Artists invited to apply for First Bite festival

Published: 28 May 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

Bright Places by Rachael Mainwaring at a previous First Bite festival Credit: Arnim Friess

Midlands artists are being invited to apply for First Bite, a festival of new work programmed by independent theatre studio China Plate.

Ten Midlands artists will be selected to receive a fee of £700 towards the development of a new piece and will share a “digital pitch” of that work to audiences and industry professionals at the First Bite online micro festival.

After the festival, two of the artists or companies will be selected by the First Bite panel to take their work to the next stage of development. The commission includes a further £3,000, two fully supported development weeks and a place at Bite Size Festival at Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry in 2022. The commissioned companies will also have an opportunity to show their work in London in partnership with Camden People’s Theatre.

The programmed works can take any format including theatre, dance and spoken word. It must be suitable for national touring. For the two commissioned artists or companies, China Plate will act as producing, development and creative mentors.

Development weeks will take place across the First Bite partner venues and organisations: Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre, In Good Company, Warwick Arts Centre and Birmingham’s Midlands Arts Centre.

Running alongside First Bite is China Plate's Take a Bite programme which champions the work of young creatives based in the Midlands. Artists aged between 18 and 23 are invited to submit existing pieces of digital work that they have created.

First Bite has been showcasing and promoting the best of Midlands theatre talent since 2009 and in 2021 the festival will take place online in September.

The deadline to apply for First Bite is 10AM on Monday 7 June while applications for Take a Bite should be submitted by 10AM on Monday 28 June.