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Project information

Help the Lyric reach the Next Generation of talent

We recognise that the creative industries can sometimes seem closed. The Lyric’s Next Generation work allows people from all backgrounds (we don’t use labels) to make a sustainable career in theatre. Our unique approach trains, pays and equips them with the tools to change the face of our industry.

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: Lyric Hammersmith

Lyric Hammersmith logo
  • Need


    The scales are tipped against most young people who want a career in the arts:
    - Only a small portion of the population have the money to access traditional routes into the industry
    - There is limited entry-level paid employment for young artists. The need for financial security creates barriers to access opportunities alongside working
    - Those from less advantaged backgrounds don’t have contacts in the industry which so often help to launch new careers


    We will provide:
    - 4 paid and 1 low cost (or free with bursary) training programmes in a leading professional theatre with world-class facilities
    - Free space for artists to pursue their own projects
    - Flexibility around other jobs or education
    - Access to industry networks. Ensembles will work with professional creatives, meet casting agents and receive pastoral support through mentoring and masterclasses

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Panto Ensemble: find, train and support 6 young talents in a paid opportunity performing in panto


    » Recruit young people with no formal drama training through open call-out auditions
    » Provide extra rehearsal time and support from top professionals to ensure the Ensemble is confident and performance ready
    » Give these young people the platform to perform to an audience of over 30,000 people across 70 sold-out shows on the Lyric Main Stage
    » Continue to support the Ensemble onto their next opportunity – securing an agent, attending auditions, beginning a career

    What success will look like

    6 young artists from non-traditional theatre backgrounds will be supported into an arts career after an onstage professional experience

    Aim 2

    Lyric Ensemble: nurture 15 young talents in professional theatre-making through a unique method


    » Find a new company of aspiring artists to be part of the Lyric for a year through an open call-out
    » Creatives will work intensively with the Ensemble over 9 months to devise new work and a professional show
    » Provide careers advice, technical masterclasses and pastoral support from Lyric staff and artists
    » Connect artists with industry specialists and casting agents to help with next steps into career or further training

    What success will look like

    15 young people will become practicing and ground-breaking artists in theatre-making and progress into further employment

    Aim 3

    Evolution Festival: run a 1 week takeover by 50 young actors, directors and designers aged 16-25


    » Plan and deliver a festival of new plays, open mic nights and panel discussions created for and by young people
    » Form a company of designers, creatives and actors through our existing and new networks to create original, current and inspiring work
    » Ensure these shows are delivered to the highest technical standard and reach the largest and most diverse audience possible
    » Give participants the opportunity to connect with casting agents and industry professionals to take their work to the next level

    What success will look like

    Engage 50 emerging & diverse artists to produce new work to a young mixed audience. Their work will be showcased for future life

    Aim 4

    Associates: employ and train 10 young people to be arts practitioners to teach arts to children


    » Give flexible employment to 10 people who have come through Lyric programmes and wish to pursue a career in the arts
    » Provide a week of intensive training in public speaking, workshop facilitation and safe guarding
    » Hire them as assistant workshop facilitators on Lyric after-school acting classes, school visits, and community projects
    » Create young ambassadors who will represent the voice of young people to influence and direct Lyric practice

    What success will look like

    10 young people will be employed to change the face of theatre practitioners, creating a diverse workforce through peer-to-peer learning

  • Impact


    We will break down financial, practical and social barriers that prevent young people from accessing the arts – which will in turn change the face of theatre and the creative industries.

    Success will be people seeing a version of themselves onstage and behind–the-scenes, generating new and diverse audiences, and there being demand for and a wealth of exciting artistic work which reflects and challenges the culturally mixed world in which we live.


    The greatest risk is how we prove our reach in diversity without asking young people to tick boxes and be labelled. We will form a Young Board to inform our decision and create solutions.

    We risk not raising enough money to fund these programmes, which we will meet by applying to multiple grant giving trusts and individuals


    We will report to donors through:
    - A quarterly newsletter with details of the progress of participants
    - Regular invitations to showcases and events so that donors can see the young artists in action
    - Specific case studies focusing on the onward journeys of some of the young people

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £4,200 Lyric Ensemble Artist Cost Cover the costs of specialist artists and creatives to work with and train the Lyric Ensemble
      £1,100 Lyric Ensemble Masterclasses Delivering a series of creative masterclasses to the Lyric Ensemble as part of their training
      £4,100 Panto Ensemble Fee Cover the cost of one young artist participating in the Panto Ensemble programme
      £5,800 Associates Training Delivering paid training in safe-guarding, public speaking and workshop facilitation to Associates
      £4,800 Evolution Producer Fee Cover the costs of employing 1 young person to produce the Evolution Festival
  • Background


    The Lyric primarily works in West London and is based in Hammersmith & Fulham, which like much of the rest of the capital suffers from entrenched pockets of deprivation and poverty. The socio-economic inequalities severely limit young people’s ability to access creative and cultural opportunities, and we prioritise the areas within our community with high levels of poverty and low arts provisions.


    We are committed to ensuring that at least 50% of Next Generation participants are from BAME / varied socio-economic backgrounds in line with the wealth disparities in our local borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. Our programmes are accessible to young people with disabilities, those with other jobs and those who do not have the financial backing, role models, family or school support to access the industry via a traditional route.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Lyric Hammersmith is one of the UK’s leading arts charities. We are renowned for our adventurous theatrical programme and our work with young people is recognised as a model of best practise by Arts Council England. Creating alternative pathways into the arts for young people is a core part of our mission and sectoral role. We give equal weight to our work on stage and our participatory programmes with young people, and our Next Generation programme sits strategically between the two.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Nicholai La Barrie - Director Of Young People

    Nicholai will oversee the programme and has extensive experience of delivering projects that help to unlock the artistic potential of young people.

    Becky Martin - Emerging Artists & Open Access Producer

    Becky has managed this area of our work for over six years. She is highly experienced in supporting young people into work and further opportunities.

    Alisha Artry - Young Lyric Intern

    Alisha will support Becky and will be provided with a development opportunity in acting as a producer of the Evolution Festival.

    Charlie Farrant - Lyric Creative Youth Worker

    We are unique in having a full-time youth worker working across pastorally supporting all young people at the Lyric.