PRESS RELEASE: Bristol to open UK’s first full-time improv theatre




The UK's first improv theatre is opening in Bristol

A team of Bristol creatives and performers are opening the Bristol Improv Theatre, the UK's first full-time, permanent theatre space dedicated to improvised theatre and comedy. The project will transform a former members' club, in the Clifton area of the city, into a fully-equipped 100-seat theatre with a licensed bar, rehearsal rooms and office space for creative start-ups. The Bristol Improv Theatre, also known as the 'BIT', will open its doors on the 3rd March 2017.

The project's fundraising campaign, 'Build the BIT', has so far raised over £27,000 for the first phase of renovations. A combination of crowdfunding, fundraising events and private investment has helped the organisers to reach their goal. Once they have opened the theatre the organisers plan to raise another £58,000 to continue to develop the premises into a fully-equipped performance and teaching space.

The BIT will be a hub for Bristol's burgeoning community of improvisers and an exciting addition to Bristol's thriving arts scene. Improvisation or 'improv' has been experiencing a recent growth in popularity in the UK and once open, the BIT will be a centre for the continued development of the art-form. A rich and varied programme will introduce audiences to improvised theatre, give local artists the opportunity to develop new work and welcome the best national and international improv companies to Bristol.

The theatre will also encourage non-performers to have a go at improv themselves.

"Improv is such an amazing way to learn about yourself and become more confident and less inhibited," says Caitlin Campbell, Assistant Theatre Director of the BIT. "People who come to our classes learn skills such as spontaneity, creativity and communication and discover that it's an incredibly enjoyable experience."

News of the imminent opening of the UK's first improv theatre has already garnered excitement from improvisers from around the world, with donations for the 'Build the BIT' campaign coming from as far afield as Australia, Europe and the United States. Actor David Cross (Arrested Development), comedian Drew Carey (Whose Line is it Anyway) and a founder of New York's Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Matt Walsh have all tweeted their support, with Walsh stating 'It's about time'. Improvisers across the UK have also heralded the news.

"We're very excited about the opening of this theatre," says Duncan Walsh-Atkins, Musical Director of Laurence Olivier Award-winning West-End show, Showstoppers: The Improvised Musical. "We've known and collaborated with the BIT team for a long time, and it couldn't be in better hands. The appearance of a new professional regional venue is very good news for the UK improv community."

Renovations on the new theatre are scheduled to start at the beginning of January, when a team of contractors aided by local volunteers will install new facilities and equipment to update the building, ready for the opening in March.

The Bristol Improv Theatre and its organisers invite anyone who would like to donate to the project to visit and pledge their support. Those wishing to follow the project's progress can visit for regular news and updates.



The Bristol Improv Theatre will be located at 50 St. Paul's Road, in Bristol's Clifton district.



For interviews and further information, please contact our Theatre Director:

Andrew Yeoh – – tel: 07811 184 209




Twitter Handle: @thebitnet



A pack of press photos for free use in your publication is available as a download (zip) from:

This pack contains:

BIT_volunteers.jpg – volunteers helping with preliminary clearance work on the space

BIT_performance.jpg – a recent audience participation performance

BIT_theatrejam.jpg – a 'Theatre Jam', a regular fundraising event run by BIT organisers