Creating New Work

In 2014 UHArts launched its first theatre commission - Sparks Might Fly. The project invites theatres companies to work with researchers at the University of Hertfordshire, interpreting their findings for young audiences across the UK and using the power of theatre to make world-class academic research accessible to all.

UHArts are committed to supporting the creation of new work in all art forms.

In the Autumn of 2019 we are delighted to be working in partnership with Small Truth Theatre Company and Pursued by a Bear as they produce new writing.

If you are a company or an individual artist and are interested in working with UHArts please contact:

Melissa Alexander - Programme Manager (Music, Media and Live Arts)

Past Sparks Might Fly Projects


UHArts’ first commission was awarded to Newcastle-based Cap-a-Pie.

Our production The Important Man explored the role of fortune tellers in the First World War, and was inspired by the research of Professor Owen Davies of the University of Hertfordshire and the Heritage Hub.

In this unique one-man show, actor Brad McCormick plays several roles in a participatory piece of theatre which explores notions of belief and changing public attitudes.

In Autumn 2016 UHArts ran a week-long tour of the production which travelled to secondary schools across Hertfordshire.

Feedback for The Important Man

‘Well done!  Thank you it was a fantastic performance’ The Priory School, Hitchin Hertfordshire

‘Best performance I have seen in a while!’ Onslow School Hatfield, Hertfordshire

Absolutely amazing and loved the accents’ Thomas Alleyne, Stevenage, Hertfordshire


In Spring 2015 UHArts and  the Heritage Hub launched our second Sparks Might Fly commission with Contemporary aerial theatre company Upswing. Upswing were Inspired by the academic research of Doctor Theo Gilbert from the school of Humanities which explored the science of compassion and its role in creating a cohesive learning environment in the higher education sector.

Using the inherent risks of circus and the role of trust in the art form, Upswing were able to translate Theo’s research into short performances involving both staff and students.

Upswing - Interview with Upswing from School of Creative Arts on Vimeo.

‘The aim of this project is to find the physical metaphors; moments of real risk, risk sharing and trust building which are inherent within Circus and utilise them to illuminate the perceived risks we take whenever we reach out to others for support’.

Vicki Amedume, Artistic Director of UpSwing

During our Partnership, University of Hertfordshire students, school students and UH staff were offered some unique experiences to interact with the performers.

Following the four year collaboration Upswing’s work with UHArts has been edited into short films which are now used as a learning and teaching tool at the University of Hertfordshire.

Upswing, Upswing aerial
Choreography of Compassion Workshop, Art and Design Gallery, College Lane Campus
Upswing, Upswing aerial
Aerial artist performing on hoop, Art and Design Gallery, College Lane Campus