Tristan Bates Theatre

John Thaw Initiative


Submissions are now closed for our next Season of The John Thaw Initiative - Exploring Mental Health Distress in All its Forms

The Season will run from April - June 2018

Deadline for Submissions is Midday on Friday 23rd February 2018


The Actors Centre is offering you a FREE platform to perform and get feedback on your work-in-progress shows!

We want to curate the evenings around your needs and support you in daring to create your own work.  This can be anything from plays to musicals, from comedy to poetry.  

We will be using our John Thaw Studio – a 50-seat studio space – as the main home for this initiative.

We are on the lookout for innovative work, genre-pushing and risky, trying something new and looking to challenge audience and participants.  


Take a look below on how to apply:



  • Download, fill in and return our submission form.  Forms should be returned to [email protected].
  • Submissions are OPEN for our Mental Health Season.  
  • We will read through your submissions and shortlist them and hope to respond to all applicants by March 9th 2018.
  • If you are successful we will then offer you a date and sort and sign contracts to get the event on-sale.
  • If you are not successful then please keep an eye out for future seasons as this will be a regular initiative that will constantly be on the lookout for work.


Please ensure that your submission meets all the following criteria:

  • The submission must be a project led by an actor/actors. 
  • The submission must be previously unperformed in London.
  • The submission cannot be longer than 90 minutes.
  • The submission must include an education engagement element to it. There must be a way in which you are including the audience in the development process (see a further description below).



This initiative aims to encourage audiences to engage actively in the development process. In order to qualify for this initiative, your work-in-progress sharing must engage the audience in an active participatory element

We are open to suggestions of ways you might want to do this but here are some examples of what we might expect:

  • A  post-performance discussion between the audience and creatives about specific elements of the piece on which you want feedback.
  • A stand up set including discussions about the process of putting together a set, engaging an audience in the construction process.
  • An immersive show where the audience engage in the experience and give feedback during the event on what they are feeling and how they might wish it to develop/change.

Examples of participatory elements we cannot accept would be:

  • Written feedback forms with no verbal interaction with the audience
  • An ‘optional’ Question and Answer after a performance of a play



We are offering this space out at NO cost! 



  • The Content (play/comedy/scratch night scripts)
  • The Performers
  • The operator (for this space it will be a very simple operation on a lighting desk fader to bring lights up and down)
  • Your own rehearsal space
  • A £75 financial deposit as a guarantee against cancellation, which will be paid back upon completion of the event



  • The space
  • The equipment (from a list below of what we have available)
  • The lights
  • The sound equipment
  • The ticketing system
  • A duty manager



6:00-6:30pm: Company come in and set up the space

  • You will need to lay out the chairs as well as setting up the stage in your chosen configuration.  We will have all requested equipment waiting for you.

6:30pm-7:45pm: Company time in the space

  • Your time to tech your show in the space, make sure you are happy with everything and set up and ready.

7:45-7:55pm: Duty Manager to come in and do checks with you

  • To make sure that everything in the room is set up correctly and that the room is safe for attendees to come in.

7:55-8:00pm: Doors open to attendees

8:00pm: Event begins

End of Event: Company will need to strike the space

  • Removing all their belongings and returning the chairs back to their original place.
  • Making sure that all Actors Centre equipment is struck safely and left in the correct place as indicated by the duty manager.


  • An Electric Piano
  • One Handheld Microphone
  • A basic and set lighting rig with a control panel (non-programmable, just on faders)
  • A sound playback system and basic control panel (non-programmable, just on faders)