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UK’s ‘first dedicated improv theatre’ to open in Bristol in March 2017

Volunteers renovating the Bristol Improv Theatre Volunteers renovating Bristol Improv Theatre's new venue
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A venue dedicated to improvised theatre and comedy is to open in Bristol, in what its founders claim will be the first of its kind in the UK.

The Bristol Improv Theatre will be based within a former members’ club in the Clifton area of the city, and will include a 100-seat theatre, alongside a licensed bar, rehearsal rooms and office space.

It is planned to open in March next year, after a fundraising campaign raised £27,000 for the first phase of renovations to the club. Once opened, organisers plan to raise a further £58,000 to continue to develop the space.

Bristol Improv Theatre was formed in 2012 as a group of teachers and performers who put on events in different venues around the city.

The space gives the company its first full-time base, which, according to its founders, will be the UK’s first venue dedicated to improv.

Montana Sheikh, marketing officer for the company, told The Stage the venue would be open to visiting act and performers, with upstairs spaces being used as an “open area” for artists to work in.

She added: “We are hoping to expand people’s knowledge of improv, as it’s only just starting to bubble up. Improv is so big in the States and we are just budding. We are hoping we will be really open with how this has worked, so that other theatres can follow in our footsteps and do the same thing.”

The venue has received support from Duncan Walsh-Atkins, musical director of the West End production of Showstoppers.

“We’ve known and collaborated with the BIT team for a long time and it couldn’t be in better hands,” he said.

He added: “The appearance of a new professional regional venue is very good news for the UK improv community.”

The venue is located in St Paul’s Road in Clifton.

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