DIY: 2012 – Neil Bartlett : Getting Out More Often

Neil Bartlett

Getting Out More Often


DIY 9: 2012 – Call for Participants

Five unlikely theatrical outings.

Project summary:
Over the course of his career, acclaimed artist and performer Neil Bartlett has worked everywhere from the Royal Court Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Continuously cross fertilising his work by exposing himself to performers and performances normally considered ‘mainstream’ or ‘traditional’, Bartlett challenges us to re-think what makes for a  “radical” performance.

For one week in October, a small group of practitioners will get the unique opportunity to accompany Bartlett on five unlikely theatrical outings of his choice. Every day for a week the group will visit a different London venue to take in a performance. The week will be varied and will aim to take people out of their comfort zone and away from work that is traditionally seen as Live Art, encouraging them to think creatively and critically about what might be learnt from the aesthetics, audiences, venues and performance traditions of work normally considered at best irrelevant and at worst hostile to Live Art practice. Trips might include visits to the ballet or opera, community productions, school shows, pop concerts, fringe theatre, the circus, cabaret, drag shows, film screenings, guided walks, reenactments and more.

The week will conclude with a day of structured discussion facilitated by Neil Bartlett at the Live Art Development Agency’s Study Room.

This promises to be a mind opening experience for artists making theatrical work (in the broadest sense of the term). Whilst we shall endeavour to keep participation in the workshop as low- or no-cost as possible, it may be necessary for participants to make a contribution towards ticket costs, depending on the final lineup of shows. This will be confirmed nearer the time.

Dates, times and location:
Monday 22 to Friday 26 October, various locations.
Saturday 27 October, Noon-5pm, at the Live Art Development Agency’s Study Room.

This project will be based in London, but the exact whereabouts for each day won’t be confirmed until nearer the project start date. Participants are responsible for their own transport to and from each venue (on time). Whilst evening performances will be prioritised it is likely that a matinee or two will crop up over the course of the week. Participants should have the flexibility to ensure attendance at all parts of the project. To ensure that there is a good group dynamic we will only be able to consider participants who are available for the duration of the project.

The final day of the project, Saturday 27 October, will take place in the Live Art Development Agency Study Room from Noon until 5pm.

Application procedure:
Applications should be emailed to [email protected] with ‘Neil Bartlett DIY’ in the subject line.

Please attach a short (1-2 page) CV, a brief artist’s statement about the ideas that inform your current practice, and 200 words (max) about why you’d like to take part in this DIY project, and what you think you might get from the experience. Supporting materials (images, video, links etc.) are welcome but not essential.

Closing date for applications is Monday 9 July, 2012.

The artist:

Neil Bartlett was an early member of Complicité and a founder member of GLORIA theatre company, with whom his signature site-specific performance and queer theatre pieces included Sarrasine, A Vision of Love Revealed In Sleep and The Seven Sacraments of Nicolas Poussin. He was also (for several years) the MC at the National Review of Live Art. From 1994 to 2005 he was the Artistic Director of the Lyric Hammersmith in London. His recent large-scale work includes the bingo spectacle Everybody Loves A Winner, created for the 2009 Manchester International Festival, stagings of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband for the Abbey in Dublin, Britten’s The Turn of The Screw at Aldeburgh and the queer love story Or You Could Kiss Me at the National, a collaboration with Handspring Puppet Company (the creators of Warhorse). At the other end of the scale, he created a new solo performance A Sleeping Beauty, for Duckie at The Vauxhall Tavern in 2010, For Alfonso, a one-night-only performance created for Bette Bourne at the Theatre Royal Brighton as part of the 2011 Brighton Festival and, most recently, What Can You Do, also at the Theatre Royal Brighton, a retrospective in which he reconstructed some solo works from the AIDS crisis of the 1980’s and finished the evening off with a brand new solo referencing the work of Max Miller. You can find out more about Neil and his work at

Contact information:
Please email in the first instance: [email protected]

This project was a response to the DIY 9 Call for Proposals

Part of DIY: 2012

Unusual professional development projects conceived and run BY artists FOR artists

DIY: 2012


Unusual professional development projects conceived and run BY artists FOR artists

Read more

DIY: 2012 – Call for Participants


Professional development projects BY artists FOR artists

Read more


DIY Progression: a new project from Daniel Oliver


An intensive residency to exploring dysfunction, neurodivergence, and experimental performance

Read more

DIY: 2016 – Documentation


Selected images, video and participant feedback

Read more

DIY: 2018 – Call for Participants


Professional development projects conceived and run by artists, for artists

Read more