New Diorama Theatre in partnership with British Land today announce NDT Broadgate – a major new artist development complex opening in the City of London this July. Based at British Land’s Broadgate campus, London’s largest pedestrianised neighbourhood, NDT Broadgate will comprise 29 high-quality, fully resourced rehearsal rooms, large design studios, presentation spaces and offices for independent artists to use throughout the year.
NDT Broadgate will be the first of its kind in the world: a large complex completely free of charge for artists to use, focused on resetting the arts sector following the pandemic. Providing an adrenaline shot to independent and freelance creatives, NDT Broadgate will welcome a footfall of over 80,000 artists to Broadgate across the year, supporting hundreds of new theatre productions, providing artists with rehearsal and development space free of charge.
As part of the launch, New Diorama Theatre and British Land will publish a blueprint for this project so similar partnerships can be replicated globally, as artists return to creating live performances.
NDT Broadgate is the brainchild of London’s New Diorama Theatre, who won The Stage’s Innovation award for their support of artists in 2019. Alongside New Diorama, NDT Broadgate will be co-programmed and overseen by four NDT Broadgate Associate theatre companies Nouveau Riche, The Pappyshow, Migrants In Theatre and Chinese Arts Now. Supported by Jerwood Arts, each NDT Broadgate Associate will have dedicated office and rehearsal space at NDT Broadgate, gifting space at NDT Broadgate to their own networks.
Lilli Geissendorfer, Director of Jerwood Arts, said: “The project has been designed with inclusion at its heart, working with not one but multiple artistic visions from the NDT Broadgate Associate Companies, creating a powerful and dynamic new approach to supporting early-career artists and creatives across the performing arts we emerge from the pandemic.”
NDT Broadgate will also provide a home for theatre designers, who have been among the worst-hit in the arts community. The interior spaces are being imagined and realised by freelance theatre design team Joshua Gadsby and Naomi Kuyck-Cohen. In collaboration with New Diorama’s Staff Associate Designer Shankho Chaudhuri will launch a design studio and make-space at NDT Broadgate, free for early-career designers to use.
NDT Broadgate is in partnership with the Culture and Commerce Taskforce, chaired by the Lord Mayor of the City of London and led by the City of London Corporation and Culture Mile, which will run a series of pilot projects as part of its Fuelling Creative Renewal report, published earlier this year. Working with the City Corporation, NDT Broadgate will be part of the City’s vibrant offer; creating the world’s most inclusive, innovative, and sustainable business ecosystem.
New Diorama Theatre Artistic & Executive Director, and NDT Broadgate founder, David Byrne said: “Through lockdown we’ve all been imagining what a better world could look like. NDT Broadgate will be an engine for change – a place where artists will come back together and catalyse a new wave of creativity, accessing free shared assets to make inspiring new performances that will energise the nation, while investing in new ways of working and a more inclusive future.
None of this would be possible without the generosity and insight of our partners British Land. Over the last decade they’ve stood shoulder-to-shoulder with NDT. When the pandemic struck, they were the first on the phone offering help, and now this historic investment in independent artists right in the heart of their Broadgate neighbourhood cements them as one of the UK’s most insightful supporters of the arts.
Everything we’re doing will be made completely free to the country’s artists, in a world-first act of radical generosity to support the return to live performance.”
David Lockyer, Head of Broadgate at British Land said: “Over the past 10 years we have built a strong partnership with the New Diorama Theatre at our Regent’s Place campus, so we are proud to welcome them to Broadgate. This exciting partnership in such a vibrant and diverse part of London will play an important part in supporting the UK’s cultural recovery, and will pave the way for similar projects across the country and abroad.
Ryan Calais-Cameron, Artistic Director of Nouveau Riche, and one of the NDT Broadgate Associates said: “Nouveau Riche are delighted to be one of the theatre companies to occupy the new NDT Broadgate spaces.
We aim to fill the rehearsal space with artists that want to bring change, to entertain and create lasting memories that will inspire other journeys. Like a huge majority of artists across the world we have struggled over the last year, we’ve had to cancel shows and postpone future projects.
NDT Broadgate has come at a time where Nouveau Riche are expanding and creating even more opportunities for new writing that is thought provoking, challenging and culturally inclusive. We are incredibly thankful to New Diorama Theatre for the in-kind support especially during these unprecedented times. We cannot wait to open more doors and push more boundaries. ”
Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell, said: “The New Diorama Theatre and British Land should be applauded for this ingenious programme and we are proud to support it.
“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the capital’s cultural sector. But collaborations between the creative and commercial industries will boost London’s economic growth and help us build back better from the pandemic.
“We want to promote stronger collaboration between the culture and business sectors, and encourage owners, occupiers, and employers to make unused space available for creatives for mutual benefit.”
Policy Chair of the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness, said: “The Square Mile is evolving in order to provide an ecosystem that remains attractive to workers, visitors, learners and residents. And a renewed creative sector, building on our existing cultural strengths, will play a leading role in this recovery.
“I am entirely confident that many independent artists will be tempted to take up this very generous offer – the opportunity to write, design, rehearse, and perform their work in free space here in the City.”