Live Artist Development Programme

The Guildhall Trust is currently supporting four artists and organisations through its HARBOUR development programme of support.

The live artists programme provides tailored support to encourage the creative potential of practitioners, artists and companies across the city of Portsmouth and the southern region.

Open to artists at varying levels of their career, the HARBOUR programme runs across 18 months offering creative and critical business support, seed funding, artist residency, peer learning and development, mentoring and networking opportunities to those who are confident in their practice and artistic vision.

The artists and organisations currently supported by the HARBOUR programme are from a broad spectrum of the creative arts:

Courtney McCarthy

A freelance Dance and Digital Artist, Courtney graduated from The University of Chichester in 2021 with a First Class Honours in Dance Performance. Courtney has since danced professionally and choreographed her own contemporary dance work as part of The Point, Eastleigh, graduate scheme GradLab, which was then toured to a small number of venues across the country. Also a Digital Artist, Courtney has completed a number of illustrated commissions. Fusing their choreographic and artistic skills and curiosities, Courtney produces visually dynamic work that explores how different artforms can live harmoniously in a shared space.

Courtney said, “I am excited to be a part of the HARBOUR programme where I aim to continue building relationships with artists from an array of backgrounds and specialities and produce high-quality dance work that is accessible to all. I am keen to develop my practice to be more inclusive and create spaces with care and value at their heart.”

Find out more about Courtney’s work: 

Courtney McCarthy


Thomas Buckley
Thomas Buckley is an artist who works with technology to make work about memory, the senses, archiving and ways to connect through mixed reality. He makes memories edible and technology accessible, working with communities and mentoring emerging creatives. An alumni fellow of The Royal Shakespeare Company, Thomas makes work that explores the potential of XR and emergent technologies, combining sensory practice and new media. He works with marginalised groups to put their stories at the forefront of this new artform.

Using HARBOUR to explore new ways of engaging with social history, Thomas said, I feel human stories and memories are the antidote to immoral digital practices and believe we should include and champion those whose opinions aren’t prioritised at tech company board meetings. My work is often described as inspiring wonder or seeming like magic, although I rebel against this description”.

Find out more about Thomas’ work: 

Thomas Buckley


Luke Brown
Artistic Director of Luke Brown Company and rehearsal director of mapdance, Luke creates fearless dance, community theatre that reaches a broad audience across the UK. After completing his BA Hons in contemporary dance performance with Intoto Dance Co, he went on to perform with critically acclaimed companies such as Frantic Assembly and English National Opera and direct and choreograph works for many companies including The Place and English National Ballet.

Luke said, “We make connections with artists, audiences and participants through a playful and whole-hearted approach to story-telling and self-discovery. Our friendly and welcoming approach enables us to encourage brave creative thinking and create meaningful relationships through dance performance and training”.

Find out more about Luke’s work:

Luke Brown


HurlyBurly Theatre
HurlyBurly Theatre, founded in 2016, makes playful, multisensory theatre shows for babies and their grown-ups with classical music at their heart. Their shows have toured nationally to theatres and festivals and even internationally to Ziguzajg Children’s Theatre Festival in Malta. Their current show ‘You are the Sun’ was inspired by early research and development time at Portsmouth Guildhall, particularly walks around Victoria Park, and shared its early performances with Portsmouth audiences.

Artistic Directors Sarah Forbes and Catherine Carter said, “We look forward to co-creating projects with Portsmouth Guildhall and its community during our time on the HARBOUR artist development programme. We make shows where babies, and their parents, can be themselves – shows that we would have wanted to experience when we were new parents ourselves with babes in arms”.

Find out more about HurlyBurly Theatre’s work:

HurlyBurly Theatre


The HARBOUR artist development programme is part of The Guildhall Trust’s wider Get Involved initiative to inspire, entertain and transform lives through a rich variety of activities, workshops, courses and programmes for the community, schools and colleges and emerging creatives.

All spaces for the HARBOUR programme are currently full, but those interested should connect with The Guildhall Trust’s Get Involved team to find out more.

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