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Raw, untested performance

Scratch is an informal showcase of raw and untested performance ideas. We invite theatre artists at every stage of their careers to send us ideas that they’d like to try out in front of our audience.

We believe in the importance of providing a genuinely safe, receptive and open environment for artists to interrogate a new project, to push at the boundaries of their creativity, to try, fail, and try again.

Each scratch will last up to 10 minutes and we programme four or five in an evening. We install a pop-up bar into our studio and keep it open throughout the event, allowing audiences and artists to continue the conversation over a pint.

Projects that have started out at our Furnace Scratch night include – Blackthorn, What If I Told You, The Economy of Ecology and WASTED.

Scratch is open to everyone, but we prioritise artists who were born, raised or are currently living in Yorkshire. We actively encourage proposals from artists of colour, LGBTQI+ artists and artists who are d/Deaf or Disabled.

Scratch is wheelchair accessible and BSL interpreted.


Watch this space for news of our next Scratch night.

Further details:

  • Technical information

    Scratch takes place in the Bramall Rock Void Studio in end on format, with up to 96 seats. We will usually provide:

    • Two general lighting states, one warm wash and one cold wash.
    • A basic PA, for playback of recorded music – any music or sound files should be sent to us at least three days in advance, in mp3 format.

    We can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to provide any technical or production support beyond what’s outlined above. However, if you do have additional tech requirements, please let us know when you send us your idea.

    If a piece has cues, you’ll be required to provide a cue sheet at least two days in advance of the Scratch.

    Each artist will have 45 minutes of tech time in the Barber Studio on the day of the Scratch. We’ll be really strict about this, because we want to give equal time and support to each artist.

  • Marketing and documentation

    If your proposal is selected to be shared at Scratch, we’ll ask you to send us 100 words of copy and an image about the idea that you’re testing out. We’ll then put that information up on our website and on the Scratch Facebook page.

    We’ll film each Scratch and do a very rough edit of each piece. Then we’ll send those rough edits to each artist for their documentation purposes.

And finally…

We’ll pay a stipend of £100 per Scratch piece. We also have very limited funds to contribute towards travel costs, if an artist is travelling from outside Yorkshire.

When we’re selecting artists to be part of Scratch, we’ll try to curate an evening of pieces that work well with each other and that we can facilitate in quick succession technically.

The next Scratch night is at 8pm on 10th March. For future updates join Furnace Social Club to be kept in the loop.

Everything you need to know about Scratch...

Major funders
Arts Council England Leeds City Council The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation
Principal Capital and Families Partner
Caddick Developments
Principal Capital and Access Partner
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors