Evolve is our Artists-in-Residence scheme for emerging or mid-career artists and companies.

Oxford Playhouse offers a bespoke 12 months of seed funding, research and development support, space, and mentoring. Many of our Evolve Artists become regulars within our theatre programming.

Previous residencies include: UK Theatre Award-winners Chris Bush and Matt Winkworth; Olivier nominated writer-performer Caroline Horton; Robin Norton-Hale founder Opera Up Close; acclaimed performer Lanre Malaolu and local companies Flintlock Theatre, Justice In Motion and Kuumba Nia Arts. And Daniel Naddafy, Dot and Ethel, Ellen Havard, Fifth Word, Hannah Ringham, Hidden Track, Jack Bennett, Jessica Lazar, Mike Tweddle and Smoking Apples.

Our 2021/2022 Evolve Artists

Tabby Lamb

Tabby is a non-binary writer and performer Their debut solo show SINCE U BEEN GONE, which Tabby wrote and performed, premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019, after previewing at the Gate Theatre. The show was spectacularly received by audiences and garnered a glowing 4* write up from the Guardian who called the play “bold, honest and swollen with love”.

Tabby is a BFI Flare x BAFTA Crew member 2021, an artistic associate for the Sky Arts Bursary at Stratford East, an associate writer with Middle Child.

Alongside their passion for writing, Tabby is a facilitator and runs creative projects for young people from the LGBTQ+ community.

JC Niala

JC is a playwright, nature writer and poet. Her plays include Out of Bounds (written as part of Oxford Playmaker 2020-2021) and Unsettled, 2019 (Methuen, Bloomsbury) which was published in the second ever collection of plays by African women. Unsettled was shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Prize (2020) and the Hope Mill Theatre Prize (2020).

Last year JC re-created an allotment in the style year of 1918. She held performance events to evoke the history of World War One and the 1919 pandemic while reflecting on COVID-19.

Her debut non-fiction book A Loveliness of Ladybirds was shortlisted for Canongate’s Nan Shepherd Prize in 2019 and will be published by Little Toller Books in 2022.

Rhiannon Faith

Rhiannon is a socially conscious artist. She is interested in how art changes lives. she makes form-defying autobiographical shows that have guts and take guts.

Rhiannon Faith Company were nominated for two 2021 National Dance Awards; ‘Best Digital Choreography’ (DROWNTOWN LOCKDOWN) and ‘Best Independent Company’ (Rhiannon Faith Company).

Their most recent work DROWNTOWN has just completed a digital tour, and received 4Star reviews in The Observer and The Stage. DROWNTOWN LOCKDOWN, the short film prequel to the live show was named ‘The Best Dance of Lockdown’ (Guardian).

The Gramophones

Co-Artistic Directors Hannah Stone and Ria Ashcroft use inventive storytelling, physical theatre, clowning and aerial to tell stories that have female heroes at their centre.

The Gramophones have toured extensively to venues across the UK. End to End received 4 and 5 star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2016 They were commissioned by Derby Festé to make Tarzanna, an aerial theatre show for families which tours again in October 2021.

This year they developed Aidy the Awesome, a children’s aerial show about a Grandmother and Granddaughter superhero duo commissioned by Curve Theatre and supported by Arts Council England. This toured digitally and will tour live in 2022!