Tobacco Factory Theatre

The Tobacco Factory in Bristol is home to an intimate theatre. The Tobacco Factory Theatre showcases performances by Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory and other theatre companies. Many works by William Shakespeare have been showcased at the theatre, led by the Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory theatre company. Productions at the Tobacco Factory have included A Midsummer Night's Dream, King Lear, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Othello, Richard II, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and A Comedy of Errors.


The Tobacco Factory is located on the former manufacturing site owned by Wills Tobacco in the Southville district of Bristol. Tobacco was once one of the city's major industries, employing many of Bristol's residents. One of the founding companies of Imperial Tobacco, Wills Tobacco was a tobacco importer and cigarette manufacturer based in the city and founded in 1786. The building was renovated and saved from demolition by architect George Ferguson in the late 1990s. The redevelopment of the Tobacco Factory has been part of a broader regeneration effort of the neighbourhood, which at one time was among the city's poorest.

Opened in 1998, the Tobacco Factory Theatre is located on the first floor of the restored building. The post-industrial Tobacco Factory site includes a range of amenities in addition to the theatre and auditorium, including The Café Bar. The stylish eatery serves Mediterranean-style dishes and opened in 2001. The red-brick structure also houses loft apartments, office space, and an animation and performing arts school.

Theatre Information

A Key Arts Provider for Bristol, the Tobacco Factory Theatre is home to Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory. Founded in 1999, the group is a professional production company. It typically performs plays by William Shakespeare, although the company also produces works by other playwrights. Most of the company's performances are staged in the round at the Tobacco Factory. The Tobacco Factory Theatre has also been the site for performances by the Show of Strength Theatre Company, the Royal National Theatre, and the Ministry of Entertainment. In-house productions, including children's and Christmas performances, are also performed at the theatre.

The Tobacco Factory Theatre features a 240-seat auditorium. The theatre provides flexible seating and can be configured in various layouts, including front-on, thrust stage and theatre in the round. In addition to online sales, tickets for performances may be purchased at an on-site box office. The theatre also features a seating area and on-site bar. The Tobacco Factory also has two rehersal spaces and a secondary theatre space, The Brewery. Located 150 metres from the main theatre, The Brewery also features an on-side bakery and brewery in addition to a 90-seat auditorium with fixed seating.


The Tobacco Factory Theatre is located on Raleigh Road, approximately a 35-minute walk from the Bristol Temple Meads rail station. The theatre is accessible by regular bus service from the City Centre and other points within Bristol. Street parking is available close to the theatre, as well as time-limited parking at the car park located on the Aldi supermarket site located next to the Tobacco Factory. Bicycle racks are also located at the junction of Raleigh Road and North Street for theatregoers cycling to the theatre.

Contact Information

For booking and ticket enquiries, the Box Office can be reached on 0117 902 0344 or by email at For other enquiries, contact the theatre by email at

The mailing address for the factory is:
Tobacco Factory Theatre
Raleigh Road
Southville, Bristol