Caitlin Campbell – Artistic & Executive Director
Caitlin is a theatre maker, improviser, actor, teacher and co-founder of the Bristol Improv Theatre. She moved to the west country in 2011 to study Classics at the University of Bristol and instead spent all of her time performing and producing shows with the student improv society, where she met co-founders Andy, Stephen and Alex.
After graduating she divided her time between hauling the theatre into existence and working at At-Bristol Science Centre as a duty manager, ice rink team leader, venue hire coordinator, staff choir conductor (and for one strange and excellent summer, a robot children’s tour guide). She sneakily learned a heap of useful skills for running a venue and left in 2017 to work in theatre full time.
Improv has allowed Caitlin to teach and perform all over the world: her highlights include performing improvised Sherlock to 250 aussies in an air-conditioned circus tent in Perth, and assistant directing the Korean language adaption of Murder She Didn’t Write (머더미스터리) in Seoul in 2019. Her acting credits include Drac and Jill and The Rocky Shock (Wardrobe Theatre), and she performs regularly with Murder, She Didn’t Write, This Is Your Musical, The Bish Bosh Bash! and The Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes. She also teaches and writes courses for the Bristol Improv Theatre School and occasionally pulls pints behind the bar.
Luke Mallison – Theatre Manager
Luke is an arts administration chameleon, and sometimes wonders if he enjoys the admin more than the art itself (and he loves the art, THAT’s how much he loves admin).
He cut his teeth working at various roles and arts venues in Bristol and Bath, including managing the box office at St George’s Bristol, the bar and front of house at Komedia Bath, and running events at the SouthBank club on Dean Lane.
Having performed with his group Up The Antics at the improv theatre, Luke jumped at the chance of joining the staff team as Marketing Manager in 2018. He moved into finance and general management during the coronavirus pandemic to help steady the ship in these choppy waters.
Amy Iles – Marketing Manager
After marketing numerous theatrical productions during her degree in Theatre & Performance at Bristol University, Amy took the opportunity to properly hone her skills during the pandemic. She was absolutely thrilled to find an opportunity to combine her love of theatre and marketing when she began working for the Bristol Improv Theatre in September 2020.
Outside of work, Amy is passionate about facilitating theatre for young people and providing them with the opportunities to access the arts and theatre and develop their creative identities. Pre-pandemic, she volunteered with Travelling Light Theatre Company and Theatre Royal Bath’s Youth Theatre, and she teaches weekly with Stagecoach Performing Arts. She is also the artistic director of a newly formed arts company, Colab8.
Aside from her combined passion for theatre and marketing, Amy is one of the two sports fans of the theatre team (Luke being the other), being an avid supporter of the Bristol Bears Rugby Club.
Rosalind Beeson – Programming Manager
Ros moved to the west country to study Creative Writing and English Literature at Bath Spa University, where she first discovered improv and sketch writing. Her first job out of uni was in marketing and communications for a company that designed software for children’s playground inspectors, but she left that to work in telly, working as a runner on Portrait Artist of the Year, Deal or No Deal on Tour, Springwatch and Autumnwatch (to name a few).
She founded and directs production company Wilbee Films with her partner Scott and his brother Ross, with whom she has produced and directed corporate shoots for companies such as Clarks Village, Bakehouse, Public Health England and the University of Bristol. She has also worked freelance as second assistant director on two feature-length horror films, spent a year working with A Large Evil Corporation animation studio (now called Funko Productions), and did what she describes as a ‘brief stint’ in the costume department of Wicked.
Ros spent a lot of her time performing and watching shows at the Bristol Improv Theatre, before picking up a part time job on the bar in 2019. When the pandemic hit, she put her video production skills to work coordinating the theatre’s livestream in partnership with Wilbee films, and smashed it so decisively that she went on to become the theatre’s Programming Manager.
Billie Appleton – Operations & Venue Hire Manager
Billie is an illustrator and filmmaker who enjoys the spontaneity and playfulness of improvised theatre.
After graduating from Bournemouth Film School in 2018 she worked in a variety of roles in the arts, including as a production and art department assistant in film and theatre and as a set designer for live and immersive entertainment. She has received recognition for her film work, receiving a Royal Television Award in 2019 for the short film she directed, Zebra.
Billie originally joined the Bristol Improv Theatre as a volunteer usher in 2019, joining the staff team towards the end of the year with the premonition that 2020 would be a great time to forge a career in niche theatre.
Lee Abecasis – Assistant Bar Manager & Event Manager
Lee’s interest in improvisation began with his work as a musician and composer, where he would find that his favourite pieces were the ones that he made up on the spot. He first came across the Bristol Improv Theatre when he auditioned for This Is Your Musical in 2017, a decision he now describes as ‘anxiety-inducingly outlandish due to a complete lack of experience’. His curiosity ignited, he signed up for a 6 week Discovering Improv class, where he heard in passing about a bar job going at the theatre. By the end of the six weeks he had quit his office job and started working here.
Since then, Lee has trained as a theatre technician and improv lighting operator, taking the tech helm for various nights and productions. He has performed in Detect This! and Unseen Planet with the Unscripted Players and his musical stylings have accompanied Level Up (also with UP) and Fairytale Endings (Degrees of Error Theatre Company), as well as variety night Utter Rot & Poppycock and the theatre’s monthly improv jam. During the pandemic he produced and performed in Night Fictions, a surreal livestreamed show that combines improvised music and storytelling to create the soundtrack to a set of dreams.
Stephen Clements – HR Manager
Stephen is an improviser, teacher, theatre and game maker, and co-founder of the Bristol Improv Theatre. He moved to Bristol in 2008 to study mathematics but quickly found he was much more interested in the student improv society, where he began performing and met co-founders Caitlin, Andy, and Alex.
Following graduation and training as a teacher, Stephen decided his future was in the theatre instead of schools, and began working full time for the theatre on its opening. He has worked many different roles for the theatre, from the bar to the boardroom, but has always loved the art more than the administration. His current fascination is the interaction between the free expression of improv and the various restrictions, structures, and systems used by games and narratives.
Stephen performs as often as he can with Murder, She Didn’t Write, Steves and Wooster, Holy Unauthorised Improv Parody Batman! and Tales of Adventure. He regularly teaches and writes courses for the Bristol Improv Theatre School and will happily spend hours discussing improv theory with anyone who will listen. He occasionally threatens to write a book about his ideas.
Xenia Randle – Bar Staff
Xenia is a maker, performer and animator based in Bristol. She first stumbled across the theatre when she auditioned for This Is Your Musical in 2017, went on to take a 6 week Discovering Improv class and became a volunteer usher. Fast becoming the theatre’s friendliest and most prolific volunteer, she joined the staff team in 2018 as Theatre Administrator.
Xenia is a skilled and versatile maker, whose past projects include running her own business making and selling Ewok hoods, fabricating puppets for How the BIT Stole Christmas in 2019 and building a door for the theatre’s box office! She is a jack of all trades and master of several, and ascribes her voracious love of learning to a hunter-gatherer instinct to make herself indispensable to her tribe (Bristol’s wonderful improvising community). In mid 2018 she challenged herself to make ‘a thing a day’, and taught herself video editing and digital animation, documenting her progress on instagram and YouTube @worldsofconfusion. She now streams via Twitch where she improvises in a catalogue of disturbing voices and reads out the shipping forecast on request.
Xenia is the creator and compere of surreal variety night Utter Rot and Poppycock, and co-created YouTube comedy miniseries Business Darling. She also plays ukulele and guitar, sings sweetly and charms the pants off everyone she meets.
Imogen Palmer – Theatre School Manager
Imo is a theatre-maker, actor, clown, director, teacher and occasional pop star. She began performing improv in 2011 whilst studying English Literature at the University of Bristol, and fondly remembers performing to a handful of bemused audience members in the ‘mirrorball party room’ of Bundy’s Bar as the first female member of Only Humour (now Degrees of Error). She followed her comedy calling to Melbourne in 2014, where she trained full-time in acting whilst learning from and performing with the world-leading Impro Melbourne, also dabbling in clowning and improvised Shakespeare at the Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne Comedy Festival and Melbourne Fringe.
Imo timed her return to Bristol after the co-founders had ‘done the hard bit’ of building the theatre and has since dedicated herself to its success, working as the Venue Hire Manager from 2018 – 2019, then taking on the Theatre School in January 2020.
Creative highlights include dazzling fans at VAULT Festival London with her queer feminist pop star alter-ego ‘IMOGENÉ; creating and directing The Bish Bosh Bash; bringing together 12 women from across Bristol for International Women’s Day show If These Walls Could Talk; and blending her passion for social justice with improv teaching for the courses on ‘Being a Difficult Woman’. She will tell anyone who will listen that she was once in a car advert (fortunately not behind the wheel because she hasn’t driven since 2012). Imogen is the founder and artistic director of The Delight Collective and is currently writing a two-hander apocalyptic musical called The Last Two with Tim Gilvin.
Mike Cook – Building & Bar Manager
Mike has held many roles but his first and only love is the s̶e̶a̶ bar. Mike originally joined the Bristol Improv Theatre theatre to cover bar shifts while two thirds of the staff team decamped to the Edinburgh Fringe for a month in 2017. By the time they returned he had transformed the operation so fully that he was politely asked to stay forever.
He has embarked on degrees in Astrophysics and Environmental Science, but prefers learning on the job: he has lived more professional lives than a cluster of cats, having worked as a carpenter’s apprentice, charity fundraiser, fish and chip shop server, and research assistant in South Africa among others.
He used to make art (with a background in oil painting, portraiture and photography) but now he prefers to help make art happen, by supplying the practical backbone to the hairbrained schemes of artists. He lives to serve; an array of cocktails and craft ales. When not attending to your thirst he can be found doing maintenance and repairs to the theatre’s beautiful building.