About Start Up

The Start-Up Fund is an investment scheme that aims to kick-start the careers of outstanding new commercial theatre producers by awarding them an investment of (up to) £50,000 in their first West End or number one touring production. The scheme aims to help outstanding new producers bridge the gap into the commercial theatre industry and to cultivate the next generation of producers in order to sustain the continued growth of the West End and regional touring. The aim is to invest in approx. four individuals per annum. When the annual funds have been spent, the scheme will be closed for applications until the start of the next cycle.

The Start-Up investment has to be matched with additional investment raised by the new producer, giving them at least £100,000 worth of producer share.  The Start-Up Fund will only be available for West End or Commercial Touring Productions, and recipients will not normally have more than 2 commercial productions to their name. We only award the Start-Up investment to Stage One alumni - emerging producers who have already attended a Stage One Workshop, been awarded a bursary or have completed a producer placement.

Stage One awarded £50,000 to David Hutchinson with Sell A Door for Avenue Q.
“The start-up award was vital in allowing me to scale up the work I produce, and make a considerable step into the commercial touring sector having previously produced only smaller scale or subsidised work. The combination of financial investment and an industry mentor was the perfect platform to ‘take the plunge’ into larger scale touring – and has given me the confidence and contacts to now produce large scale touring theatre for a living. Stage One’s ongoing support and guidance remains integral to the work I do, and knowing there is an organisation there to champion young producers really does give you confidence to go out there and produce great theatre”
- David Hutchinson

A second £50,000 was awarded to Stephen McGill who co-produced The Pajama Game with Smith & Brant Theatricals.
"The Start up award was instrumental in my development as a commercial producer, enabling me to gain invaluable first-hand experience in producing a West End musical. Put simply, without the amazing support both financially and through my mentor-ship I would not have been able to take that huge next step. I cannot thank Stage One enough for being such an important part of my career."
- Stephen McGill

The scheme is currently open for applications.