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Theatre503 unveils autumn season and removes hire fees for visiting shows

Productions will no longer have to pay hire fees to visit the space

Artists involved in the season

Theatre503 has unveiled a new season of work as well as plans to remove hire fees for all visiting companies.

Artistic Director Lisa Spirling and Executive Director Andrew Shepherd explain the hire fee move: "One of the biggest barriers to making work on our stage has been a prohibitive hire fee model. By replacing this with a 50-50 box office split, we are reducing the financial impact on incoming companies by 25 per cent. The unique support Theatre503 gives to every company with which we collaborate can be taken even further as we continue to deliver our vital mission of bringing a diverse and talented range of new voices to new and returning audiences. There is still a long way to go to achieve equality of access to a career in the arts, but the 503Studio at Nine Elms, a physically accessible Latchmere space, and this more immediate change are a good start if we are genuinely to build our industry back better.

"A writer doesn't work in isolation, and an often overlooked role is that of our early career independent producers, who hold a lot of the burden of a show. We're particularly delighted that two recent graduates of our trainee producer scheme are making their professional debuts in Spring 2022, Darcy Dobson and Bethany Cooper, alongside our producer Ceri Lothian (herself a former trainee), rising producing star Ameena Hamid and the always impressive Defibrillator. We can't wait to share these incredible talents with you soon."

The venue will present a variety of new writing pieces as part of a "503Resets" festival from 6 to 28 September, before presenting Dexter Flanders' Foxes, co-produced with Defibrillator and running from 5 to 23 October.

Spirling will then direct Mathilda Dratwa's Milk and Gall, which explores motherhood and national absurdity. Lucy Wilson will pen the venue's pantomime Snow White, running from 7 to 30 December, while in February 2022, Matthew Gabrielli's Zombiegate will play at the venue, co-produced with Ameena Hamid (The Wiz).

From 1 to 26 March, Nancy Medina will direct Pravin Wilkins' Moreno (which won the 2020 Theatre503 Playwriting Award), all about Colin Kaepernick's taking of the knee.

Bethany Cooper will co-produce Katie Redford's Tapped from 5 to 23 April, while the season wraps up with Safaa Benson-Effiom's Til Death Do Us part, co-produced with Darcy Dobson.

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