NST Laboratory

lab·o·ra·to·ry noun, often attributive lə-ˈbär-ə-t(ə-)rē

a place providing opportunity for experimentation, observation, or practice in a field of study

Laboratory is our artist development hub supporting, nurturing and developing work locally, regionally and nationally. There are many ways in which we could support you and the work you want to make: from connecting you to an artistic community, to road-testing an idea at our quarterly scratch evenings, to in-depth research and development residencies. Check out the different Laboratory strands and get in touch with us, or just ask if you’re unsure what might be useful to you.

At NST we want to inspire and encourage, invite and collaborate with a range of theatre-makers to grow Southampton as a vibrant and supportive place to make theatre for everyone and to enrich our local cultural ecology. This is what we try to achieve through Laboratory and we'd love to hear from anyone trying to do the same thing. 


Here is a short video introducing the work we do through NST Laboratory



Any member of Laboratory is automatically part of our Spare Room scheme – which launches on 3 September. On the Wednesday of each week we will identify which spaces in our building are not in use at different points during the upcoming week (Monday – Sunday). We will email a list of all those spaces to every member of Laboratory on the Thursday and if you want to book one of them you simply have to email back and ask. These spaces could range from one of our artspaces to our rehearsal room and can be used for rehearsals, meetings, auditions, development work or just to provide you with somewhere quiet to think. 

The Spare Room Scheme has its own set of terms and conditions which you will need to sign up to before using the space – nothing too onerous but just about making sure you respect the space you are in and leave it clean and tidy for the next user.


Sharing and discussing is an important part in developing your own practices and ideas. Laboratory is dedicated to that exchange, linking you into the artistic community living in the region as well as providing you with the opportunity to get ideas flowing and establish new collaborations. 

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Finding ways to research and develop an idea is an integral part of making performance. We know that having a safe and supportive environment to play and test out what you've got is important so we've dedicated one of our strands to allowing you to explore and present your work in progress.

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Developing your skill set plays a signficant part in making sure you are on top of the latest practice, as well as exposing yourself to new experiences and expanding your knowledge. From workshops to masterclasses, we all need a little refresh sometimes and it's always a pleasure to learn a new skill. 

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Our Laboratory Creative Associate scheme is designed for early-career creatives to undertake a year's attachment to the theatre. Each associate get's to assist on a main stage show, contribute to NST and lead on creating their own response piece together.

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If you want to start a relationship with us, the best way is to get in touch and introduce youself, whether that's in person or via email. Invite us to your shows, come along to the many Laboratory events we host, sign up to the Network or come in for a coffee. We are a small team, but endeavour to reply and meet with as many local artists as possible. If you are going to invite us to a performance, try and email us in good time. 

Please note, that NST is not a new writing theatre so we are unable to receive and read unsolicited scripts. The best way for us to learn about you and your work as a writer is to submit something for Experiment. 

If you have any questions about Laboratory, NST or just want to say hello, pop us an email on the address below:

Studio Producer, Hannah Bevan