stf Theatre | About Us
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About Us

About Us

The Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory mission:

To perform the world’s greatest plays with searching intelligence, crystal clarity and shared passion
To maintain a large ensemble on stage – and a lean management team off it
To be open, respectful and creative amongst ourselves in rehearsal & performance
To be open and respectful towards our audiences, regardless of age or background
To engage most particularly with the young – through workshops, placements and other opportunities
To pursue new, creative opportunities, independently and in partnership with others
To practise equality and fair pay across the whole company, based on a Company Wage.

It is undoubtedly the case that this unsubsidised Bristol outfit offers the most consistent and enjoyable programme of Shakespeare in the country


Productions which both swell and whisper, which are full of stars but free of celebrities

Susannah Clapp, THE OBSERVER

One of this country's most admired companies

Jeremy Kingston, THE TIMES

Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory (stf) is one of the UK’s most admired ensemble theatre companies. As well as our critically acclaimed annual production we offer a touring programme in the UK and overseas – in 2015 we opened the Neuss International Shakespeare Festival in Germany with Romeo & Juliet and in 2016 took Hamlet to the Craiova Shakespeare Festival in Romania – as well as producing in partnership with other theatres and establishments, most recently with the University of Bristol.


Since its inception in 1999, stf has produced 31 Shakespeares, 3 Chekhovs, 2 Molieres, a Jacobean tragedy, Tom Stoppard’s modern classic, Arcadia, Allan Monkhouse’s First World War Play, The Conquering Hero, and Sheridan’s The School for Scandal.


The company provides rare training opportunities for recent graduate actors, and university and college students, as well as offering an Education Programme for young people through its workshops in schools, colleges and universities; and we have recently initiated an adult learning programme. This website is designed to be used as a resource for students of all ages; search the Past Production pages for production imagery and sidelights on the plays; and go to Education/Resources to find the full texts of Dominic Power’s radical versions of some of the plays and a number of Shakespeare’s sources in accessible form.

Here, at your fingertips, is our production history, our casting policy, and updates on current activities – plays in production, plays in preparation; workshops and ancillary events. stf is a charity that has never received any core support from public funds and is indebted to the support it does receive from Friends, Patrons and Sponsors and from Trust and Grant Providers.


If you represent a company, or a Trust, or if you can consider becoming a private patron, or joining our Friends’ scheme, you can also find out how to help to sustain us.