Touring community theatre

We create high quality theatre, touring to local neighbourhoods, including family shows, schools tours and issue-based work. These projects are as much concerned with audience development, as they are with participation; creating new and relevant theatre, performing to new audiences in outlying areas of Bristol and building a new audience for theatre.

We work with experienced acta community performers to devise high quality, original, relevant and affordable theatre, and then we take it to disadvantaged areas where there is no access to, or tradition of theatre-going.


As part of acta’s arts & communities programme, Selfies toured to Avonmouth, Southmead and Withywood in June 15.

The tour attracted new audiences over half of whom lived outside of central Bristol (i.e. not BS1 – 9) and two thirds of whom were not regular theatre-goers.

Quality of acting was fantastic!

How well written, acted and produced. Also, so relevant to our times and life.

Good to see something current but still relevant to older people.

Thought the story was very now and true to life.


we have overcome, 2012

Following their success at the Coast festival in March, the Malcolm X Elders took their show on tour, performing at the acta centre in May, in St Pauls in October (as part of Black History month), and then to three Bristol schools in November.

I thought it was moving, funny, informative and fun with a very positive message to end on. Thanks, the children really enjoyed it! Headteacher, Glenfrome Primary School


I just enjoy performing, and I’m very happy that people come and see what we went through, and where we are now, and I think everyone puts a lot of energy and enthusiasm into the play, and I would really love to do another one.

I just enjoy the friendship amongst us, and the togetherness, and I only hope it continue forever.

What can I say, it is fantastic to be with this group and be acting, I love acting all the time, I act in church and I love to see people enjoy themselves and I hope that this will continue for a long time to come.

I just want to say that I enjoy the play, I enjoy the group, we are like a family, the closeness we have together, what we have been through, and how we  come out of it, I also like Neil and Phillipa because they are understanding, and when we make a mistake they don’t shout, they are very calm, and very good, they understand that we are old people and sometimes we do not remember, but we get on with it. It’s fantastic. More and more!

I enjoy this show I think it’s great, it’s like a family thing together, the togetherness, with Neil, he’s fantastic, when we make mistakes he don’t throw us off, he’s always there for us, and Phillipa, cheering us on, it’s fantastic, and I hope it goes on forever, even if we have to use a zimmer.

What can I say, I’ve enjoyed the performance, and our meetings together, all the stories, all of us has a different story to tell, it’s just amazing how it all fits together, and that everyone can come and enjoy themselves.

I have just two lines to say. That I think I am very privileged to be part of this group, and I enjoy being with it, and that’s it.

This group, I am really happy to join this group when I did, I would be at home watching tv, falling asleep, and in this group I learn to perform, I learn to talk to people that I couldn’t to do before.

I watched our show on Youtube, and I never laughed so much, even though I knew the show, and we’d performed it so much, it was just so funny, and I kept thinking, ‘is that really us up there?’


Mother Iceheart & goblin silver

In 2010-12, acta produced two festive original family shows, offering audiences an affordable community theatre alternative to the traditional pantomime. Audience comments for Mother Iceheart included:-

Great performance, lovely to watch

Fantastic show with a bit of everything for all the family – Mother Iceheart was excellent!

Fantastic fun, really well done great for kids and adults

A beautiful piece for all the senses. Captivating

It was fantastic, really professional and very entertaining

Very imaginative story, love the music too, costumes terrific

Captured us all and made us laugh

Highly inventive presentation, impressive range of live music

Loved the story, the cast, the music. Great use of space, very creative. Great evening for a family.

Headlines from the audience feedback about Goblin Silver which toured Bristol in December 2012.

• 4 out of 5 audience members don’t normally go to the theatre

• 85% of our audience rated the show as excellent (93% at Withywood Community Centre!)

• 38% of those who saw Goblin Silver had never seen an acta show before

• Half of the audience came from the immediate local community


Tell us what you think