Artist development & support

Poplar Union takes huge pride in the artistic development and support we offer as an independent arts venue. We work tirelessly and innovatively in removing barriers that prevent artists from developing their craft and building sustainable careers, be they financial, social or creative. Since opening, we have grown an impressive, interdisciplinary network of artists who continue to benefit from the support given by Poplar Union, not only through the space itself, but the opportunity to have their work seen and build new relationships with other artists and organisations in the industry.

We are proud to provide:

– Regular Scratch and Open Mic nights (Scratch, Crackle & POP) for artists to trial and showcase new work
– Offer in-kind and free rehearsal space
– A pay what you can afford hire scheme for artists
– Guidance and consultancy from our Artistic Director, Music Programmer and Art Director
– Continued involvement with groups such as STAMP to improve working conditions for artists on a larger scale
– Commissions including Poplar Union Digital Arts Festival for artists to develop new work
– No fees for any artist to perform
– Platform for under-represented artists to showcase work including LGBTQIA, BIBOC/BAME and neurodivergent artists
– A digital platform for artists to reach a wider audience including regular Instagram takeovers to help raise the profile of the artist

Purple Moon Drama

What artists have said about us

My latest one person show had it’s first ever sharing there. I’ve used the rehearsal studios and performed there twice – the facilities are great. The venue is parent friendly and accessible for disabled people, and the staff have a good attitude to deaf and disabled artists and audiences…” Sophie Woolley (Writer & performer of Augmented) (as pictured above)

Poplar Union makes the imaginable possible!Liz Exell (Founder of Jazz Herstory)

Poplar welcomes and respects artists in diverse practices and at any stage of their career – I feel grateful for the warmth and generosity they shared with me.” Cameron Cook (Actor and performer)

A vibrant and supportive venue that is helping to re-shape the linear appearance of East London by introducing so many diverse cultural activities. I feel excited when I organise anything at Poplar Union.” Ahmed Kaysher (Founder of Saudha)

The engagement and creativity from the team across all areas was second to none. Our combined PR effort was one of my most successful and satisfying collaborations with a venue, resulting in coverage from Time Out, BBC London, London Live TV and more.Rosie Wilby (Creator of The Breakup Monologues)

Poplar Union is an amazing place to work as an artist, the staff are supportive and encouraging and the space is beautiful and inspiring. I feel extremely lucky to have the chance to work with Poplar.Chloe Stephens (Founder of Page One Theatre)

For an emerging company like ourselves, finding Poplar Union has been a blessing, the team have supported us immensely, helping us to programme a variety of shows and workshops. We really hope to continue working with them!Natalya Martin (Co-Founder of FEEL Theatre)

Poplar Union is a rare and special place. It’s not often you get such a great space, with such good resources and great people that’s affordable and accessible to everyone. I’m extremely grateful to teach and share here, and hope to be working with and visiting PU for a long long time.Eve Veglio-White (Founder of CAJ COLLAB)