Next Generation

Next Generation is our programme to support young artists entering the theatre industry.

We are committed to providing opportunities and training which will help to develop skills, talent and knowledge of the industry.

We recognise that the creative industries can sometimes seem closed. It is our aim to make our industry accessible to young artists from all backgrounds.

We aim to pay young artists and provide employment and training opportunities to aid their developments.

Opportunities to get involved include Lyric Ensemble, Young Lyric Trainees, Evolution Festival & Commissions & Bill Cashmore Award.




The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre are looking for short scratch pieces to be part of our fifth emerging artist takeover, Evolution Festival.

The Evolution Scratches programme is part of the Bill Cashmore Award and is an open platform for young, emerging artists to try out new ideas in front of an audience.

16 scratches will be shown across 4 nights. 5 of these will go on to be offered a short residency at the Lyric in March. The idea with the most potential will be selected as the Bill Cashmore Award winner and headline Evolution Festival 2021.


What is the Bill Cashmore Award?

You can read about the Bill Cashmore Award here.

Now in its second year, the Award will support and develop a scratch idea into a fully-fledged production which will headline the Evolution Festival in March 2021. This support includes masterclasses with Lyric Associate Artists and Award contributors, technical support, a commissioning fee and budget for crew and design.


Who can apply?

  • The lead creative on the project must be between 18-25 years of age and live in London
  • We are interested in hearing from a range of creatives (directors, writers, producers, performers, companies, ensembles etc.)


What can I show?

We are open to all styles and forms (theatre, interactive, performance, spoken-word, poetry, stand-up comedy, multimedia, digital, live art and cross-disciplinary work). We are interested in work that is contemporary and exciting and a spark of an idea which might grow into a studio theatre show.

The scratch night is an opportunity to test out a new, short idea at an early stage of development. It is not about presenting polished work or a section of a completed piece. We are expecting the scratches to be rough outlines of your inspiration!

Each evening will showcase 4 pieces alongside each other. Pieces can last anything up to 10 minutes. You will showcase on 1 night only, but will perform twice.


What are the benefits?

  • An opportunity to test out new ideas in front of an audience in the Lyric studio
  • Basic technical support on the performance day
  • Feedback on your work by Lyric Producers
  • Inclusion in the festival marketing campaign
  • A chance to be chosen for a residency and/or the Bill Cashmore Award.


When does it happen?

  • Applications close Monday 16 December at 11am
  • Performances will happen on Tuesday 11 Feb, Wednesday 12 Feb, Thursday 13 Feb & Friday 14 Feb (evening)
  • You will perform only on one of these evenings (each scratch will perform once at 7.15pm and again at 8.45pm)


How do I apply?

Fill out this application form here:

This application form includes you submitting a 2 minute video.



  • Can it be shorter than 10 minutes? Yes
  • Can it be longer than 10 minutes? No
  • Some of the group are over 25 years old is this OK? Yes, as long as the lead artist is 25 years old or under at the point of applying
  • Can I show finished work? We are interested in new ideas at the beginning of the development period