The Wardrobe Ensemble launches new festival: The Theatre on the Downs

A new theatre festival will run this summer at a new pop-up venue in Bristol.

The Wardrobe Ensemble will celebrate their 10th anniversary with The Theatre on the Downs from 7 August to 2 October.

The new venue will celebrate the local theatre scene and provide a community-focused hub in the city for audiences to enjoy after a year inside.

Kicking off the festival will be world premiere of The Wardrobe Ensemble’s WINNERS. In their own inimitable style, this exciting new show explores capitalism and tracks the shift of labour in the history of food from farming to fast food. Directed by Jesse Jones (Death Drop, West End) and Helena Middleton (Education, Education, Education, West End), WINNERS is a rollicking and fantastical look at manipulation, monopoly and money, capitalism and currency.

Other shows confirmed for the programme currently include The Star Seekers by The Wardrobe Ensemble (18 – 21 August), Beach Baby by WILDERBEAST (27 – 29 August), Wild Swimming by FullRogue (31 August – 4 September), Beauty & The Beast by Living Spit (14 – 18 September), Theatre Bristol Assembly: Mistake Boutique by Theatre Bristol (15 September) and Bicycle Boy by Helen Eastman and Alex Silverman (11 – 15 August). More shows are to be announced.

Tickets are on sale now via

The Wardrobe Ensemble commented: “We started talking about this idea at the end of last summer as we imagined what might come next for theatre. We knew that the thing we wanted to do the most was to make a new show and perform it to live audiences, and we thought that other companies in the South West might want that too. So, we created this very ambitious project which has had many different permutations along the way as we tried to wrangle it into being. We are so excited (and a little bit scared) to finally announce it and make it happen.

“This is the biggest thing The Wardrobe Ensemble has ever tried to pull off and we still need help. Please do get in touch if you feel able to support us. And if you are a South West artist with something that you think might work at The Theatre on the Downs, let us know – we are still programming the space and want to fill it with as much exciting work as possible! ”

As part of The Theatre on the Downs, The Wardrobe Ensemble are offering a brand-new commission of £10,000 for an artist or company based in South West England to develop a new piece of theatre. Applications are open here:

There are still more opportunities to be part of the programming – for more information, check the website:

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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