Mural co-created with young people from Withywood & Hartcliffe working with Bristol artist Amy Hutchings (2018)
People deserve high quality arts in their lives, even if they can't pay.
Brave Bold Drama is led by two freelance artists who are working class and LGBTQI+. We make award-winning theatre for families and for those living with dementia, and run a broad portfolio of community art projects made with and for working class communities.
Our family theatre is non-didactic and never patronises. We are not simplistic, saccharine or superficial. We believe children deserve the richness of their humanity to be reflected in their art. When devising new shows, we draw on playful audience participation, original music and song, quirky humour and bold characterisation to create multi-faceted, layered worlds that appeal just as much to adults as to children.
Our community art projects emerge organically and in response to demonstrable community need. We work with all ages within working class communities. Our portfolio includes early years play sessions in libraries, sensory story kits for carers and residents in care-homes, sound walks creatively written by community members and arts award courses within schools.
Theatre Making Principles
The theatre we make is award-winning, and for all. We are best known for our family theatre, and believe that family theatre needs to speak to all ages, not just to children. We carefully craft thoughtful layers into our work so that all ages have something to relish.
Our family shows are boldly non-didactic. They are glimpses into multi-faceted worlds. Of course our shows discuss ideas, but these ideas emerge organically from within the world of the play. We do not believe family theatre should be simplistic, saccharine or superficial. Our shows do not end with neat and tidy resolutions, but leave our family audiences with questions to discuss together afterwards.
The family theatre we produce features playful audience participation, original music, multi-roling and, in the case of our playable shows The Munch Mission! and The Midnight Mission! gives agency to the audience as they vote throughout the shows to control the narrative, making choices about characters and developing theories as they try to solve the art-themed mysteries at the heart of the shows.
In 2019 we began also making theatre for people living with dementia with our Arts Council funded show, Wonderland. This work continued in 2020-2021 as we created multi-sensory experiences for care home residents living with dementia, called Beside the Sea and SpringTime.
Community Art Principles
All our community art activities are totally free of charge. We ensure our community art activities happen in accessible spaces and at convenient times, often as part of a larger event or as part of a regular programme of activities provided by a partner organisation.
Projects that run over several months have multiple entry points for participants. Maybe you'll come to everything, maybe you'll do a bit halfway through, maybe you'll come and celebrate what's been made at the end. If people tell us they'd like to do something, we do everything we feasibly can to make that happen.
Due to our lived experience and personal beliefs about social equality, we primarily devise and deliver community art projects with and for working class communities.
Knowledge Sharing Principles
We are committed to sharing what we learn from our community work freely and accessibly for anyone who is interested in our work in any capacity. Please send any information requests to email@example.com. We started publishing project evaluations on our website in 2020. See some examples via the links below. If anyone wishes to know more about our work, we commit to giving you a response within 5 working days.
We are committed to upholding Family Arts Standards and Age Friendly Standards.
Residencies and Memberships
We are permanent resident artists at Pervasive Media Studios, and we are members of Outdoor Arts UK and Equity. Our artistic director Gill Simmons has a desk at St Anne's House in Brislington.