The UK's first improv theatre to open in Bristol

Volunteers helping with preliminary clearance work for the BIT. Copyright: The Bristol Improv Theatre

The Bristol Improv Theatre - which is billed as the UK's first full-time permanent theatre space dedicated to improvised theatre - is to launch in March 2017.

The project, run by a team of Bristol creatives and performers, 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, which is also known as 'the BIT', will officially open its doors on the 3rd March 2017. So far the team has raised over £27,000 for the first phase of renovations, with the money having been collected via a combination of crowdfunding, fundraising events and private investment.

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 for comedy and dramatic improv.

The organisers say: "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."

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

Duncan Walsh-Atkins, the Musical Director of Laurence Olivier Award-winning West End hit Showstoppers: The Improvised Musical, comments: "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. To keep up with developments see

To pledge your support for the project visit

Published: Monday 28th November 2016
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