Barbican Theatre announce success with Esmée Fairbairn funding

Barbican Theatre is delighted to announce their continued commitment to emerging artists over the next three years following successful Esmée Fairbairn funding, for a full time Creative Producer post.

The three-year funding enables Dan Baker to lead Barbican Theatre’s work in exploring new ways to engage and support local artists. He says;

“Thanks to the Esmée Fairbairn funding Barbican Theatre will have much greater ability to support local, emerging talent. We are committed to providing more opportunities for artists to perform and present work on our stages, to develop their skills and abilities, and to raise their profile and work made in Plymouth locally, regionally and nationally.”

 This funding creates new opportunities to broaden the offer, providing vital support to diverse local artists and enabling them to succeed. Being an artist can be difficult if they haven’t got knowledge of the sector or access to resources and networks. Barbican Theatre is passionate about providing everyone, despite their socio-economic status, with access to a career in all aspects of performing arts from technical to producing or choreographing to directing. 

Barbican Theatre continue to receive regular funding from Arts Council England. Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England says

“The appointment of Dan Baker as Creative Producer is fantastic news for Barbican Theatre. Securing investment from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation towards this new role builds on the investment we have committed for 2018-22 through our National Portfolio and will help to consolidate developing partnerships. We look forward to working with them as they continue to develop emerging artists and extend the reach of contemporary dance into Plymouth’s diverse communities”.

Barbican Theatre is proud of its track record of supporting emerging artists. Local companies including Le Navet Bete, Beyond Face, Scratchworks Theatre Company and New Model Theatre have benefitted from support and investment from Barbican Theatre in creating new shows and projects.

(Scratchworks Theatre Company’s The Snow Beast at Barbican Theatre February 2018)

Alice Higginson of Scratchworks Theatre Company says

Barbican Theatre has supported Scratchworks in the early stages of making new work, including ‘The Snow Beast’ and ‘WOMANS’. As a South West based company Barbican offers us a home in Plymouth with a dynamic team invested in our work and loyal audience following’

(Beyond Face presented Who’s Looking Back At You? at Barbican Theatre during Plymouth Fringe Festival 2018)

Alix Harris founder and Artistic Director of Beyond Face (Plymouth’s first BAME theatre company) says

“Barbican Theatre enabled Beyond Face to learn and grow as a company. Having support from the Barbican gave Beyond Face status as a company that should be taken seriously and gave us confidence that our work was and is of quality and deserves to be out there”


(Le Navet Bete & Barbican Theatre’s co-productions of The Greatest Story Never Told at Barbican Theatre (2012) and Aladdin at The Plymouth Athenaeum (2018))

Al Dunn of Le Navet Bete says

“The Barbican has been a huge part of our development, not just through audiences but both professional and network development. We have learnt countless skills working with a small scale theatre that have set us up to tackle the high number of challenges we face in the arts, from funding through to delivery of work.”

Over the coming months Barbican Theatre will be introducing workshops and training opportunities which are open to all. Barbican Theatre has nearly 40 years’ experience in supporting and developing local talent, and our team have a wealth of expertise that is available to anyone in the city who would like to talk to us, with potential for further support and partnerships.


For updates on our workshops and other opportunities for emerging artists and talent please visit and sign up to receive our email updates. You can also follow us at for the latest news and updates.