Litmus Fest

Supporting Experimentation

a work-in-progress theatre festival: Six companies present six brand new shows over six days

The Pleasance is launching a new annual RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT festival here at Pleasance Islington.


During the month of August, the Pleasance relocates to Edinburgh to run our 23 performance spaces at the Festival Fringe, so often London becomes a maintenance hub. This year we would like it to become a hive of R&D activity for theatre companies looking to develop new work and new ways of working. The findings of this development period will then be presented on both our Main House and StageSpace stages from Tuesday 27th September 2016 for one week.


Applications for Litmus Fest 2016 are now closed. Applications for 2017 will open in the Spring 


Are you developing a new show?

Do you need a safe space to try out a new way of working?

Would you benefit from the opportunity to present your findings in front of an audience?


If so, then Litmus Fest may well be for you…


What we are offering:

  • 2 weeks of development time in either our New Room, White Room or StageSpace (subject to availability, and can be spread out between the 7th August and 17th September or booked in one chunk)

  • 2 days of technical experimentation during the week beginning 18th September

  • 1 day to get in, tech and dress the show followed by 2 public performances

  • Access to our duty technician who will oversee and support your technical time with us (you will still need to provide your own technician/operator though)

  • Guidance and mentoring from the Pleasance team


What the companies who are part of the festival will provide:


  • A need to develop a specific part of their practice

  • A 30-60mins work-in-progress performance for the public, to be presented for 2 nights during week beginning Mon 18th Sept

  • Any props or set pieces needed for their performance

  • A technician/operator for their performance


For more information please download our Litmus Fest information pack here or email