At the Tobacco Factory Theatre, we can just about see spring around the corner and we’re thrilled to present our programme for the May – August 2013 season. And all of that will be rounded off by the installation of brand new comfortable seating in the Factory Theatre this summer (see release to follow). What with that and the news of Cinderella: A Fairytale’s Olivier nomination, these are exciting times ahead!


“Our programme features two of our favourite annual festivals, Mayfest and Brouhaha; huge, era-spanning, meaty plays Hot Air and The Dug Out that tell stories about the Balloon Fiesta and the iconic Dug Out club on Park street; and a range of distinctive, idiosyncratic and well-loved artists such as Daniel Kitson, Molly Naylor and Murray Lachlan Young. I’m thrilled by the season and hope many people are looking forward to it.”

Ali Robertson, Director, Tobacco Factory Theatre



We’re looking ahead with the announcement of the dates of the biannual Bristol Festival of Puppetry. From Friday 30 August to Sunday 08 September, Puppet Place will cast its spell over the Factory and Brewery Theatres once again with a concoction of puppetry and animation to enchant, delight and provoke.

We’re also thrilled to announce that the much anticipated annual Opera Project production, from Tuesday 15 – Saturday 26 October, will be Mozart’s magnificent opera, The Magic Flute. This wonderful opera, with its combination of the infamously acrobatic Queen of the Night arias, heartfelt duets and comedy, will be perfect in our intimate Factory space, sung in English, to the exceptional sounds of the orchestra.

And looking ahead to the latter part of 2013, we’re thrilled to be working again with Travelling Light to bring you the latest Tobacco Factory Theatre Christmas extravaganza – The Last Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor, from Wednesday 27 November 2013 – Sunday 12 January 2014. We’re reuniting members of the talented teams behind Cinderella: A Fairytale and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves to bring you this new telling of Sinbad’s most fantastical adventures, plus a brand new tale that’s never before been told.


It’s spring in Bristol and that means that Mayfest is just around the corner. To our Factory Theatre this year, the Mayfest team bring back Belarus Free Theatre, whose performance of Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker was received incredibly last year. This year, BFT perform Trash Cuisine, an inventive, dynamic and moving drama exploring imprisonment, torture and the death penalty. Mayfest also present Total Theatre Award winners Beady Eye Theatre, with an affecting story of a woman who has no choice but to leave her children, told using puppetry, film and new composition – Cooking Ghosts.


In the Brewery Theatre, Mayfest brings us Goodbye Thailand: Portrait of Eye from Mayfest regular John Moran, whose precise fusion of choreography and sound is mesmerising. Jenna Watt joins us for an exploration of whether ‘one punch is enough’ to provoke an intervention from a witness to a violent attack – Flâneurs. Then, to round off Mayfest in the Brewery, Made In China’s show Gym Party, explores the psychology of winning and the nature of pride.


In our Factory Theatre, we can’t wait to welcome back the marvellously inventive OperaUpClose for a new version of Puccini’s much-loved Tosca, here set in East Germany, 1989. We’re also feeling very Bristolian indeed, with two exciting new runs from brilliant Bristol companies. Splice Theatre (Under Milk Wood, SUS) join us for The Dug Out, an exciting and original new play inspired by the legendary Bristol nightclub. Then, Tobacco Factory based Myrtle Theatre present Hot Air, a touching, funny and beautiful piece of theatre and music celebrating the amazing experience of hot air ballooning and its communities.


Bristol Old Vic Theatre School will be here for their end of year performances – a new adaptation of J Meade Falkner’s classic tale, Moonfleet and from the international students – that uproarious comedy of manners, The Rivals.


We’re also anticipating a brand new hit from Little Bulb TheatreSqually Showers, a fantastically ‘Little Bulb’ exploration of being a young adult in the 1980s, in the Factory Theatre.


Our Brewery season is set to be a treat. First, there’s a hideously funny black farce, The Incomers, written by BBC 6 Music poet in residence Murray Lachlan Young. Then there’s a beartastic film noir thriller about an everyday murder and a mythical bear – Angela Clerkin & Improbable’s The Bear.

We’re also joined by those hilarious Devon based clowns for the very first time – Le Navet Bete will be here with a hilarious rollercoaster ride through actual and imagined history, for all the family; Napoleon: A Defence.

Living Pictures then join us for Gogol’s dark comedy, Diary of a Madman, in a performance by Robert Bowman in the Brewery Theatre. And Show and Tell are back, with My Robot Heart, a poignant story from Molly Naylor with music by folky duo The Middle Ones.

Bristol favourites Howard Coggins and Stu McLoughlin (Living Spit) went down a storm at Bristol Old Vic with The Six Wives of Henry VIII last year, so they’re bringing it back to Bristol once more, to our Brewery Theatre. Finally we round off the Brewery Theatre season with a performance by Blue Brook Productions and directed by Ed Viney; An Audience with Horace Batchelor: King of Keynsham brings back memories of the 70s and Horace’s Infra-Draw Method for winning the pools.

For families, we’re excited to welcome Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company to the Factory Theatre, with their energetically brilliant version of Elves and the Shoemaker. We’re also delighted that CBeebies favourite Cerrie Burnell will be joining us for a show inspired by her childhood – The Magical Playroom.

Daniel Kitson is back in our Factory Theatre this season, for (in his own words) ‘something like a stand up show’; After the beginning . Before the end. And the May – Aug 13 Comedy Box season includes The Lumberjacks with Stewart Francis, Craig Campbell and Glenn Wool; Richard Herring’s Talking Cock; Josh Widdicombe’s extended Further Adventures Of tour and a bill of comedians headlined by Mark Watson.

Last but certainly not least, BrouHaHa is back for its 5th annual showcase of the best in UK stand-up. Featuring Edinburgh previews, stand-up sets, works-in-progress and touring shows from the likes of David O’Doherty, Richard Herring, Jarred Christmas and Alun Cochrane.

Please do ask if you would like more information on any of the Hosted Shows this season, which include Vital Exposure’s The Knitting Circle, Degree Shows from Plymouth University and The City of Bristol College, the UWE New Writing Festival and Stepping Out’s Hermione Steel and the Island of Lost Minds.


Box Office 0117 902 0344 / Online: