link for more details. Limelight Backstage Tours

Applications open for Research Grants from STR!

Applications are now open for the Society of Theatre Research’s Research Grants! The grants, raging in value from £200 to a maximum of £1000 are awarded annually to those researching British or British-related theatre and performance . You’ve plenty of time, as the deadline for applications is 25 March 2022

You can find out more information and download the application form via the STR website here