Prototype is our bi-annual scratch night at Tobacco Factory Theatres.

    At each event up to five artists or companies work across a wide range of disciplines to test brand new ideas in front of a supportive audience. Prototype has been running for several years now and is a well-established part of how Tobacco Factory Theatres supports artists to develop the shows of tomorrow.

    “Prototype gave us the confidence and security we needed to develop our idea. The feedback we received from the audience was direct, informative and answered a lot of questions for us.” Sugarscratch Theatre

    The format tends to best serve ideas that are in their very early stages and experience tells us that about 10 minutes of material is best. Beyond that the restrictions are only those dictated by the space and the maximum technical time of 1 hour per artist/company.

    If you’re still not sure, Prototype’s tagline is ‘Experiments in Theatre’.  Rough is OK; rough is good; rough is kind of what it’s all about. So if you have an idea for a show burning a hole in your imagination and you would find it useful to get it in front of an audience to see if it works, or, perhaps you would like to use it as a spur to get something underway, then Prototype is for you.

    Next Prototype

    Our next Prototype will take place on Sun 10 November 2019.

    Want to be part of Prototype?
    Applications for Prototype are now open and will close on Mon 30 Sept 2019. To apply please download and complete the application form to the right of this page and return it to

    Selection for Prototype is through informal follow-up conversations, we will aim to get back to you within two weeks if we would like to invite you along.

    For any questions or for further information, please email with the word PROTOTYPE in the title of the email.

    Artist Membership

    If you’re a professional theatre maker, don’t forget you can also join our free Artist Membership scheme.