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Shakespeare Birthplace Trust & Royal Shakespeare Company: Joint Commission opportunity (Winter 2018)

By Culture Central Admin Friday 11 May 2018

For Winter 2018, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Royal Shakespeare Company wish to jointly commission an artist to create an immersive art work for family audiences that uses two sites and the surrounding streets in Stratford-upon-Avon.


This opportunity follows on from previous successful Winter commissions from the two organisations independently – the Royal Shakespeare Company’s willow lantern installation and processions (2016) and Twelfth Night Wassail (2017/18) and at Shakespeare’s New Place, Garden of Curious A-Musements by the Bureau of Silly Ideas (2016) and Mid-Winter Magic by Motionhouse (2017).  This year, alongside a separate commissioning opportunity at New Place, they would like to work together to commission and programme a magical, outdoor experience for local people.

They welcome proposals that respond to both this brief and the separate brief for Shakespeare’s New Place.

They are open to different and innovative approaches.

The piece:

  • Should be a high quality artistic experience for the whole family which is surprising, engaging and interactive
  • Should focus on women in Shakespeare’s plays  
  • Could draw on themes relating to the time of year
  • Could be a digital work and/ or include live performance
  • Could be timed events, or a durational, self-led experience
  • Should not be straight performances of Shakespeare’s plays – but use them as a source of inspiration
  • Should appeal to all but our specific target audience is local residents and families.
  • Should encourage people to explore Stratford-upon-Avon and view it in in a new light
  • Should contribute to transforming perceptions of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Royal Shakespeare Company locally and present Shakespeare/ history and his legacy as relevant, contemporary and accessible.

Budget & Timing 

The project budget is £10k (including travel, expenses and VAT). 

The project needs to be delivered in December 2018.  Exact dates and duration to be determined, subject to the nature of the work and the budget/ installation requirements. However, it should last either over several days or consecutive weekends.


Early May            Call for expressions of interest

5th  June             Deadline for expressions of interest

11th- 13th June                 Shortlisted candidates invited to interview and make a presentation of preliminary ideas and impulses

w/c 18 June        Successful candidate informed

16th July              Creative concept finalised

13st August        Budget and production process / timeline agreed

20th  August     Marketing/PR promotion by-lines and publicity image agreed

Early/Mid Dec    Show opens to the public 

Photo: Motionhouse Midwinter Magic

Image Credit: Brian Slater

Application Process

Please submit an application via email to commissioning@shakespeare.org.uk and include:

  • CV / biog
  • A statement outlining what interests you about this opportunity in no more than 250 words
  • A statement summarising preliminary response to the above and creative interests and approach in no more than 500 words.
  • Links to website and relevant previous work/s (total attachments no larger than 25MB or by a web link)

Deadline for completed applications midnight 5 June 2018 

Interviews w/c 11 June in Stratford-upon-Avon. 

Applicants will be reimbursed for reasonable interview related travel expenses such as standard rail fares and mileage of 45p per mile. If you do not hear from them by 25th June please assume you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Read more about the Royal Shakespeare Company here

Read more about the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust here