A performative history of Bristol, Bristolians and Bristol Theatre 2021 – 2024

Unscripted is a National Lottery Heritage Fund project working with communities in Bristol to produce a performative history of Bristol, Bristolians and Bristol Theatre. 

Working partnership with the University of Bristol Theatre Collection and Bristol Archives, the project's aim is to make local heritage more accessible, stimulate conversations around belonging, identity and Bristol’s history, and celebrate historic connections between our theatre and the people of Bristol.

We will be working in collaboration with communities in Bristol to meet the ongoing need to interpret the past, and to share our understanding of it. With a range of theatrical tools and in collaboration with communities and artists, we will be exploring stories from across the city and their connections to the theatre.

This is not only an opportunity to uncover stories from the past, but to challenge the way in which history is told, documented, owned and displayed. As part of this project, we want to ask communities how they want to explore and tell their stories – and if or how best we can platform this.

Together, we can explore methods and perspectives on Bristol and its history, something we and our partners can build on, creating a legacy of collaborative, communal Heritage practice. What we tell and how we tell it will reflect the time we are living in, and the change that we aspire to make.

Keep an eye on the heritage activity taking place over the next 3 years, and come and speak to our heritage department if you would like to collaborate, platform a story, or participate in any of the historical exploration going on.

Find out more about our previous National Lottery funded heritage project and building-wide heritage interpretation

Unscripted Projects:

Homemade | Exploring our cultural heritage through place, stories and good food. 

A Monumental Task | Exhibition ran Mar – Apr 23 

Bristol made history in 2020 when, as part of a Black Lives Matter march, protestors toppled a controversial statue of Merchant, Philanthropist and Slave Trader, Edward Colston.

The event rippled across the world, bringing a longstanding contention over historical monuments into the public consciousness and sparking a current of divided opinions. Bristol Old Vic Heritage Department, in collaboration with Mango Riot Theatre, took the debate to Bristol's secondary schools through a series of drama-based workshops.

Also on

Unscripted Partners:



Black South West Network


S.S. Great Britain

St George’s Bristol

Royal West of England Academy

Bristol Beacon


University of Bristol Theatre Collection

Bristol Archives

Historic England

St Pauls Children’s Centre

Redcliffe Children’s Centre