Call for expressions of interest

New care settings performance tour for people with lived experience of dementia, their loved ones and supporters. 


Since 2015 Capital Theatres have worked to provide a dementia friendly environment and performances at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh. This has been made possible through funding received from The Life Changes Trust. In 2016, we staged Scotland’s first dementia friendly performance of a major touring musical and the UK’s first dementia friendly opera by Scottish Opera. Since then we have continued to work closely with artists, producers and other arts organisations to ensure that dementia friendly arts flourishes across Scotland and further afield.


Building on the continued success of our dementia friendly work and experience of previous care settings tours, Capital Theatres are commissioning a new performance piece. This will be created with and specially tailored for people living with dementia, touring care homes and day care centres in Edinburgh and the Lothians. This commission is in line with our commitment to provide high quality, creative work that contributes positively to the health and well-being of people living with dementia who are not able to participate in our venue-based performances.

We will visit up to 20 care centres with extra performances at the Festival Theatre for our wider dementia friendly community. This equates to approximately two performances, of approximately 45-50 minutes in length, per day over a two to three-week period. We aim to address inequalities in access to the art by securing additional funding that will enable us to tour this work to areas of the city where we know engagement in the arts is lower.

We are keen to work with new partners and support artists and smaller companies to explore their practice and to create new work in this area. It is also important that people with lived experience of dementia and their loved ones are an integral part of the creative process.

We encourage proposals that:

  • Are participatory, sensitive to the different stages of dementia and the needs of the audience with an emphasis on opportunities to interact through singing and story-telling.
  • Are intergenerational to allow for families of care home residents to participate.
  • Explore possibilities of creating an immersive environment which may also include pre-show familiarization sessions for care setting staff and audiences.
  • Include set, props and costume that are sensory, allow for interaction and stimulate memories. The set must also be ‘pop up’ in nature and easy to transport within a small van, with a get-in/get-out time of 35/40minutes.
  • Are narrative light, highly visual with an emphasis on music and movement.


There is a budget of £12,500 which will cover artist research, development, tech and performance fees, travel, transport hire and the cost of any materials such as props/costume.  Tech requirements such as lighting design, mics etc to be discussed with pitch.


Capital Theatres’ Learning and Participation team will work with the chosen individual or company to help resource and support the work, as well as acting as an outside eye throughout the creative process and rehearsals.  Capital Theatres will take responsibility for all tour booking. All other production roles and costs will need to be provided by the artist/company within the budget.

Rehearsal space (The Studio Theatre and/or FOH spaces) at Capital Theatres will be provided cost-free and subject to availability.

Capital Theatres will support the marketing and promotion of the tour through its regular marketing and communication channels.

The successful individual/company will also have a space booked on an Artful Minds training course with Magdalena Schamberger on 13th June 2019 (this will be organised by Capital Theatres). Artful Minds is aimed at professional artists who are looking to create work specifically for people living with dementia, to gain a first insight or deepen their engagement with people living with dementia.


July 2019 to January 2020 – this includes all research and development, rehearsal period, performance tour and evaluation.  The tour will take place within Edinburgh and the Lothians in December 2019.

July 2019 - Initial Consultation with Capital Theatres (approx. 2 hours)

September 2019 - Planning, research and development (approx. 5 days)

October to November 2019 - Rehearsal Period between this time. (Number of days tbc)

Mid December 2019 - Performance tour in Edinburgh and Lothians (approx. 2 weeks)

January 2019 - De-brief and evaluation period (approx. 2 days)


Submissions should be a maximum of 3 sides of A4 that include:

  • Details of any prior experience of creating work with and for people with lived experience of dementia.
  • A clear description of the concept and medium of your proposed performance, including number of actors and evidencing awareness of the small scale, pop up nature in relation to technical requirements.
  • A description of how you will ensure that the voices of those with lived experience are considered and included throughout the creative process.
  • An indicative budget.

Deadline for Applications: Monday 27th May 2019, 4pm. Interviews: Between 3rd-6th June 2019.

Please send your proposal to or contact Dawn, Learning and Participation Co-ordinator on 0131 622 8444 for an informal chat about the opportunity.