Theatre Bristol

Theatre Bristol is a laboratory combining collective action for the arts with open, generous, grassroots support. We help create the conditions to make great art with as wide and diverse a community as possible.

Theatre Bristol is a laboratory combining collective action for the arts with open, generous, grassroots support. We help create the conditions to make great art with as wide and diverse a community as possible. 

Theatre Bristol designs and tests new ideas that we believe have the potential to make large-scale change, creating new collaborative initiatives inside and outside the sector that build on the trust, value and knowledge generated by our expert support service.

Find out who we are here or, click here to watch a short film about Theatre Bristol

To create the conditions for great art to happen, we start with the people who make it. We offer free support to anyone from any background working in live performance, helping them make brilliant, distinctive art & giving them the confidence & tools to build careers as artists*. Find out more about our artist support here

We work in lots of different ways, in partnership with many different people and organisations. As well as artist support we run events (networking, inspiration, action planning); host a user-generated website; research new ways of working and develop national and international exchange opportunities. Find out more about Theatre Bristol’s current projects here

We send out a weekly bulletin of theatre news, jobs and opportunities, sign up here.

We send out a mailout roughly twice a year with news about Theatre Bristol and what we’re up to. To join the Industry Newsletter, sign up here.

In August 2013 we published a booklet highlighting our activity and way of working which you can download below.

Download Theatre Bristol – Come and Play

In 2015, Theatre Bristol celebrated its 10th birthday and we had a special book commissioned to mark the occasion which you can view below. 

Theatre Bristol- Hey Hey We’re 10

Our Annual Reports can be found below:

2017-18 Annual Report

2016-17 Annual Report (illustrated by Dave Bain)

2015-16 Annual Report

Our 2018-22 Business Plan can be read here

Theatre Bristol is an Arts Council England National Portfolio organisation and is supported by Bristol City Council’s Imagination Fund 2018-2020.

* Artists = writers, circus artists, puppeteers, dancers, live art artists, producers, directors, designers, technicians, funders, stage managers, musicians, composers, thinkers, administrators, bookkeepers, fundraisers, critics, enthusiasts, supporters… everyone who’s interested is welcome.


Artist and Producer Support

Portfolio image:
Theatre Bristol’s team of professional theatre artists offers one-to-one support that’s totally bespoke and completely free. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve got years of experience, our highly knowledgeable, practicing industry professionals can offer advice and support that responds to where you are and what you need right now. Whether you want a one-off meeting or a longer-term series of sessions, Theatre Bristol can help.

TB Agents

Portfolio image:
We offer help with tickets, travel or accommodation costs for TB Agents – Bristol-based artists and producers who want to attend events to soak up new ideas, make contacts and represent the independent sector.

Open Office

Portfolio image:
Theatre Bristol’s bi-monthly Open Office sessions are informal drop-in events for strangers, newbies and old faces we’ve not seen in a while; anyone who wants to come and meet us for introductions and new connections. Both Artist Support Associates and one of Theatre Bristol’s Executive Team will be all ears and on hand with tea, coffee, and questions.

Bristol DIY Arts Network

Portfolio image:
Theatre Bristol is a member of the Bristol DIY Arts Network; an independent gathering of arts organisations and arts practitioners, large and small, funded (Arts Council, Bristol City Council) and unfunded, all of whom deliver cultural programmes within the city of Bristol. We meet regularly to advocate for the sector and to discuss and inform policy, as well as forming working groups in response to specific issues and to develop shared activity.

Dance Futures

Portfolio image:
In 2016 dance in Bristol was a key focus for Theatre Bristol. Dance Futures and the Dance Futures Steering Group (DFSG) grew out of this work: a group of organisations and independents able to commit time and resources to taking dance development forwards, building on the bedrock of recent research. We represent the input and interests of a much wider range of stakeholders, and aim to do so in an open, non-hierarchical way.

Testing Ground

Portfolio image:
Testing Ground is a platform for dance artists and companies, emerging or established, to test new performance ideas in front of a live audience. It provides a place for new work to be shown and encourages an opportunity for an open discussion on the work presented. Testing Ground is presented in partnership with Theatre Bristol, Circomedia and Bath Dance. It is supported by Laila Diallo and Karla Shacklock.

PREVIOUS PROJECT: Cultural Curriculum for Bristol

Portfolio image:
The purpose of the Cultural Curriculum for Bristol project is to explore and test ways in which schools can work with artists and arts organisations in ways that have a demonstrably positive impact on children’s learning and attainment. Theatre Bristol has engaged a Dance Leader, Laura Street, to ensure that Dance practice is represented in the research.

PREVIOUS PROJECT: Meanwhile BS3 Rehearsal Space

Portfolio image:
In 2017 we managed Meanwhile BS3, a low-cost rehearsal room, to try and address the shortage of making space in the city.

PREVIOUS PROJECT: Norman Beaton Fellowship

Portfolio image: Theatre Bristol - Norman Beaton Fellowship
The BBC Norman Beaton Fellowship is a flagship initiative run by Radio Drama as a key part of the department’s (((soundstart))) actor talent events. Its aim is to broaden the range of actors available to Radio Drama producers across the UK by encouraging applicants from non-traditional training backgrounds. Theatre Bristol works in partnership with the BBC to run an open call for the competition in Bristol


TB Agents bursary – Theatre Bristol

Bursaries of up to £300 for independent artists to attend industry events