The British Council is calling for artists with exceptional new productions to apply to be part of the next Edinburgh Showcase – our biennial platform showing the best of contemporary UK theatre, dance and live art at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Taking place on 21–26 August 2017, the Edinburgh Showcase programme will feature outstanding small and middle-scale productions made in the UK that are suitable for international touring. The programme is renowned for starting international careers and highlighting some of the most interesting new work in the performance scene. Previous programmes have included new writing, devised theatre, contemporary dance, live art, performance installations, and interactive and immersive theatre.

Edinburgh Showcase is the single biggest opportunity for UK artists and companies to introduce their work to international promoters,” says Neil Webb, our Director of Theatre and Dance. “We will showcase a selection of the best new contemporary UK work by established and emerging companies. We’re looking for productions which support our cultural relations work and meet the interests of international programmers and their audiences.”

“We’ve made changes this year to how we select the work,” adds Becky Hinton, our Showcase Projects Manager. “This follows an external review which we jointly commissioned with Arts Council England and Creative Scotland. The curation team is now watching online videos as well as live performances and we have a new timeline. So if you’re applying, make sure you read the instructions carefully.”

We invite over 200 delegates to attend each Edinburgh Showcase from our international network of performing arts professionals – including key programmers, producers and agents as well as overseas British Council colleagues. In 2015, we welcomed delegates from over 40 countries.

2017 is the 20th anniversary of the Edinburgh Showcase. Since our first Showcase in 1997, the event has given hundreds of theatre and dance companies the opportunity to tour overseas and develop new relationships.

“It was amazing being in Edinburgh,” says Seth Honnor of Kaleider, who presented The Money in Edinburgh Showcase 2015 and has since toured to China, Italy and the USA. “The outcomes have been numerous, and more than just international touring. We turn down quite a lot of gigs because we don’t have the capacity to deliver them, so we’re very lucky that we choose the ones that we want to do. And it ratcheted up our conversations with television.”

“Edinburgh Showcase professionalised us so quickly it was extraordinary,” says theatre company 1927. “The more you go out internationally, the greater the breadth of kinds of people that you interact with… It makes you begin to think about what works creatively in a variety of contexts… it means you’re more likely to create something which will reach a diverse range of audiences.”

Get involved:

If you’re a UK-based artist with a production to propose for Edinburgh Showcase 2017, apply by 14 November 2016.

If you’re a performing arts programmer based outside the UK and you’d like to attend Edinburgh Showcase 2017 as a delegate, contact the British Council arts officer in your country to express interest or email

To hear which artists will be part of Edinburgh Showcase 2017, watch out for our programme announcement in spring 2017. To be the first to hear, sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter @UKTheatreDance.

Everyone is welcome to see Edinburgh Showcase performances. When the programme is announced, you can buy tickets from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe or the venues where the performances are taking place.

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