Making Work


Experiment was extremely valuable to me as it gave me the opportunity to test out a very unusual, very new idea with a lot of support and relatively low stakes. It also allowed me to show my writing to a different audience than would usually see it.

Matthew Parvin, writer of The Death of Riot Boy, Experiment September 2015

Experiment is our quarterly scratch performance night offering an opportunity for playwrights, artists or companies to try out a new idea in front of a friendly and constructively critical audience. It’s a chance for you to road-test a new work or script, to ask particular questions of that work and to gather feedback. It is also the best way for us to get to know you and your work as we are unable to accept unsolicited scripts. 

I don’t write plays, can I still submit something? Experiment is not just about plays, if you have a creative performance idea of any kind you can submit it. If it’s something that you want to try out and put in front of an audience to help your creative development, Experiment is for you no matter what the art form!

My idea is really rough, do I have to develop it further before submitting? We like rough ideas! This is not about a finished idea but the promise of a great one. Getting it up on its feet is the first step the development process. Don't worry if you haven't figured everything out, you can ask the audience to feedback their thoughts.

We encourage a range of ideas from across a spectrum of genres, but if you are ever unsure or just want to chat to someone about your idea before submitting you can get in touch with Emily Moseley.

At each evening we present four 10-15 minute extracts or readings of pieces in development, selected by our artist development team via a simple open submission process. Please read the Application Guidelines which outlines what information we need from you in your proposal and how we assess and select ideas.

Experiment Application Guidelines

Experiment Application Form

Applications are currently open! We are loking for stories about Women and Power to coincide with our production Women and Power. Deadline is 3rd September for applications. 

Actors and Directors

From time to time there may be playwrights or artists looking to connect with collaborators for the development and showing of their work at Experiment. If you are an actor or director who would like to be considered for Experiment, please get in touch with Emily Moseley.


Tenancy is our more in-depth research and development programme, designed to offer you space and time to develop a project, an in-kind investment to support a funding application, and perhaps some tailored feedback and producing advice on your work. 

Each Tenancy offers an artist one or two weeks in our rehearsal space to develop or rehearse an idea without any obligation to share or present at the conclusion. We aim to be as flexible and responsive in our support to you on your tenancy with us. When we speak with you we'll work out what in-kind package is most useful for you. It can be anything from producing support, creative feedback and access to Nuffield expertise in areas like technical, marketing, fundraising and participation. The in-kind package could represent up to £1,600 of in-kind investment which can be leveraged against a funding application. 

We usually offer Tenancies directly to artists who we are building a relationship with, independently of any formal application process. However, we will occasionally open Tenancy for applications from anyone in the Laboratory Network which we will advertise through the Laboratory Network digest.

Producing Surgery

Come and have your producing problems dissected by our Producer Emily Moseley. Offering weekly 'surgery' sessions to artists in the Laboratory Network, these sessions can be on a range of subjects and tend to work best when focused on a particular area such as funding applications, marketing packs or tour booking, to name a few. 

To apply you simply need to drop an email to Hannah and request a slot for up to 90 minutes. Include a paragraph on exactly what you're looking for support with, how you feel a surgery session would be beneficial and any time restrictions or preferences you may have for the meeting. 


Nuffield Southampton Theatres are looking for people who want to influence and shape the future of culture in the city. We are looking for anyone who wants to make things happen in your spaces around the city.

We understand that finding space, time and money can be issue to getting things started so to get the ball rolling we’re looking for ideas. We want to equip you with the skills to plan your own arts events, support other artists in the city and get you on the way to making things happen!

NST will provide free training, support and guidance on how to get the ideas up on its feet. Depending on your idea we’ll start with the basics and work on growing the idea. We’ll also provide cash of up to £1,000 to help overcome some of the financial barriers of putting on events.

We are looking for a range of people and experiences. You may be reading this and never thought about doing an arts event but want to give something back to the people you work with, your neighbours/community or be at the start of wanting to develop a career in arts management.

These are just some examples so don’t be limited to this. If your idea involves culture and arts and you want to share that with audiences, NST wants to hear from you.

How to apply:

To pitch your idea, you can use the handy form attached but we’re also open for you to send in your application in the best way that represents you and the idea. You may want to send in a video, or write to us in a different format, as long as you cover who you are, what the idea is, how much of the £1,000 you are looking to use and why you want to learn the skills that come with managing and putting on arts events.

Self Starters Form

What we are looking for:

We are not looking for companies who are pitching their shows to be in our spaces. We want people from Southampton to be pitching Southampton based ideas, for spaces across the city. Your idea could be hosting a musician in your living room for your friends and neighbours to supporting a play reading at your local library.

If you have questions and queries don’t be afraid to get in touch with our Producer, Emily Moseley about this programme before applying – [email protected]