Bristol & West General Branch

The Bristol and West General Branch of Equity was formed in November 2007, after the closure of the Bristol Old Vic at the time due to Arts Council Funding cuts.

A vocal group of Equity members came together in the hope and belief that this flagship South West Theatre could sail once again.

The branch then found itself with a battle on two fronts when rumours mounted that the BBC drama Casualty, which had been filmed in Bristol since its creation would move to Cardiff.

Since then we've campaigned against up-front agency book fees and worked with the union-at-large to formulate the Manifesto for Theatre.

Guest speakers over the years have included representatives from Arts Council England, BBC Drama, Bristol Old Vic, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol City Council, BBC Radio, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory and well as other freelance industry professionals.

Current campaigns include campaigning for more casting in the nations and regions, especially for productions made in the local area, and increasing support for members with depression and other mental health difficulties.


Our Branch Committee for 2018/19 is formed of:

• Polly Tisdall - Branch Secretary
• Eltjo De Vries - Chair and Assistant Secretary
• Gerard Cooke - Vice Chair & Web / Social Media
• Janet Adams - Treasurer
• Alex York - Student, Graduate and Young Member Liaison
• Cliff Evans - Variety Liaison
• Kim Hicks - Workshop Coordinator / Players Company SW

If you have a desire to volunteer your time to the branch or be Co-opted onto the Committee, please contact us to find out more.

Questions for guest speakers

In order for members to have the option of anonymity when posing questions, we invite questions from branch members via email which will be given anonymously to the guest speaker. Please email your questions to

Forthcoming meetings will be posted here. See our Events page for more information on branch meetings and socials.

Meeting Date Venue Guest Speaker / Meeting Topic
Tuesday 16th January 'The Classroom', The Station, Silver St, Bristol BS1 2AG TBC
Tuesday 20th February  Cloud Room, Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY Regional Casting
THURSDAY 22nd March Natural Theatre, Widcombe Institute, Widcombe Hill, Bath, BA2 6AA Phoebe Kemp; Equity Deaf & Disabled Members Committee
Tuesday 17th April Mild West Room, Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY Paul Fleming, Equity Organiser, Live Performance.
Tuesday 15th May Mild West Room, Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY TBC
Tuesday 19th June Outreach meeting in Gloucester, venue TBC  TBC
Tuesday 17th July Mild West Room, Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY TBC
Tuesday 18th September Regional outreach meeting TBC TBC
Tuesday 16th October Mild West Room, Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY TBC
Tuesday 20 November Mild West Room, Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY TBC


Following enquiries from branch members, we are investigating whether it is viable to employ a British Sign Language interpreter at branch meetings. If you are a BSL user, and feel you may like to attend this meeting, please get in touch.

As a branch we do not have access to data of how many branch members would benefit from this, or what other various access needs our members have. We are determined to ensure that our meetings are accessible, and that no member feels hindered from attending at least one meeting within the year. Therefore to get a clearer picture, we ask those with accessibility issues to contact the committee in confidence with how we may be able to help to allow you to attend. We will do our best to accommodate anyone's needs if possible. 

Please contact:

We are always happy to see new faces and to welcome back old friends. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Please look out for future updates regarding guest speakers and meeting topics.

Last updated: March 2018