Developed With The Lowry is our flagship artist development programme, offering a bespoke package of support for independent artists, collectives and companies who are committed to creating ambitious, high-quality work and developing their practice as artists and cultural leaders.
We are excited to work with artists who are interested in exploring bold and dynamic new ideas and approaches, building relationships, engaging with audiences, celebrating creativity and innovation and championing diversity and representation within their work and the wider arts sector.
Since 2009, 46 productions have been commissioned as part of our Developed With The Lowry programme, including BAFTA award-winning comic Sophie Willan’s first stand-up hour ‘On Record’, Theatre Ad Infinitum’s ‘Ballad of the Burning Star’ (a blistering drag cabaret journey into the core of a conflicted Jewish state), Igor & Moreno’s immersive production ‘Andante’, and more recently Thick & Tight’s 10th anniversary show ‘Short & Sweet’ and ‘Snatched’ by Melissa Johns and Lily Levin.
Developed With The Lowry artists spend 12-18 months with us creating and presenting a new production or exhibition and developing their practice.
Our support package includes financial contributions to both professional and creative development, practical support for production development, artistic feedback, and a professional development plan including coaching, mentoring from industry experts and a series of bespoke activities specifically tailored to the needs of the company or artist.
For 2022-2024, we are delighted to welcome a new cohort of 6 early to mid-career artists who are establishing their practice and creative identity, and are looking for time, space and support to now take a significant step forward in their work.
For the first time, we are delighted to offer one of our Developed With opportunities to a visual/media-based artist who will work closely with our Galleries team to develop a new exhibition that will open at The Lowry as part of our EDITS programme in Autumn 2023.
Meet Developed With Artists
Bobak Champion is a British-Iranian Dance Artist whom utilises hip-hop dance styles, storytelling and humour to directly tackle the often-negative stereo type of the middle east and Islam shown in the media.
Having graduated from Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 2004, Bobak has worked as a performer, facilitator and choreographer across many projects.
On a journey of self-acceptance and understanding his heritage, Bobak visited Iran; he was overwhelmed by how kind, welcoming and hospitable the people were, not just family but everyone he met. Following this enlightening and welcoming trip to his mother’s country, Bobak embarked on a mission to share a new perspective on Iranian culture and Islam across the UK.
As part of Developed With The Lowry, Bobak will use Hip-Hop, Song, Storytelling and Clowning to share a rich tapestry of Iranian culture in a show for all ages. Media culture holds fast to the idea that the Middle East is a frightening and dangerous place – Bobak’s work will flip this script.
“As a dad, theatre maker and someone who loves facilitating workshops and classes for young people, I’ve been asked a number of times ‘So how about a family show’. I am excited and grateful to have that chance, as well as to meet the artists and team at The Lowry. The process of working with musicians learning songs and music from Iran will be a wonderful experience. To then take that to audiences in a lush environment we plan to create (think Persian garden meets high-end sheesha bar. smoke free of course).” – Bobak Champion
Tania Camara is a solo performance artist based in Manchester currently working in different mediums: devised theatre, dance, live art, video, voice-work and music.
Tania’s artistic focus is to create work that generates conversations about race relations in Britain to tell untold stories and bring marginalised lived experiences to the forefront.
Tania brings together stories from Cape Verde, Britain, Portugal, Guinea Bissau, and is inspired by her MA in Artist Research at the University of Amsterdam into the traditional dance/music genre Batuku as social performance and its place in the Cape Verdean Revolution as a form of holistic healing.
As part of Developed With The Lowry, Tania will be developing an autobiographical performance work, As I Am Naturally. It consists of a selection of poems and stories that challenge notions of inner beauty, femininity and gender fluidity.
Above all, this story speaks of my journey of self-care, self-love, self claiming and self-naming. A project explores music, soundscaping, movement and performance poetry. Through this work, Tania wants to create a space that can transport audiences to an imagined space.
A journey through hair, space, and time. Asking questions like: How does one’s hair tell a personal narrative? How does one begin to become a subject of our own stories? What role does hair play in notions of self-care and self-claiming?
“I’m excited to work with The Lowry on this project, because I want to push my boundaries and play with different ways of making work that is touching and has a transformational effect on those that interact with it.” – Tania Camara
Image credit: As I am Naturally, SPILL Festival of Performance 2021, Photo by Guido Mencari
Alice Christina-Corrigan is a visually impaired & neurodivergent actor, theatre maker and creative captioner.
Alice’s work aims to break the technological trajectory of creative access in theatre, elevating storytelling through multisensory exploration. Alice champions northern disabled artists, providing creative opportunities to the community, championing their stories and being a spokesperson for disability inclusion in the industry.
Her first play, Past Life debuted at Camden People’s Theatre and most recently, the production was part of Bloomsbury Festival in association with Extant Theatre.
Her work has been supported by Octagon Theatre, Extant Theatre, Graeae, ACE England, CRIPTIC, Art with Heart, and Carmen Collective.
As part of Developed With The Lowry, Alice will be developed her second full length play, Fade. It follows Cassie and Rubin, twin siblings coming to terms with their mother’s sudden death. Catapulting through past, present and a not-so-distant future. The strenuous allyship of siblings is forced to question the silent sacrifices they have made for each other along the way.
Developed With will allow Alice to focus on two key points. Creative access and community.
Creative Access: She will have the freedom to work on her creative access design, implanting this into a more traditional form of theatre. Professionally setting as example for other theatres to change their ideology about the possibilities of creative access on stage.
Community: Fade is a harrowing tale of sibling love and within this development, she will have the ability to work with the community of Manchester to help those who may be affected by the story, and also provide access to theatre that speaks to them, engaging a generation sometimes left out of theatre’s narrative.
“The Lowry is an incredibly supportive, nurturing and creative theatre that I am thrilled to be working with to develop an important piece of storytelling, whilst spreading the message on a higher scale, the importance and creative possibilities of integrated access.” – Alice Christina-Corrigan
Image credit: Photography By Ella Dale
Edy Hurst is a comedian that combines loop pedals, music, and an oddball view of the world for comedy clubs and festivals across the country.
Whether it is completing 125 years of the War of the Worlds, solving mental health crises with a homemade puppet, or making the world’s greatest theme park live on stage, his work is endlessly playful, daft and unique.
Nominated for ‘Best Alternative Act’ at the North West comedy Awards, Best Comedy Show at Buxton Fringe, BBC New Comedy Awards and Finalist in the Musical Comedy Awards, he’s appeared on BBC Radio 4 and Next Up Comedy.
As part of Developed With The Lowry,
After recently discovering he is descended from one of the women put on trial in the infamous Lancashire Witch hunts, Edy Hurst plans to use the magic that is deep within his bones to speak with the spirits beyond our world in search of a single inspiring vision.
But whilst using music, rituals and audience participation to go beyond our plane of existence, why are the spirits just giving him music from the Vengaboys? What’s up with that?
An exploration into creativity, magic and inspiration through loop pedals, 90s eurodance, spells and being a neurodivergent weirdo in the 21st Century North West.
“One of my first ever jobs in the arts was as a studio supervisor at The Lowry, and it’s a huge privilege to be back with the opportunity to create my own work and push the boundaries and limits of myself as a performer and creator.” – Edy Hurst
Nikta Mohammadi is an Iranian artist and producer based in West Yorkshire, working across moving image, performance, sound and text. Her practice is rooted in her dreams. It examines the relationship between personal and political, outside and inside, private and public, documentary and fiction.
Currently, she is building a body of work that investigates British rural landscape, incorporating literature, myths and rituals from Iran and Britain with an interdisciplinary formal approach.
Through this body of work, she wants to reflect on her fragmented living experience as an outsider. Previously she has worked with The Tetley, Institute of Contemporary Arts and Tate among others.
As part of Developed With The Lowry, Nikta will be developing Memory Stone. It is an installation exploring ideas of speculative memory and history, using British countryside as its setting and starting point. Transforming the gallery space through highly composed and performative video work and a visceral soundscape, the audiences will be immersed in an alternate version of the Northern landscape.
The work aims to challenge the idyllic perception of the British rural landscape as a space where time stands still. This is a theme that links to Mohammadi’s interest in ghostly imprints of the past, migrants create on foreign lands. Memory Stone will be an attempt to recreate these memories/histories.
“I am excited and thrilled to begin this journey of reclaiming; to reimagine pasts and recreate futures. The Lowry’s Developed With programme is the much needed structure of support to bring this dreamworld to audiences in Salford and more widely in the UK.” – Nikta Mohammadi
Still from Windcatcher & Gargoyles
Lauren Yvonne Townsend
Lauren Yvonne Townsend is a Yorkshire-based freelance creative producer working in theatre, live events, short film and community arts.
After producing for a number of artists and organisations over the last 8 years, Lauren is now ready to tell her own stories and focus on developing her own creative vision as a writer, producer and director of short film and theatre projects with collaborators across the North.
She has worked with organisations such as Leeds 2023, Stage One, BFI Film Hub North, Sheffield Theatres, Cast, Chol Theatre, ThickSkin Theatre, Stage Sight, The Children’s Art School, and is a regular guest speaker at The Arts University Bournemouth.
As part of Developed With The Lowry, Lauren will be developing her first self-created piece Obsessed.
Obsessed is a one-woman show exploring a young black woman’s relationship with her mental health. Eye opening, hard-hitting, heart-warming, banging tunes and stunning design – good vibes with a big message.
This process will enable Lauren to lead a Research & Development process for Obsessed with actors and a dramaturg to gather material, establish key story points, explore characters, and connect with designers/creatives for initial concepts for presentation.
“I am thrilled to be joining the cohort of Developed With The Lowry 2022-24; as a producer I am used to helping other artists develop their work, so to have the opportunity to focus on my own creative vision and develop the stories close to my own heart, based on my own experiences, is incredibly exciting. This is a real opportunity to make a shift in my usual projects and to work on myself as an artist and creator – I’m really grateful to The Lowry’s Artist Development team for giving me the time, space and opportunity to thrive.” – Lauren Yvonne Townsend
Image credit: Paul Floyd Blake
Jessica Thanki is a British South Asian artist and stage manager who has been stage managing since 2009, whom is now making the step change into directing.
Jessica is interested in non-verbal storytelling and thinking about access at the seed of the idea rather than an afterthought.
During the pandemic, Jessica decided to make the step change into directing by inviting actors to devise on Zoom. It is through this that the idea of Funnybones was developed.
As part of Developed With The Lowry, Funnybones Jessica will be developing non-verbal adaptation of the well know children’s book Funnybones by Janet and Alan Ahlberg. It will be a new family show which follows the story of 4 scientists and their mission to get their dog working.
The show uses non-verbal storytelling techniques to tell this well-known story by using visual aids and a mixture of sign mime, physical theatre and mime.
Jessica aims to create an accessible family show which can tour both traditional theatre studios and community rural venues. The project has completed 2 successful R&Ds, testing the work in front of a live and digital audience.
Funnybones will premiere at The Lowry in Spring 2023.
“Being part of The Lowry’s Developed With programme has allowed me the support to showcase and create work. Without their support there would not be any plans for a tour of the show!” – Jessica Thanki
Jessica Thanki, Developed With artist
“Funnybones is my first project as lead artist. The idea originally came out of frustration during the pandemic. I had been stage managing since 2008 and was struggling to make the step change into directing. The experience I had as a stage manager – being in the room with over 40 directors was not enough to get me an interview for an assistant director position.
So, when the pandemic hit and I was forced to stop – I decided to create my own opportunity by applying for Arts Council Funding to research and develop an idea for a family show inspired by the book Funnybones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg.
I wanted to create a show that had access at the seed of the idea but also explored a way to tour both theatre and community venues without losing its quality. A show that could bring together people from different backgrounds. Something that sparked imagination.
I was successful in my first bid and completed a 2-week R&D where we looked at different non-verbal storytelling techniques. Once we completed this R&D we filmed some ideas which we shared with people who I knew in the industry. The feedback was brilliant and gave me the confidence to continue.
It was here that my journey on the Artist Development program at The Lowry started back in 2020. I had previously worked as company stage manager on a tour of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt which had toured to The Lowry. I found a fondness for the building and the staff who made me feel so welcome but equally programmed work which I found interesting.
With the support of The Lowry I have completed a 2nd R&D and am now back in rehearsals making the show. It is such a surreal feeling to finally be doing what I have dreamt of doing for so many years. Being part of the Artist Development program at The Lowry has been huge in my development as an artist and for the project and I’m so excited to see where the project goes next!”
Melissa Johns, previous Developed With artist
“Being part of Developed With has enriched my life in more ways that I could have ever imagined. From supporting every aspect with the creation and development of my one woman show to gaining skills and knowledge in producing and relationship building with other organisations, the programme has been a breath of fresh air.
Perhaps, more importantly for me though, are elements that show The Lowry goes above and beyond in supporting their artists. The Lowry have been an absolute rock when a global pandemic shook our industry, maintaining a commitment to us and always making us feel like a priority.
And lastly, as a disabled artist, I am supported in more ways than I have ever been. The Lowry are changing the way that disabled artists access the arts and honestly, I have never felt more supported in my career.”