A woman is standing in front of microphone with one arm in the air, she is speaking into the mic. She is wearing a grey t-shirt and a multi-coloured cape.

How We Work With Artists

We want to create the conditions for artists to develop and present extraordinary work which is deeply rooted in the present moment and responds to the most urgent questions of our time.  

We’re committed to creating welcoming and inclusive spaces where communities, artists and audiences are connected to collaborate and be creative.  

Ensuring the rich diversity of London is properly represented in our programme is central to our mission and shapes how we programme and develop work at BAC.

We look to develop and present work that is:

  • groundbreaking and unexpected in its ideas and aesthetics
  • pioneering in its commitment to access and inclusion
  • bold in its exploration of otherwise hidden perspectives
  • playful in its approach to traditional forms
  • critically rigorous in its investigations of subject matter
  • socially impactful in its invitation to audiences

HOW WE PROGRAMME

Our programming vision prioritises: 
 

  • Internationalism
    We programme international work and support local artists in internationalising their practice. 
  • Supporting a new generation of artists
    We support early and mid-career artists in developing work to become part of our programme. 
  • Co-creation
    We collaborate with artists and young people to co-curate festivals, focused programmes and building takeovers. 

PROGRAMMING STRANDS

Contemporary Performances
We present diverse range of local and international contemporary performances, including theatre, dance and live arts, and their hybrids. The focus is primarily on devised or company-led work, with exceptions made for plays with an experimental approach to form.  
Festivals and Focus Programmes
We curate and present our own festivals and focus programmes; Bloom and Homegrown. We also collaborate with festivals (LIFT, Dance Umbrella, Shubbak) to co-present works at BAC. 
Building Takeovers
BAC has a long history of presenting intimate and one-on-one performances in various spaces across our building, as well as large scale, building takeovers and immersive theatre productions.  We commission, co-curate with the artists and presents projects that make specific use of the town hall’s unique architecture and creative possibilities. We also explore Town Hall as a concept curating open spaces for the audience to be active participants.
Young People
Engaging with local communities, especially 11 to 25 year olds is a priority. We run Next Gen projects, including the Agency, Beatbox Academy and Dance Academy. We are keen on programming work that involves or speaks to these age groups. We work with our young producers to curate and present the annual Homegrown festival for young people.  
Family Programming
During half term weeks and Christmas, we programme works for younger audiences (3 years plus). 
Commercial Programming
We also programme commercial shows and stand-up comedy. 

PROGRAMMING STRUCTURE

Seasons
Each year BAC presents two seasons, Autumn and Spring. The Autumn and Spring Seasons are curated with a focus on longer running shows (3+ weeks) and work we have commissioned or developed in house.
  • Autumn seasons focus on ‘scaling up’ including presenting artists who have created their first mid-scale work through BAC commission or other ways, showcasing artistically, technically and financially ambitious works and increasing audience outreach with long runs.
  • Spring seasons are focused on diversifying curation through collaboration with other festivals in the city, co-curation with artists and young people for developing special projects for the building. We also curate and produce Bloom; a new programming strand for works with short runs that have been developed with BAC over the past year.  
Spaces
Our Producing team shares spaces in the building with our Events team to generate income for its programme. This model is vital for BAC’s resilience in the face of current economic challenges. BAC has two main spaces that programme performances: 
  • Grand Hall (seating up to 470) with 4-6 weeks access in Autumn and 3-4 weeks in Spring seasons.
  • Council Chamber (largest studio space with a capacity 146 seated) with full access during the seasons. 
  • Other spaces in the building, such as Members Bar (up to 80 seated), The Courtyard (outdoor theatre, holds up to 120 people), New Committee Room and Lower Hall are priorities for income generation. Our Producing team collaborates with our Events team when required to use these spaces.
  • We also have eight artists’ bedrooms on site. The rooms provide an opportunity for companies from across the UK and internationally to stay for free whilst working at BAC       
Financial Deals
We negotiate performance fees and commissions which can be at different rates based on factors. We generally offer a fee against the expected box office income. BAC takes 100% Box Office income. Box Office splits are not generally offered due to the financial risk for artists and freelancers, considering limited capacity of the spaces and Pay What You Can model.   

CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT

Through our Creative Development programme, we work closely with artists to reimagine what performance can be and who it can reach, providing bespoke packages of support to nurture artistic journeys and incubate new performance works. 
 
We use our building as a space to experiment, develop and test ideas. Some of our smallest spaces have been home to the earliest sparks of projects that have gone on to tour internationally.  
 
With an ethos of collaboration, we bring the diverse skills and expertise of the BAC team to develop ideas with artists. This includes working together to create project timelines, build creative teams, approach partners, fundraise, and make the work accessible, as well as creative dialogue about the artistic direction of the work. 
 
We are committed to supporting creative communities built on reciprocity and exchange. This includes pro-actively forming national and international networks to sustain and elevate artists’ work. 

HOW WE SUPPORT ARTISTS

We develop work through the following strands: 

Making Space

We provide time in the BAC rehearsal spaces free of any hire charges to develop work.

Artist Development

We are continuously developing bespoke programmes focused on peer-to-peer exchange and developing practice, rather than products or presentations. This includes building opportunities for local artists to connect with international artists. 

Commissions

We provide bespoke packages of space, financial and producing support to develop projects for our public programme, as well as seed commissions for testing new ideas and experimenting. We also offer accommodation in the BAC bedrooms for commissioned artists based outside of London. 
 
Our New Dimensions commission is focused on supporting artists to scale up their practice through a partnership commissioning model. 

PROJECTS

ARTISTS

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Conrad Murray (rODIUM productions)

Conrad Murray is artistic director of BAC’s Beatbox Academy. Pied Piper, conceived, written and co-directed by Conrad Murray, is a BAC, BAC Beatbox Academy and rODIUM Co-Production.