Whether you're an artist, company, arts professional or student, we've put together our frequently asked questions to help you out


Bush Theatre Nassim Photo by Lina SumizonoNassim, by Nassim Soleimanpour and the Bush Theatre, was a Recommended Show in our Edinburgh Showcase 2017 and toured to Chile as a result. Photo: Lina Sumizono



I am a UK-based artist or company who would like to work overseas. What advice can you give me?

Read about what we do and how we work, and see our handy guide to international funding. Invite us to see your work – see below for guidelines on how to do this.

If you have a production available for international touring, investigate Caravan (if you’re based in England) and Made in Scotland (if you’re in Scotland). We work closely with these showcases and we offer mentoring to the artists in the programme.

If you’re already planning to visit a particular country, email us well in advance. We might be able to suggest useful contacts.

Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter @UKTheatreDance to hear about our latest opportunities, including our bursaries for disabled and minority ethnic practitioners to attend international networking events.

I am an overseas producer who would like to work with UK creatives. What do you suggest?

We have lots of resources to help international colleagues get a sense of what’s happening in the UK. You could start by looking at our overview of the UK theatre and dance scene and our listing of UK artists and companies. See also our blog and projects to read about hot topics and recent events.

You should also get in touch with your local British Council arts contact. If you’re not sure who this is, email us. They will be able to discuss priorities in your country and explore whether there might be potential to work together. We usually work with partners to plan and co-curate projects together, so it’s best to allow time to build this relationship. See what we do and how we work for more information.

You can check out showcases of UK work, such as the Edinburgh Showcase, Caravan, Made in Scotland and the Unlimited festivals. There are many festivals throughout the year in the UK – see our snapshot of festivals for 2018.

For the latest news, discussion and opportunities in UK and international theatre and dance, sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter @UKTheatreDance.

I am an artist based outside the UK. Do you have any advice for me?

You can use this website to find out more about the UK theatre and dance scene, including artist profiles, blogs about current issues in UK theatre and dance and news about our projects.

Find your local British Council website for information on performances, workshops and other local opportunities.

Lots of international artists are interested in touring to the UK and there are a number of ways to bring your work to the attention of programmers. You could showcase your work at an international performing arts market, invite individual programmers to see performances in your country, or present work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe or another large festival. See also the Visiting Arts website.

For updates on opportunities and more about UK/international theatre and dance, sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter @UKTheatreDance.

How can I develop international networks?

It's a time-consuming process, just like building a network anywhere. You must be prepared to put in the time, investment and leg-work. Attending international performing arts networking events can be helpful – here are some examples:

We offer bursaries for UK minority ethnic practitioners and disabled practitioners to attend specific international networking events. Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter @UKTheatreDance to hear about these opportunities and more.


About the British Council

Will the British Council fund my arts project?

Since we’re not a funding body, it’s helpful to think of us more as a producer or co-producer. We work with international partners to design our arts programmes, which aim to build cultural relations through the arts.

All our projects are developed and co-funded with our overseas partners. We usually work with these partners to select artists and companies. It’s therefore unusual for us to get involved with a project that has already been developed separately. See what we do and how we work for more information.

If you would like to propose a project, speak to us to find out whether it could fit with our priorities in the country you’re working in. Bear in mind that our arts programmes are usually planned about a year in advance.

I am a UK artist. How can I invite someone from the British Council to see my show?

Our Theatre and Dance team is constantly out and about, seeing performances and attending events. We only work with artists whose work we’ve seen first-hand, so inviting us to your production is an important first step. However, we receive a huge number of requests and sadly we’re not able to accept every invitation.

For this reason, we prioritise seeing finished pieces rather than work that is still being developed. We also expect practitioners to receive peer recognition or positive reviews for their work in the UK before beginning to think about international touring.

If this sounds like you, email us dates of your performances at least six weeks in advance. On request, we can offer advice on whether your work might have international potential.

How can I find out what the British Council is doing in a specific country?

Our priorities vary from country to country, depending on the cultural context and what we are trying to achieve.

To find out about theatre and dance projects in different parts of the world, explore this website. You can search for content about a particular country or browse our projects and blogs. See also overviews of our arts work in East Asia, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Wider Europe

If you have a specific question about our theatre and dance work in a particular country, email us.

I am a UK artist and I’ve been invited to perform at a festival overseas. Can I get support from the British Council?

If the festival is a key partner of the British Council, then our local British Council office will probably already be working with them. If not, then it's unlikely we will be able to partner your tour.

There might be an exception if the tour is a clear strategic fit with the British Council’s aims in that particular country. In this case, we would need to be involved at an early stage in the process.

It is always worth letting us know where and when you are travelling, as we may be able to advise how to maximise the impact of your trip.

I’ve got a show which I think would be perfect for a specific country. Can you help me tour it?

You can invite us to see a performance, following the guidelines above. You should ideally have a high quality full-length video of it so that, if appropriate, we can put you in contact with local promoters.

Be aware that your assumptions about this country may differ from our experiences, and that we only partner projects that fit with the British Council’s priorities for each country. Please understand that if your work doesn't fit our priorities, then we won't be able to partner your tour, regardless of its quality. However, we’re always happy to give advice.

I would like to do some research and development in a particular country. Can the British Council help?

We can often advise on local information and contacts. It’s unlikely we will be able to get involved financially, but see our guide for information on funds you can apply to.



Where can I find funding for international work?

See our guide to international funding. The Arts Council England has a summary of funders, and IETM has mapped funders which may be a useful resource to find international funders.

I want to study theatre, dance, or a related subject in the UK. Where would you recommend?

The UK is a great place to study and there are many options, depending on what you’re looking for. See Dance UK, Drama UK and Education UK for more information.

How can I find out what’s on in the UK at the moment?

There are a huge number of productions and festivals taking place across the UK at any one time – check out our snapshot of 2019 UK theatre, dance, live art and outdoor festivals.

There are also a number of listings sites, including What's On Stage, British Arts and Sciences Festivals Association, Time Out, The Culture DiaryLondonDance.com, Run Riot (London), Culture Northern IrelandThe List (Scotland) and Wales Arts Online.



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