Our Mission

At Suspension Theatre, our mission is to use theatre as a tool for change. We empower marginalised communities by giving them a voice through performance and creativity, as well as raising money and awareness of the issues these communities face through campaigns. Here is how we’ve made an impact.

We create and deliver life-changing drama workshops and provide theatrical opportunities for women in marginalised groups in Bristol. These workshops enable creative expression, provide opportunities for participants to free their voices and be heard, to increase their confidence and self-esteem, and to develop skills for life and for employability. These workshops and performance opportunities are free to participants.

To ensure we can continue to run them, we rely on funding and donations. To donate today, and help us to deliver these life-changing drama workshops for marginalised groups, click here

Sugar? allowed people to have a voice, share their stories and be listened to. We all saw a side of homelessness we hadn’t seen before; we all learnt something and saw the world in a different way. The audience feedback we received for our pilot of the show in 2019 was incredible…

‘An insightful piece into the lives of a few Bristolians, thought provoking and told with cracking humour, you’ll love it!’

‘Sugar? Is a beautiful portrayal of the very real words said by very real people. They’ve created a performance that heightened the importance of words that are not often heard’.

‘Compelling and creative.’

We knew we had to keep telling these stories.

We raised £500 from our sell-out shows at Crofters Rights which we donated to the Bristol Methodist Centre, and the individuals who spoke to us there. Without their help we wouldn’t have a story to tell.

In November 2019 we spent a night on the streets with 1625 Independent people to raise money and awareness for young homeless people. The evening began with inspirational speeches from young people who have been helped by the organisation, and from the Chief Executive Dom Wood. It concluded with a night under the stars in Lloyds Amphitheatre, Bristol.

It was an unpleasant night’s sleep, and a tiny insight into what it may be like to be street homeless. The thought that some people do this every night in a soggy sleeping bag with nowhere to get warm afterwards is unimaginable. We were able to raise £1,300 from this event and help 1625 Independent People in the fight against youth homelessness.

We are partners with a wonderful organisation called ‘Billy Chip’. Their mission is to deliver kindness and compassion and a much needed free hot drink to the members of the homeless community. The Billy Chip is a token that can be purchased for a £2 donation from a retail outlet that supplies hot take away beverages. Once the purchaser receives The Billy Chip, they can give it to a homeless person instead of money. The homeless person can redeem The Billy Chip for a hot beverage in any participating outlets. You can get more information here

In December 2019 we were lucky enough to attend a three day workshop with Cardboard Citizens at their headquarters in Whitechapel, East London. Cardboard Citz has a very bold statement on the outside of its HQ:  Cardboard Citizens changes the lives of homeless and displaced people through theatre and the performing arts. And it really does.  One of the participants on the course was Eryk, a man who had been homeless in London for four years.  He went to a Cardboard Citz workshop after being recommended by Crisis, and has never looked back.  Working with the company has given Eryk back his self-esteem, his dignity, and helped him to make positive connections with others.  He said that the opportunity to be creative through Drama and Theatre took him out of himself, and he was able to find his voice again. 

Cardboard Citz uses the techniques of the Brazilian Theatre practitioner, Augusto Boal. Boal’s methods include Forum Theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed and the Rainbow of Desires.  Our workshop was challenging and inspiring. It used our real stories as participants, just as Cardboard Citz does with it’s homeless members.  There were tears, laughter and a huge amount of creativity in the room over the three days. It was an honour to work with this incredible company. 

Around the same time, we aided legislative Theatre with them at the Bristol Old Vic. We watched a performance from the people who had spent time on their residential in which the actors shared their true life experiences of homelessness. Afterwards we debated Bristol homelessness issues with a select panel and voted on issues to be taken to Parliament.

Over Christmas and New Year in 2019, we volunteered for Caring at Christmas, an event run by Caring in Bristol. Our first shift was helping to set up the night shelter, including putting together all the single beds and bunk beds, making them up with bedclothes and arranging them in the dorm room.  We also made the common room area look festive, with decorations and trees, as well as making sure that everything was sparklingly clean. It was humbling to see how much had been donated by the public, from blankets and clothing, to board games and toiletries. After this, we set up a production line in the kitchen making sandwiches to be handed out at the door as the guests left. 

Our final shift was in the day centre, where people could go and be warm and sit and chat or watch films or take part in the organised activities. We spoke to one man who was having a hand massage and manicure from a professional volunteer, and he said it made him feel human again just to be in the centre, and the manicure was the icing on the cake! It was such a warming experience to see the sheer number of guests catered for at the event at the Trinity Centre and talking to them and hearing their stories was a privilege.