Bristol pub theatre The Wardrobe aims to renovate bigger venue

Closer Each Day improvised soap opera Image copyright Wardrobe Theatre
Image caption Improvised soap opera "Closer Each Day" has been running at the pub theatre for the past four years

An independent theatre company based in a small room above a Bristol pub has launched a fundraising campaign to help it move into bigger premises.

The Wardrobe Theatre, which opened in 2011 at the White Bear, St Michael's Hill, said it needs to raise £70,000 to renovate its new venue in Old Market.

Tobacco Factory Theatres director Ali Robertson said the Wardrobe was an "essential venue for emerging talent".

The Wardrobe is run by volunteers and performs alternative shows and comedy.

Image copyright Amanda Thomas
Image caption The company moved into the small room above The White Bear in 2011

Matthew Whittle, from the Wardrobe, said in the past two years the company had hosted 252 productions with more than half of those created and performed by Bristol-based artists.

He said: "Our new space will be twice the capacity of our current venue. We are also motivated in being able to create job opportunities and breathing life and culture into a much neglected area of Bristol and a long unused building."

Image copyright Wardrobe Theatre
Image caption Every year the company puts on an alternative Christmas show, last year's "Muppits Die Hard" was a sell-out

Mr Whittle said the new building needed interior structural work, new lighting and sound equipment and new seating to make it "suitable for use".

One of the most popular shows to come out of the The Wardrobe is its improvised soap opera - Closer Each Day - which has been running above the pub for the past four years.

Mr Robertson, from the Bristol-based Tobacco Factory Theatres, said: "I think if they can move to a more fit-for-purpose venue then the whole theatre scene in the city will feel massive benefits."

Mr Whittle said the Wardrobe planned to open in the new space in Old Market in December and its final show at The White Bear would be on 24 July.

Image copyright Wardrobe Theatre
Image caption The Wardrobe plans to open in the bigger venue on West Street in Old Market in December

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