Project Overview


Bristol Old Vic

Grant Amount


Award Date

January 2021


Homelessness, Food Security & Housing

Bristol Old Vic is the oldest continuously running theatre in the UK, welcoming over 150,000 paying visitors annually, delivering world-class productions such as Jane Eyre, Peter Pan, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Grinning Man and Touching the Void, all of which transferred to London. We provide a home for some of the world’s best touring companies, including Kneehigh, the Handspring Puppet Company, Wise Children and English Touring Theatre.

With theatre they can improve confidence, raise aspirations, develop communication skills and self–expression, broaden team skills, encourage reflective thought and develop creativity. 

Oi Polloi is a community theatre group based at Bristol Old Vic, which is made up of people who have lived experience of homelessness. It is the continuation of a project that Bristol Old Vic previously ran in 2019 with Cardboard Citizens, the UK's only homeless people's professional theatre company. 

Isla’s grant will allow them to deliver a 10 week creative workshop for their members. Over the 10 week term, Oi Polloi will explore a range of theatre making techniques which will result in a performance at Bristol Old Vic, or online if government guidance restricts from performing in person. The group will use their personal experiences of homelessness and mental illness to shape the final piece. Professional directors facilitate sessions, ensuring each workshop is delivered to the highest theatrical standard.

The objective is to give marginalised individuals a voice, to reduce stigma around homelessness and change perceptions in the local community.