Big Telly Theatre Company

Key Facts

Topic Areas
Arts | Participatory Arts | Theatre | Social Change | Fostering Communities
Amount Awarded
Year Awarded
Northern Ireland
Length of Award
36 months
Organisation website

Based in Portstewart, Big Telly is one of Northern Ireland’s few theatre companies based outside Belfast. It is known for performing work in unusual spaces including a portable theatre, swimming pools and cars. In 2013 Big Telly took over an empty shop in the town centre. It was used as an open rehearsal room for professional productions, an accessible performance space for showcasing work as part of its community engagement project and a drop-in creative space populated by local and visiting artists running workshops and exhibitions. In its first year it engaged more than 1,500 community members as direct participants on various programmes and reached an audience of over 6,000. Our grant is towards maintaining the work in the shop space in Portstewart and to develop a rolling programme of pop-up shops in three regional towns in Northern Ireland.

This is an innovative approach to engaging more people with the arts by accessing new, non-traditional cultural experiences and re-animating town centres by developing creative activities and cultural tourism. It promotes community cohesion in shared, neutral spaces encouraging creative collaboration between people with differing perspectives and backgrounds.

This grant fits our arts priorities under art as an instrument for social change, community cohesion or participation, and our aims as work which builds collective networks.