New Stuff: The Idea
New Stuff is a monthly programme of rehearsed readings of new writing, hosted live in The Cockpit's Studio 1. Part of Theatre Maker at The Cockpit, the evening is all about showcasing new pieces of scripted work by writers and theatre makers. With tickets costing just £3 for audience members, the evening is an exciting, low-cost opportunity to see new work and engage in constructive dialogues with other writers, creatives, and theatregoers.
Each New Stuff takes the form of two rehearsed readings, each followed by their own section for Q&A and feedback, with a short interval between each reading. After the readings have finished, participants and audience members are invited to continue discussions more informally over a drink in the bar downstairs.
What is a 'Rehearsed Reading'?
A 'rehearsed reading' is where a company bring a script, that they have read and rehearsed a little beforehand, to be presented in front of an audience. During the reading, performers are usually still on-book (with script in hand), and they are usually sat on stage - sometimes around a table - with any stage directions or scene changes being read out rather than implemented. While New Stuff participants are not required to stick strictly to this format - we want to facilitate whatever will be most useful for you - please note that these evenings are intended for readings and that we do not offer any lighting cues, audio cues, or technical support for these evenings.
Pieces should be no less than 20 minutes and no more than 50 minutes in length. Although we may be able to accept longer or shorter pieces (dependent on finding suitable pairings), limiting pieces to between 20 and 50 minutes in length allows us to keep to time and programme two readings per event.
Pieces must be scripted and theatrical (i.e. not a dance piece, stand-up comedy, or instrumental musical performance). We’re looking for substantial extracts or completed pieces that have not been fully staged elsewhere, but we are not expecting much more than a second draft.
It must be legal - no copyright infringements, incitement to hatred, or anything else that threatens our licence. Please.
We ask that performers and audience members attend the event in full, rather than only arriving/staying for one of the pieces.
And that's about it!
To take part you need to apply online and, once accepted, pay £20 (in the form of a £50 deposit of which £30 is refunded to you after your reading). This fee covers your slot plus 2 hours of studio time (in the best available space) plus a print allowance (we will print copies of your script, up to 100 sides of b/w A4, but if you think you’ll need more then talk to us).
You will find your own performer/s, director, etc., but if you need some help to fill the gaps in your project, let us know and we’ll put the word out to help you find new collaborators.
The event runs for approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes in total, including a short interval.
New Stuff in 2024 will take place on the following dates:
Sunday 4 February, 5.30pm
Sunday 3 March, 5.30pm
Sunday 7 April, 5.30pm
Sunday 5 May, 5.30pm
Sunday 2 June, 5.30pm
Sunday 7 July, 5.30pm
Sunday 4 August, 5.30pm
Sunday 1 September, 5.30pm
Sunday 6 October, 5.30pm
Sunday 3 November, 5.30pm
Sunday 1 December, 5.30pm
The Programming Policy
New Stuff is all about enabling new scripted work to be seen at an affordable price for all involved.
We will sort through applications to put together a balanced evening and will only turn something down if it's illegal, breaches our licence, if it's totally inappropriate for the space, or if we've run out of slots for the season.
You will be asked to confirm the length of your piece when returning your contract for the event. If pieces significantly overrun, you may risk your reading or Q&A being cut short.
Applicants are free to undertake their own advertising once they have returned their contract and paid the deposit.
Information, logos, maps, etc. are available via email. We cannot provide marketing for individual performances, however we will promote each New Stuff via our mailing lists, socials, and external listings.
New Stuff takes place in The Cockpit's Studio 1 and we are able to provide chairs and tables for your rehearsed reading.
Our current maximum capacity for New Stuff in Studio 1 is 30.
We do not provide tech and suggest that crucial technical elements in the script are read out as stage directions.
After we've looked over your application and confirmed your slot with you, we'll send you an email with the details of your contract, which will specify a date and will commit us all to staging the event. If you have any questions, please email them to involvedthecockpit.org.uk. You will need to complete the blank segments of the contract and return this as an email reply - this then acts as our contractual agreement. You will then need to call The Cockpit reception on 020 7258 2925 to pay the fee by credit/debit card. Note that there is a £50 cancellation penalty clause in the contract if you cancel with less than 21 days notice.
Please note that writers must bring their own actors and team to New Stuff and we have no role in casting or organising these elements.