The Charlie Hartill Fund

An extraordinary fund to support extraordinary artists at the Edinburgh Fringe

Theatre submissions are now open

The Charlie Hartill Fund supports UK-based theatre makers and comedians in bringing their work to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Our flagship fund offers unique and unparalleled support to artists through direct cash investment, programming and mentoring support. Through the fund, we hope to remove the financial risk for companies and allow creativity to take centre stage. 

The fund was established in 2004 in memory of Charlie Hartill and awards four opportunities each Edinburgh Festival Fringe:

  • One for 'up and coming' comedians
  • One for an early-career ensemble theatre company
  • Two for UK-based Black, Asian and Global Majority-led theatre shows



Each year the Charlie Hartill Fund provides one early-career theatre ensemble company with the rare and extraordinary opportunity to present a fully produced ensemble performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The Charlie Hartill Fund also provides financing, mentorship and programming opportunities to support two UK-based Black, Asian and Global Majority artists in bringing an existing show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

If selected, we provide up to £10,000 funding to an early-career ensemble theatre company and £5000 funding towards each UK-based Black, Asian and Global Majority-led production, as well as the following:

  • A guaranteed slot in our Edinburgh programme at Pleasance and programming option in our London transfer run.
  • Assistance with accommodation and Travel
  • Edinburgh Fringe Registration and brochure fees
  • PR and marketing support
  • Mentorship from Pleasance and Partners, including Methuen Drama (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Rehearsal, development, sharing and work space
  • Support to develop and deliver accessible performances (including the provision of captioned performances)


Submissions are open and will close at 10am on 8th January, 2024. 

  • To apply by written or video format to the Early-Career Ensemble Theatre strand, click here
  • Please read the relevant application pack here before applying.
  • Click here to see the relevant application qustions (for reference only)

  • To apply by written or video format to the UK-based Black, Asian and Global Majority strand, click here.
  • Please read the relevant application pack here before applying.
  • Click here to see the relevant application questions (for reference only)

    We accept applications to both strands. 

Eligibility requirements for early-career ensemble theatre companies

  • 40% of the entire production and creative team must be no more than 5 years from full time education on the final performance date
  • The play must have a performing company of 4 or more cast members
  • Directors and producers must not have created more than two professional productions, including Fringe
  • Be able to attend the Theatre Try-outs at Pleasance Islington in February 2024 (dates TBC)*

*Travel bursaries are available to companies and artists based outside of London.


Eligibility requirements for existing UK-based Black, Asian and Global Majority artists in bringing an existing show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

  • Must be based in the United Kingdom
  • At least 50% of the lead creators (which could include the Writer, Director, Producer, Designers or makers/devising ensemble) must identify as Black, Asian or Global Majority Artists
  • At least 50% of the cast must identify as Global Majority Artists
  • Propose an existing Theatre or Children’s production to present at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2024. The show must be tour ready, with a minimum of two public performances staged by the 31st March 2024. We hope to encourage the best work created and presented over the last year to come to Edinburgh Fringe. We are not looking for new, unstaged work.
  • The show must be an Edinburgh Festival Fringe premiere.
  • Due to the limitations of our available funding, and to encourage sustainable producing and fair pay, we do not anticipate the cast size for any selected production to exceed 5. This is not a restriction, but shows with larger casts will need to demonstrate additional confirmed or planned fundraising to ensure everyone is paid fairly.
  • Be able to attend the Selection Interview for 45 minutes with the Pleasance panel in February 2024 on Zoom (date TBC)





For two decades the Comedy Reserve has supported a great number of comics by providing a unique platform at the Fringe, acting as a launch pad for some of the best acts on the circuit today. After a series of tryouts at Pleasance, four of the best up and coming comics are chosen to perform in a nightly show at Pleasance, Edinburgh Fringe, without any financial risk. We offer:

  • A prime programming slot at Pleasance Edinburgh without financial risk
  • Accommodation
  • Paid subsistence
  • PR and Marketing Support
  • In kind support including (but not limited to); mentoring from the Pleasance Comedy team; rehearsal space, sharing & Work Space at our London theatre; additional marketing presence as part of our Pleasance Comedy marketing and advertising campaigns

To be eligible for our Comedy Reserve you must

  • Be an ‘up and coming’ comic
  • Attend a series of tryouts at Pleasance Islington
  • Be able to attend Edinburgh Fringe for the duration of the festival


How to Apply?

Submissions for 2024 will open in early February 2024. 


About Charlie Hartill

The Fund was established in 2004 in memory of Charlie Hartill, who died in January of that year. Charlie was a wit, writer, performer, ex-President of The Cambridge Footlights, 8 years a director of the Festival Fringe and the Pleasance's man of the computer. He is very much missed not just for his practical skills and quite extraordinary contributions to the Pleasance, but as the most engaging of human beings. He laughed a lot, constantly entertaining so many of those who met him, and he liked a glass of wine. He was 32.


Comedy Recipients

2023 - Abby Wambaugh, Ele McKenzie, Jin Hao Li, Kyrah Gray, Micah Hall, Shalaka Kurup, Vlad Ilich, Will Robbins

  2022 - Abi Clarke, Dee Allum, Katie Green & Tadiwa Mahlunge.

2019 - Josh Jones, Lily Phillips, Mamoun Elagab & Mo Omar. 

2018- Helen Bauer, Jack Gleadow, Michael Odewale & Chloe Petts

2017- Catherine Bohart, Danny Clives, Sophie Duker & Nigel Ng

2016 - Alasdair Beckett-King, Jack Carroll, Kae Kurd, Tom Lucy, Darren Harriott, George Lewis, Yuriko Kotani & Michael Stranney

2015 - Malcolm Head, Tom Little, Jamali Maddix & Joe Sutherland

2014 - Chris Betts, Evelyn Mok, Phil Jerrod & Brennan Reece

2013 - Jack Barry, John Hastings , Tez Ilyas & Tom Toal 

2012 - Suzy Bennett, John Kearns, Matt Rees & Chris Turner 

2011 - Luke Benson, Jim Campbell, Julian Dean & Joe Lycett 

2010 - Tom Goodliffe, Rhys James, Mark Restuccia & Daniel Simonsen 

2009 - Doc Brown, Pat Burtscher, Jared Hardy & Chris Stokes 

2008 - Daniel Rigby, Gareth Richards, Lou Sanders & Holly Walsh 

2007 - Benny Boot, Brett Goldstein, Jack Whitehall & Tommi Walamies 

2006 - Marlon Davis, Pippa Evans, Michael Fabbri & Stuart Hudson 

2005 - Lee Bannard, Simon Brodkin, Roisin Conaty & Oliver Maltman 


Theatre Recipients:

2023 - PITCH by November Theatre / PUBLIC - The Musical by Stroud & Notea / Unforgettable Girl by Elisabeth Gunawan and Created a Monster / Santi & MAz by The Themlas

2022 - Rapsody - Vision Production Company / Block'd Off by Kieton Saunders-Browne / Made in Inddia/Britain by Rinkoo Barpaga

2020/21 - Screen 9 - Piccolo Theatre / Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with the man who used to hit her) by Martha Watson-Allpress / BOYS by The Pappy Show

2019 - Bible John - Caitlin McEwan / A Womb of One's Own - Wonderbox

2018- Freeman - Strictly Arts

2017- Flesh and Bone - Unpolished Theatre

2016 - We Are Ian - In Bed With My Brother

2015 - Molly - Squint

2014 - Lorraine & Alan - Bucket Club

2013 - Outside on the Street - Invertigo

2012 - Don Quoixte! Don Quoixte! - Panta Rei Theatre Collective

2011 - Fit for Purpose - Catherine O'Shea (Writer) / Concorde Theatre Company

2009 - A Stroke of Genius - PIT (David Bryne, Artistic Director of New Diorama Theatre)

2007 - Greedy Scratchers - Richard Marsh

2006 - The Same ... But Different - Jacob Tindle (Playwright)

2005 - Minor Irritations by Sam Peter Jackson

If you have any queries, feel free to contact us on [email protected].

"Without the Pleasance, going up to Edinburgh Fringe would have been a pipe dream for us. The team supported and guided throughout the way through the highlights and challenges that face Artists of Colour. This experience has given us invaluable learnings and is an important milestone towards putting meon the map as an exciting artist that makes excellent innovative theatre." Elizabeth Gunawan, 2023

"The Thelmas feel that without the Charlie Fund, we would not have been able to take Santi & Naz to the fringe. The financial element ensured that we were able to commit to making the production the best it could be without having our attention focused on fundraising. The on the ground support and pastoral care provided by Nic, Ellie and the wider Pleasance team was invaluable in handling everything the festival threw at us. It was important to us that Santi & Naz reached the people it is about and that members of the Indian diaspora were able to witness their own history on stage at the world's largest arts festival. Because of the Charlie Fund we were able to reach a diverse group of audiences, including South Asian people of all ages and backgrounds. We're immensely proud of what we achieved and very grateful for the opportunity to tell this often untold story." The Thelmas, 2023

“Receiving the Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund was amazing for our company in so many ways. It’s not just the money, which is of course very useful and burden lifting, it’s also the support you receive from the Pleasance staff - their extensive knowledge, quick response to any issue and production support was invaluable. Since the Fringe has ended, we have been contacted by venues around the country, as well as in America, Canada, Hong Kong and Peru!” Strictly Arts,  2018



PDF icon Ensemble Charlie Pack.pdf PDF icon Global Majority Charlie Pack.pdf PDF icon Ensemble Theatre 2024 Application Form Questions (FOR REFERENCE ONLY).pdf PDF icon Charlie Fund for UK-based Global Majority Artists 2024 Application Form Questions (FOR REFERENCE ONLY).pdf