So what do you do when you’ve made the brilliant decision NOT to have children and then, at age 35, you find yourself pregnant? Answers on a postcard, please. A mischievous look at the existential crisis of motherhood. Award-winning Popelei return to the stage to take you on an exhilarating journey through the guilt and the glory of one woman going her own way. Featuring blisteringly honest confessions, vibrant dance theatre and one extremely knocked up performer.

“Simply brilliant.”

“A hilarious, moving, tragic and heart-warming piece of theatre…one not to be missed.”
★★★★★ Three Weeks on Manuelita

“A wonderful, warm performance that will have you leaving on a high.”
★★★★ The Stage on Manuelita

Popelei is an arts organisation based in Bristol. We make award-winning performance work which we tour across the UK and Latin America. We produce The Popelei Naked Podcast and curate new alternative arts festival PAPAYA Fest. We were awarded the Three Weeks Editors Award (Top Ten Shows of the Fringe), were runner- up two years in year at the LUKAS Awards for Best Theatre Production and were shortlisted for the Naseem Khan Commission.

Age restriction: 14+ (contains strong language and adult themes)
Running Time: 55 mins (no interval)

Ear Trumpet Music Presents: Kit Hawes & Aaron Catlow (Pill Pilots Album Launch) + Lady Nade

Ear Trumpet Music Presents: Regular intimate, sit-down gigs with some of the greatest musicians from around the globe.

Kit Hawes & Aaron Catlow have worked with many artists including Seth Lakeman, Afro Celt Sound system, Yola Carter, Mad Dog Mcrea, Sheelanagig and Roni Size to name a few but what unites them is a passion for folk music. They draw on their many influences to created unique arrangements of traditional song and tunes, as well as their own compositions. The live show is a musical journey through the British Isles and beyond; combining dazzling playing with a fine sense of musicality and showmanship.

“Fleet fingered and ingeniously arranged. …..deserve to be thought of as up there with the best of them.”

“Reminiscent of Martin Carthy and the late Dave Swarbrick and I can give them no higher accolade.”
Mark Radcliff, BBC Radio 2

Singer-songstress Lady Nade has a tender, powerful, velveteen voice, and a knack for creating memorable melodies, using authentic and powerful narratives. A dedicated food aficionado, she pours creativity into every song, lavishing them with a recipe to match. Having earned plaudits on BBC2, BBC6 and a host of other shows as well as supporting the likes of Grammy nominated YOLA, her evocative voice and evocative songs make you feel as if she’s an old friend. After playing numerous highly sought-after venues throughout 2019 Lady Nade’s journey continues to blossom, recently been chosen by English Folk Expo to participate their 2019/20 Artist Development Programme. With cards dealt from the decks of Modern Folk, soul and pop. 2020 is looking to be a year in which Lady Nade will take on even greater heights.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)


One sugar and a splash of milk, a pair of steel cap boots and a good night’s kip. Join Suspension Theatre as they retell stories, explore what comfort means to all of us, and how people are forced to adapt when these comforts aren’t there any more…

By connecting the stories of those with homes and those without, Suspension Theatre aims to harness empathy and promote change. With a blend of verbatim theatre, physical storytelling and live and recorded sound, they explore the reality that we all experience the same needs, wants, hopes and dreams, and that the things that seem to divide us actually unite us. Sugar? opens the door onto untold stories of homelessness, inviting you to step inside and put yourself in someone else’s steel cap boots.

“So stunning and totally original, the best thing I’ve seen in Bristol this year. Seriously.”
Audience Feedback

“Compelling and creative. I was glued from start to finish!”
Audience Feedback

“A beautiful portrayal of the very real words said by very real people. They’ve created a performance that heightened the importance of words that are not often heard and made them memorable.”
Audience Feedback

Post show Q&A on Monday 20th
Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

The Paper Cinema Club

Part puppet show, cinema show and slide show, The Paper Cinema is a fascinating, haunting and very clever mix of live music and live animation. What happens when inkblots, photocopies, cardboard, anglepoise lamps, the occasional table, video technology, a laptop and a banana box meet? Donʼt miss this chance to see The Paper Cinema with your own eyes…

Following their critically acclaimed show Macbeth and numerous overseas tours, the company take a monthly slot at The Wardrobe Theatre across Spring 2020 for a series of scratch performances that end in an invitation to audiences to find out more about the company’s work and have a go themselves. Join the club…

“Fragile and beautiful.”
★★★★ Lyn Gardner, Guardian

★★★★ Time Out

Running Time: 90 minutes (with interval)

Bristol Improv Marathon 2020: When In Rome (XXVI Hours BC)


Now in its sixth year, Closer Each Day Company in association with Bristol Improv Theatre and The Wardrobe Theatre presents Bristol Improv Marathon! For a staggering 26 hours a team of intrepid performers will create an entirely improvised, entirely unscripted play using nothing but their skill, imagination and a hefty dose of caffeine. The show brings together performers from all across the city and includes stars of hit shows such as Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera and Murder, She Didn’t Write by Degrees of Error!

It is the age of empires and emperors, and the western world revolves and converges on one thriving metropolis: Rome. The Forum hums with the plots and machinations of power-hungry Senators and their hand-wringing advisors, while the marketplace buzzes and jostles with wealthy merchants and struggling farmers. To the East, the still-warm sand of the Colosseum is splattered with the blood of heroic gladiators, as the jeers and cries of the masses echo from pillar to pit. The city streets are a medley of shrines and gutters, Roman legionnaires on leave spilling out of every taverna, while aspiring poets sing their songs for pennies on every corner. Meanwhile on the Palatine Hill, the lofty vestal virgins perform their sacred rites to protect the city walls. Home to plebeians, politicians, scholars and soldiers, Rome is the original toga party – and everyone’s invited.

“An impressive display of the actors sheer stamina and creativity. It was extremely entertaining to watch.”
Stage Talk Magazine

“Carrying the flag of improvised theatre with talent and verve.”
Bristol Theatre Review

Performed at Bristol Improv Theatre

50 St Paul’s Rd, Bristol, BS8 1LP


When In Rome – Bristol Improv Theatre: 13-14 March 2020
Channel 26 (Hours) – Bristol Improv Theatre:
15-16 March 2019
Pirates of The Severn Seas – Bristol Improv Theatre:
16-17 March 2018
Check Out Time At The Grand Hotel – Bristol Improv Theatre: 24-25 March 2017
Ride On Time – Bristol Improv Theatre: 11-12 March 2016
Time Busters – Bristol Improv Theatre: 13-14 March 2015

Painting By Numbers

Three inadequate painters challenge themselves to each create their own masterpiece. A good idea, it seems. Once and for all they would prove to their compatriots that their own method of painting is best. But soon, the cracks start to show, and paint begins to spill. In their efforts to win their latest conquest (through ANY means necessary), it seems this time, it’s not just about painting. This time, it’s personal, and they will tear their work, the stage, and each other apart… with disastrous (and hilarious) consequences.

Prepare yourself for exhilarating paint fights, riotous dance routines and unforgettable high stakes LIVE painting!

“Fast, frantic… and outrageously funny.”
★★★★★ TheatreLab

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Milk Poetry presents: Made Up – Poetry as Fiction

“Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.” – Stephen King

Poetry is about honesty, not facts. Join Milk Poetry for an evening of poems about things which never happened. Incredible things are possible in fiction, including the truth.

Curated by Tom Sastry, author of A Man’s House Catches Fire (Nine Arches Press), Made Up is a celebration and exploration of fiction in poetry.

Come along for a unique, fun and inquisitive couple of hours of poetry and performance.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Milk Poetry featuring Iona Lee and Callum Wensley

Iona Lee is a poet, writer and visual artist from Scotland. After being crowned Scottish Slam Champion in 2016, Iona has gone from strength to strength. She has performed on festival stages around the UK, including Glastonbury and Port Eliot. In 2018 her debut pamphlet was nominated for the Saboteur Award. Now she’s bringing her distinctly cool, effortless style to Milk Poetry.

With support from Callum Wensley. Poet and host of Craftwords open mic in Horfield, Callum’s candid, emotive poetry won him the Milk slam last year. Come and see him do a full set.

Plus our audience voted slam, open to all. Just get in touch to book your spot.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Milk Poetry featuring Dan Simpson and Mega Slam

Join us for a 5th Birthday special edition of Milk Poetry featuring a book launch and a massive slam.

Writer, performer, producer and educator Dan Simpson comes to Milk Poetry to launch his second poetry collection Totally Cultured.

He has performed his brilliantly witty poetry at festivals and literary events around the world, including Glastonbury, Auckland and Chicago. Covering topics from science and technology to people and place, he’s a star of the spoken word scene.

Plus a mega-super-duper-slam, featuring an all star lineup of poets who have performed at our events over the past year. See your favourites and vote for them to get the coveted, limited edition gold Milk trophy.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Ear Trumpet Music Presents: Ålesund (plus Garcia)

Ear Trumpet Music Presents: Regular intimate, sit-down gigs with some of the greatest musicians from around the globe.

Bristol dreamscape pioneers Ålesund (pronounced Aww-le-sund) released their debut EP Shift & Flux on 15th Feb 2019. Produced by Jake Bright (Mary Spender, Doeray, Kate Stapley, Svelte, Future Dub Orchestra,) Shift & Flux is a collection of beautifully crafted songs with a sparse, Nordic undercurrent. Immersive sound; rolling drums; intricate guitar work; and soaring vocals, Ålesund are an atmospheric force from the trip hop heartland that create expansive, emotive and exhilarating sound worlds. Their music has been greatly received by fans and critics over the past few months. After a busy year of studio work, a summer of festivals, a string of sell out shows, their first UK tour and a plays on BBC Bristol, BBC Introducing and a stream of regional radio shows they are now excited to be sharing EP number two with the world.

“Flawless production, exquisite vocal range and graceful atmospherics…‘Shift & Flux’ might very well be the best song we’ve listened to this year.”
Tap the Feed

“Haunting cinematics, total musical immersion and a beautifully Nordic twist; that’s the tour-de-force of Bristol four-piece Ålesund.”
Born Music Online

What is ‘healing music’? – “It’s the opposite of escapism,” says Garcia, a Bristol-based multi-instrumentalist. Garcia has recently announced his single ‘Higher’, kicking off the ‘healing music’ project in response to the world’s need to reconnect. The recently released single explores issues concerning mental wellbeing and self-care. The sound explodes with deep kicks, heartfelt vocals, warm pianos and electronic arpeggiators, but its message is simple – everyone deserves happiness. The single is one of six to be released over the next nine months, each drawing attention to a different subject necessary to explore in order to bring us closer together.

Inspired by the examples of Bon Iver, Aurora and London Grammar, to name a few, Garcia fuses the melancholic with the uplifting, and pushes the boundaries on how musicians can affect social change. By collaborating with other artists, mindfulness instructors, spoken word artists, visual experience designers, psychologists, dancers and non-for-profits, Garcia is looking to create experiences that cannot be replicated digitally, and that inspire us to feel better.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)