Parallel Play at THE NIGHTINGALE
8 January – 30 July 2011, Brighton

Parallel Play was a pilot programme adapting the basic Rules and Regs model (see below) to a peer-support group structure over a term of seven months. The programme involved both artists and arts-workers (e.g. curators, producers).



Parallel Play participants documented the programme via a blog. This included the rules they made for each other, the rationale behind them and their individual experiences in following their rules. Read the Parallel Play blog at


Parallel Play aimed to cross the borders between artists and producers/promoters/curators by focusing on the common ground of working in the arts. Artists and non-artists were defined as peers, with equal input and without traditional hierarchical structures (in which resources are given by one to the other, often with a disproportionate influence on the relationship).

The group met monthly to discuss issues around the creation and presentation of performance. Three broad topics were addressed over the course of the programme:

In addition to networking, group discussion and access to outside speakers, participants gained experience in facilitating the development of others, specifically through the R&R model. The group periodically broke into pairs and worked within a facilitated structure to give each other rules - related to the topics under discussion - to follow in the course of their everyday arts practice. These rules and their impact informed the ongoing discussion of each topic. The rules changed with each topic.

The Nightingale exists as a residency, development and performance space for theatre and dance artists from Brighton and beyond to inhabit without fear or expectation – and without the fear of expectation. We aim to provide a ‘comfortable’ space conducive to carrying out all aspects of artistic activity, which we try to run with the needs of the artist at the forefront of a flexible strategy. We are particularly interested in piloting the Parallel Play development model as it offers a longer-term support structure to (and determined by) the participants, does not require a pre-determined outcome and is open to both artists and arts-workers expanding the traditional model of peer review / support to include the whole sector. Please visit for more information.

Rules and Regs creates innovative programmes supporting artistic and professional development. Previously open only to artists, R&R's development model is based on devising rules for artists as a challenge to explore new ways of working. The rules are created by a curator in response to participating artists’ practices and revealed to the artists only when the programme begins.

This project is a co-production of The Nightingale and Rules and Regs.