Tobacco Factory Theatres

Tobacco Factory Theatres produces and presents excellent art in unique, intimate and visceral spaces, including our Factory Theatre, as well as off site in Bristol and in venues across the country.

We present a jam-packed programme of diverse and exciting shows, workshops and events, from classic and contemporary theatre, to theatre for families, comedy, dance, music, opera and puppetry. We also programme an extensive programme of engagement, learning and participation opportunities for audiences, artists and young people.

Tobacco was the main industry in South Bristol from the beginning of the twentieth century and at its peak around 40% of the local workforce worked in the Imperial Tobacco Factory. The relocation of Imperial Tobacco in the 1980’s was devastating to the local area, causing massive unemployment and deprivation. The Tobacco Factory building itself fell into disrepair but rose again from the late 1990’s when George Ferguson acquired the building, inviting Show of Strength Theatre Company to use part of the first floor as a theatre space. The building became a mixed-use cultural space driven by a café-bar and a 250 seat studio theatre, under the name of Tobacco Factory Theatre. This has had a transformative effect. In the early 1990’s BS3 was one of the ten poorest postcodes in the country but it is now a confident and affluent area that retains a distinct individuality.

In 2005 the Tobacco Factory Theatres became a charitable trust and in 2007 it became a Key Arts Provider of Bristol City Council. It has made significant capital improvements, which include installing the second largest renewable energy system of any arts organisation in the country. It attracts an annual ticketed audience of over eighty-five thousand to more than six hundred performances plus several thousand more to talks, workshops, school visits etc. The theatre has excellent programming standards and is regularly attracting national critical acclaim. It has strong relationships with many individual artists, with venues and with theatre companies. It has a wide-ranging programme and is particularly well-known for world-class Shakespeare, critically acclaimed and popular inhouse family-friendly productions and an unrivalled comedy line-up, as well as classic and contemporary theatre, dance, puppetry, film, opera and music.

 

Shows

Noisy Nativity

Bristol’s much loved Kid Carpet gives the traditional Christmas story a radical remix with big beat songs, live special effects, puppetry and animation. Prepare for the wonkiest Nativity ever!

Snow White

This joyful re-telling of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale is about growing up, growing old, growing your own food and why you shouldn’t trust a very shiny red apple. Overflowing with charm and wit, this laughter-filled festive delight celebrates how we can all make the world a better place.

Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

David Mercatali (Blue Heart, Dark Vanilla Jungle, Radiant Vermin) returns to Tobacco Factory Theatres to direct Edward Albee’s landmark black comedy. By turns brilliantly funny and utterly devastating, you won’t want to look away.

Spaces

Factory Theatre: Tobacco Factory Theatres

Tobacco Factory Theatres produces and presents excellent art in unique, intimate and visceral spaces, including our Factory Theatre in Bristol, as well as off site in Bristol and in venues across the country. We present a jam-packed programme of diverse and exciting shows, workshops and events, from classic and contemporary theatre, to theatre for families, comedy, dance, music, opera and puppetry. We also programme an extensive season of TF+ events and activities for audiences, artists and young people. The Factory Theatre is a non-conventional, versatile theatre space, which has been used for performance since 1998, exciting audiences and performers alike. Often described as ‘intimate’ and ‘raw’, the space seats between 230 and 300 people and can be arranged end-on, in the round or thrust.

Meeting Room: Tobacco Factory Theatres

A light-filled room with multiple layout options, making it perfect for presentations, away days, ad-hoc meetings, as well as rehearsal spaces.

Spielman Theatre: Tobacco Factory Theatres

Tobacco Factory Theatres produces and presents excellent art in unique, intimate and visceral spaces, including our Spielman Theatre in Bristol, as well as off site in Bristol and in venues across the country. We present a jam-packed programme of diver …

Theatre Bar: Tobacco Factory Theatres

A large bar that can be used for children and adults birthday parties, quiz nights, informal performances, wedding receptions, gigs and more.