New commissions announced

April 3, 2017

We’ve commissioned a raft of new projects for 2017.

Taking a three-pronged approach to commissioning, the new projects focus on the capture and distribution of live performances, extending the live arts experience into online environments and developing new forms of storytelling using digital technologies, from artists around the UK.

Derry Playhouse will produce Playcraft, a new play from award-winning children’s writer Alex Scarrow which will be produced and will premiere on creative gaming platform Minecraft as well as live on stage in Northern Ireland.

In a new dance strand, Danny Boyle directs his first dance film, working with award-winning Boy Blue Entertainment, and Wayne McGregor makes his debut as a director with Atomos, filmed at the BT Sport studios.

Danny Boyle directs Boy Blue Entertainment in Emancipation of ExpressionismDanny Boyle directs Boy Blue Entertainment in Emancipation of Expressionism

Newcastle’s balletLORENT capture Rumpelstiltskin, the third in their trilogy of Carol Ann Duffy collaborations, and ice skating comes onto screen as Dance Umbrella present the premiere film from award-winning Canadian company Le Patin Libre.

Theatre and music productions include Open Clasp’s award winning show, Key Change, which examines the lives of women in Britain’s prisons. In Stadium, from Birmingham Rep, director Mohamed El Khatib explores the world of football fandom with supporters from across the city in the theatre, online and in football stadiums.

Stadium at Birmingham RepStadium at Birmingham Rep

International touring Company Cheek by Jowl will live stream their acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale simultaneously in English, French and Spanish from London’s Barbican Theatre, whilst Bristol Old Vic’s contemporary Messiah will break down barriers between audiences and the stage, offering an intense experience in the theatre and online.

Eleanor McLoughlin, Chris Gordon in Winter's Tale from Cheek by Jowl. Photo Johan PerssonEleanor McLoughlin, Chris Gordon in Winter’s Tale from Cheek by Jowl. Photo Johan Persson

We are also working with galleries, museums and festivals around the UK, helping them to present their work to audiences online. Current commissions are underway with The Barbican, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Sanctuary Festival in Dumfries and Gilbert White & The Oates Collections.

The new commissions build on a growing body of work by arts organisations funded and supported by The Space which have resulted in total audience numbers of 8.3m for the period June 2014 to February/March 2017. During this time, the organisation has commissioned 99 arts projects from 73 organisations and artists across the UK.

The commissions were announced alongside Culture UK, a new partnership between the BBC, Arts Council England, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Arts Council of Wales, the British Council and Creative Scotland that will support and extend cultural activity wherever it comes from in the UK. The initiative will develop UK-wide cultural festivals that can reach new audiences, support artist-led commissioning in broadcast and digital media and will convene an R&D programme that will focus on new experiences in performance, live events and exhibitions.