Theatre Deli Sheffield will pause its performance programme beyond its current Spring Season, as the direct result of financial pressures on the arts charity.

The programme has offered box-office splits and reduced-cost hires to local artists and small touring companies at Theatre Deli’s Arley Street venue over the last year, and since 2014 in its previous Sheffield venues. These opportunities are essential support for early-career and small-scale performance, but are no longer viable without additional funding or sponsorship.

This means there will be fewer opportunities in Sheffield for independent artists, small-scale theatre producers and risk-taking experimental companies to present work, with many local theatres either closed, closing or unaffordable to these artists. 

Theatre Deli’s decision comes at a time when arts organisations across the UK are making difficult choices about how to continue to support artistic and local communities after years of cuts to public funding, an increasingly competitive funding landscape, and rising costs.

Theatre Deli does not receive any regular subsidy, and will continue to seek vital donations, sponsorship and grants to continue its programmed work on a project-by-project basis. Without these, future Theatre Deli activity in Sheffield will be focused on hires of its spaces.

Daljinder Singh, Theatre Deli’s Executive Producer says, “The decision to pause our performance programme has been a deeply difficult one. We know that this will be troubling news to the great number of artists who rely on Theatre Deli Sheffield to be a platform for their work, especially early career creatives. In the past year we have programmed over 60 different performances in our theatre, supported 35 different artists with free space and R&D time, and hosted 4 different artist residencies. 

It goes without saying that a vital talent pipeline will be severely disrupted in our city, region and beyond. We remain resolute to our core value of offering artists valuable support and space to develop ideas, stories and projects. Our intention is to continue doing this wherever possible, while seeking out further funding opportunities and a financial model that will allow us to resume programmed work in the future.”

The Spring Season includes upcoming performances from local Sheffield production company Fishpie Cabaret, Leeds-based Action Hero and Bristol-based Red Ladder, as well as artist-led independent shows from across the UK: Bloody Mary LIVE!, Musclebound, The Polar Bear is Dead & A Suffocating Choking Feeling, concluding with a double bill from artist Wency Lam, who last presented work at Theatre Deli Sheffield in an Edinburgh Fringe Preview last year. 

In addition, Theatre Deli’s other offerings during the Spring Season include an Open Stage night for local artists, Baby Comedy Club for new parents, Dementia Cinema screenings, and a local Producers Meet-Up. All of this activity is at high-risk of disappearing beyond the end of April without additional support. 

Theatre Deli has been supported throughout the last year by CADS, with whom Theatre Deli partnered on its current theatre space on Arley Street as part of CADS’ Cuthbert House project, and the two organisations are currently working to maximise hire activity on the site.

You can support Theatre Deli by making a one-off or regular donation here.

While it receives no regular subsidy, Theatre Deli was supported through government restrictions by Arts Council England and DCMS via the Cultural Recovery Fund as well as Sheffield City Council, the City of London Corporation and British Land. Theatre Deli also received investment for the development of Theatre Deli’s Arley Street venue provided by the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, received via Key Fund, and funded by the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), as part of the legacy of the Great Exhibition in the North.