The Royal Exchange Theatre and Susan Hodgkiss are excited to have awarded the Hodgkiss Award 2016

The reimagined prize, which was last awarded in 2013, will support the realisation of a brand new piece of ambitious theatre which will be presented in one of the Exchange’s spaces in Spring/Summer 2017. 

The Hodgkiss Award 2016 looked for an exceptional artist or company based in the North of England who had a bold, original idea for a piece of live performance-based work. A Company whose idea will be inventive, urgent and unconstrained by pre-existing notions of what theatre can be.

From 78 submissions a Longlist of 19 was drawn up which led to a passionate and intense discussion by the core artistic team at the Royal Exchange Theatre and freelance journalist, commentator and dramaturg Andrew Haydon from which a shortlist of 7 formed and the winner BEARS was announced.


  • Have you run the Hodgkiss Award before? How is this different?
  • Yes, a version of the prize was awarded in 2013, won by director Ng Choon Ping and resulted in the production of CROCODILES by Lee Mattinson in the Royal Exchange Studio in autumn 2014. The award in 2013 was specifically aimed at writer/director partnerships, whereas the 2016 award is focused on theatre-makers.

  • Who is eligible to apply?
  • Theatre-makers over the age of 18 based in the North – “North” is defined by the Arts Council England’s regions of the North and includes North West, North East and Yorkshire. Applicants must be based in this region and making work in this region. Applications can be received from individual artists or from groups of artists.

  • What is a theatre-maker?
  • A theatre-maker is someone who has the imagination and desire to bring work into a performance space. They may make work through a devised or text-based process. They may perform their own work or create work for other people to perform. They may fit within the traditional role of a writer/director/actor or may not. Their background and practice may not be in traditional theatre, but the outcome of their work is usually performance-based.

  • What level of experience are you looking for?
  • Theatre-makers of any experience are welcome to apply for the award. It is not specific to emerging artists or those who have a certain number of professional credits. Applicants will need to provide a referee or advocate who knows their work as part of the application process. This could be for example, an artistic collaborator, producer, programmer, venue or critic.

  • Where will the winning piece be performed?
  • The winning piece could take place in the Royal Exchange Studio, Swan Street Studio, Great Hall or another site specific location within the theatre building. The only space which is NOT available for performances is the main Theatre (the in-the-round, 760 seater module). Applicants should specify which space they are interested in working in on their application. For more information about the different spaces in the Exchange see (

  • How will the winning piece be supported?
  • The winning artist or group will receive bespoke mentoring and support from the Royal Exchange team throughout the attachment. They will have the opportunity for an R&D week in the building in October/November, with feedback from the artistic team at the Exchange, they will also have a 3 week rehearsal period in spring and then a week to tech and perform in their chosen space, which will be technically supported by the building. There is also a dedicated production budget, which will be explained in more detail to the shortlisted artists. The successful artist/group may choose to use the production budget and support in kind as match funding for a further funding application.

  • What is the selection process?
  • Applications will be considered by the core artistic team at the Royal Exchange Theatre and a freelance theatre practitioner. They will select a shortlist of 5-8 applicants who will be invited to the Selection Day at the Royal Exchange Theatre. The Royal Exchange Theatre can not enter into a dialogue with anyone in response to their application and is unable to offer feedback on unsuccessful applications.

  • What will the selection day consist of?
  • Each shortlisted applicant or group of applicants will be invited to meet at the Royal Exchange Theatre on Saturday 25th June to pitch their idea to the panel of judges in a Pecha Kucha style presentation (more information at ) followed by an interview with the judges. The winner will be announced at the end of Saturday 25th June. The Judges decision is final.

  • Can I apply in a different way?
  • The Royal Exchange has a commitment to equal opportunities and recognises that some people may struggle with a written application. If you would prefer to video record your application then please send a link to the unedited video to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please keep your video application to 15 minutes maximum and answer all of the questions from the application form.