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Breakfast Talks

Start the day as you mean to go on with fuel for thought. Join us for coffee, croissants and talks on current issues, either directly industry focused or looking more broadly at social, economic or political factors and the impact these have on our relationship with culture. All breakfast talks will be held 11am at The Island on Nelson Street. Please use side entrance on Bridewell Street through small blue gate.

Sat 14 May: Thinking Big: how can institutions better support the transition from small – mid-scale?

Book your place here.

Wed 18 May: “Talent is Everywhere; Opportunity isn’t” (Idris Elba): A conversation about diversity.

Book your place here.

Sat 21 May: Another Brick in the Wall: the future of creativity in education.

Book your place here.

(Please note the talks on the 14th and 18th have been swapped over, and these are the correct dates.)


Opportunities alongside the programme to share skills, ask questions, explore artist’s ideas and processes further as well as doing something that might challenge, enrich or make you stop and view things differently.

I’m Still Standing: How To Keep Surviving As An Artist with Residence

Join Residence for a day of talks, provocations and good-natured shouting about how we’re surviving in the art wilderness. We’ve invited some of the UK’s most inspiring artists who’ve been in it for the long haul to share their experiences over food, tea, and cocktails from Residence’s legendary Bookshelf Bar.


Andy Smith
Duncan Speakman
Julie Vulcan
LOW profile
Search Party
Sheila Ghelani
Sue MacLaine
Sue Palmer
Tim Etchells

Residence is an artist-led community in Bristol sharing space, resources, knowledge and opportunities.

Fri 13 May, 10-6pm

The Residence Office, 1 Unity Street, Bristol

Pay what you can on the day

Please register here 

To Be Or Not To Be An Idiot with Spymonkey

In this workshop, everybody’s clown will have the chance to play the game of Shakespeare.

By having fun, playing scenes with each other, experiencing complicity with the audience and with the other performers, and enjoying being the unique idiot that only we can be, we will find our clowns. That unique character will thrive and have the best time of his or her life playing with the best theatre writer in the history of the world. Be prepared to find the pleasure in your own ridiculousness, stay optimistic, discover your comedy gold, and get ready to laugh until your face hurts.

Suitable for artists, teachers and students with some performance experience.

Weds 18 May, 10-12.30pm

Bristol Old Vic


Box Office Number 0117 987 7877

Book online

Of Riders and Running Horses Masterclass with Dan Canham

This class is an opportunity for dance artists, teachers and students to explore the creative process and distinctive movement style from the show. It will include a full warm up, repertoire and use of imagery from Of Riders and Running Horses.

Tues 17 May


Bristol Old Vic

£29/£22 concession (including a ticket for the show)

Please call box office on 0117 987 7877 to reserve a space.


Access as Art with Sue Maclaine Company

Sue MacLaine & Nadia Nadarajah are performers in ‘Can I Start Again Please’; the award winning show that explores the capacity of language to represent traumatic experience. The piece is performed in English and British Sign Language

Sue is a qualified & registered interpreter specialising in performance interpreting and Nadia is a native sign language user with a specialism in Visual Vernacular.

The workshop will explore approaches to translation, visual vernacular, creating a BSL script for auto-cue, use of auto-cue. It will be a mixture of practice and theory.

The workshop is aimed at people who are working as professional British Sign Language/English interpreters.

Sat 21 May


The Trinity Centre


Book here.

Post Show Discussions

Vic Llewellyn & Kid Carpet: The Castle Builder, Trinity, Fri 13 May

Volker Gerling: Portraits In Motion, Bristol Old Vic Studio, Tues 17 May

Bryony Kimmings & Tim Grayburn: Fake It ‘Til You Make It, Tobacco Factory Theatre, Tues 17 May

Sue MacLaine Company: Can I Start Again Please, Trinity, Fri 20 May

Improbable: Opening Skinner’s Box, Bristol Old Vic Theatre, Fri 20 May

Action Hero: Wrecking Ball, Bristol Old Vic Studio, Sat 21 May


Weds 18 May, 3-5pm, The Old Market Assembly


Demostage is an informal, temporary space for new ideas. Open to people who make creative projects of any kind, the event encourages collaboration, sharing and critical discourse. Presenters discuss what they’ve been working on. Audiences ask questions and give feedback. It’s not a scratch night; it’s an informal event in a bar. Everyone welcome.

Demostage is a concept created by Dustin Harvey’s Secret Theatre, who has very kindly open-sourced the idea for us here in Bristol. You can find out more about Secret Theatre at

Please register your interest here.

Blind Tiger

13-15 & 17-22 May, 9.30pm – Late, The Old Market Assembly


Mayfest’s late-night speakeasy cabaret bar. Kick off your shoes after a long day at the festival, enjoy some relaxed entertainment, meet like-minded souls and sup a cocktail or four. And if you’ve got a little something you’d like to share on the Blind Tiger stage, simply email, or sign up on the night. Anything can happen, and it usually does.