“a hive of energy, humour and warmth”- Inter:mission
The Bristol Improv Theatre is the UK’s first full-time dedicated improv theatre. We create, teach and perform spontaneous theatre that is accessible, creatively ambitious and unapologetically entertaining, as well as hosting troupes from all over the UK and overseas, bringing world-class improv to Bristol.
Our venue in Clifton is a home for Bristol’s amazing improv community. Some people join us as students, taking our classes to build confidence and unlock creativity; others jump on stage at our monthly improv jam, or perform in shows with our community theatre group, the Unscripted Players. Others just turn up and enjoy the shows and get to know us with a pint in the bar afterwards; it has been described as the friendliest place in Bristol.
When we aren’t putting on our own shows and classes, we play host to some of Bristol’s best independent producers and practitioners to populate our programme with a smorgasbord of exciting live entertainment, including Bristol Bad Film Club, Chucklebusters Comedy, Bristol Burlesque Festival, and many more.
We now run improv classes online so you can access our training from all over the world, and offer bespoke improv training to help businesses with teamwork, creativity and confidence.
It is our mission to be an institution of spontaneous, collaborative, and creative theatre, a resource for ambitious artists and audiences, and a home for all those whom improvised work touches.
The Bristol Improv Theatre started life in 2012 as the Bristol Improv Network, founded by a volunteer-led collective of artists, teachers and producers to forge connections between the existing improv groups in Bristol. After a debut performance at the Bristol Old Vic’s Improv Jam, we ran the first Bristol Improv Festival in 2013 from a series of pubs and music venues, featuring a line-up of local and visiting acts including Racing Minds, Project2, Closer Each Day, Instant Wit and Degrees of Error.
Two festivals, hundreds of classes and jams, and various venues (at wildly different levels of suitability) later, we started producing regular shows from the Polish Ex-servicemen’s Club on St Paul’s Road in Clifton and two years later became permanent tenants of the building. In two months, £27k of crowdfunding and a team of 40+ volunteers transformed this former-Victorian-schoolhouse-turned-working-mens-club-cum-live-music-venue into a purpose-built 120-seat theatre space, with licensed bar, rehearsal rooms and office.
Thanks to the hard work of our team and support of our incredible community, our small project to unite Bristol’s improv scene has grown into a thriving multi-disciplinary cultural venue where Bristolians can engage with the arts in a truly participative environment.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
The Bristol Improv Theatre is located very close to lots of major transport networks, and the easiest way to find us is via walking or bus. Please see below for more information on the different ways to get here.
If you are lucky enough to live close by then we recommend taking in the evening air and walking. We are located at 50 St Pauls Road, BS8 1LP.
The Improv Theatre is located on St. Paul’s Road, just off Whiteladies Road. There is plenty of bicycle parking at the Richmond building Building (Queens Road) or at the side of Saint Pauls Church.
The No. 8 stops on the adjacent road by the Victoria rooms, and the No.9 stops directly outside. Catch them from Redland, Bristol Temple Meads Train Station and the City Centre. All busses stopping at ‘Triangle West’ are available, the theatre is a 5min walk from there.
The Theatre is a 10min walk away from Clifton Down train station. Just head down Whiteladies Road and turn right onto St Pauls Road.
Unfortunately we do not have onsite parking, there is however street parking and multistory parking nearby.
We are a 5 minute walk from the West End Car Park in Berkley Place, just off the Clifton Triangle or a 15 minute walk from the Clifton Down car park. Finding parking in the surrounding streets can be challenging, and may be some walk away. We recommend giving an extra half hour travel time if you are planning to look for on-street parking.
There is currently no provision for wheelchair access, as there are steps at both the front and rear of the building. Those with limited mobility may find entry difficult. We apologise for this and are working on solutions. If you have limited mobility and are thinking of paying us a visit, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss access further with you.
With COVID restrictions easing, we’re looking to expand our team of bar staff as
we increase the number of events we’re hosting and the number of customers we
welcome to our venue.
What Can I Do?
The BIT offers a wide variety of volunteering roles, depending on individual experience, interests and of course time! Volunteer roles are are offered 6-month basis and are organised and managed by volunteer co-ordinators.
Front of house volunteers
FRONT OF HOUSE TEAM
The BIT’s Front of House workers help run the theatre’s box office and assist the theatre’s visitors with ushering, fire-marshalling and general event duties. The front of house is the perfect place for those who want to be at the heart of the theatre, meeting and getting to know BIT’s varied and vivacious audiences!
About the Front of House Team
As a volunteer front of house team-member, you will learn how to operate the BIT’s Box Office system, performances spaces and facilities during events. You will receive training in ushering, fire marshalling, cash handling and customer service. The BIT welcomes all applications from friendly and reliable individuals to its Front of House Volunteer Team to strengthen a vital part of our growing, wider volunteer community.
SPECIAL POWER: After everybody has been settled (including those pesky latecomers) you can sit back and enjoy the show for free!
How It Works
Members of the BIT’s Volunteer Front of House Team are organised by the Front of House Volunteer Co-ordinator who will rota shifts according to volunteer availability. Team members are also invited to attend a twice-yearly training session, to meet fellow team members and ensure that their skills and knowledge are up-to-date.
Join the Team
To apply to join the Front of House Volunteer Team, please fill out our application form below and a representative from the theatre will be in touch!
Need to get in touch? You can Email, Call, send us a Facebook message or even Tweet.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
Occasionally, the Bristol Improv Theatre operates as a ticketing agent for external productions.
Please click the button below to be redirected to our general terms and contentions page. If you are having difficulty accessing our terms and conditions please contact us.
DONATE TO THE BRISTOL IMPROV THEATRE
If you enjoy the work we do at the Bristol Improv Theatre and would like to support our mission of continuing to provide entertaining shows, classes and events to our wonderful community, you can follow the link below to donate to us!