Stepping Out Theatre - The UKs Leading Mental Health Theatre Group

Founded inside a Bristol psychiatric hospital on All Fools' Day 1997, celebrating our Silver Anniversary in 2022, and still going strong, Stepping Out Theatre occupy a unique place in the UK's history of theatre and mental health. It has produced a huge range of work on mental health themes and is open to people who have used mental health services and their allies.

In 27 years of producing live theatre, we have produced well over 100 live theatre shows, ranging from large scale community theatre productions with dozens of service users involved to small scale touring professional fringe productions, and from full scale musical theatre to shows rehearsed and performed entirely online during Covid lockdowns.

To mark our silver anniversary, we made our third, and most ambitious trip yet to the greatest theatre festival in the world. In August 2022, a dedicated 24 strong team of Stepping Out Artists and Ambassadors took no fewer than SIX productions to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Six months of planning and preparation, with previews in London, Clevedon and Bristol led up to 48 performances of our six shows in just 9 days in Edinburgh over the first two weeks of the Fringe Festival.

Postponed twice because of Covid, in 2023 we took two productions of new work by Ukrainian playwrights to the international 'Water is Memory' Festival in Vichy, where we performed inside an Art Deco World Heritage listed 1920s theatre.

Here's to the next 27 years.

Mark Rylance, Patron

"The work Stepping Out Theatre is doing should be supported by all interested in a society that is healthy. Stepping Out understands and does not shy away from the possibility that theatre, the ancient art of these islands North West of Europe, is a transformative and healing activity which brings joy into people's lives. If you want to hear something true, go and hear what Stepping Out Theatre are saying. I only found myself in theatre, and I hear that Stepping Out is helping other people do the same. I have great hopes for this company and deep respect for what they are doing right now."

Next Show

The Theatre of War Project

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The Theatre Of War Project (2nd May 2022 - March 2026)

An online reading of Natalya Vorozhbit's Bad Roads was the first of a series of Ukrainian plays to be read by Stepping Out Theatre in partnership with Worldwide Ukrainian Playreadings, the Playwrights Theatre of Kyiv and the Centre for International Theatre Development. In particular, we are building a partnership with the writers of the Playwrights Theatre of Kyiv, and four playwrights from the group joined us live on the evening of May 2nd. Others joined to hear their work performed during subsequent online readings, and a year later, we mounted our first full stage production of Ukrainian work with Liudmyla Tymoshenko and Maryana Smilyanets' Refugee Cats which toured from the UK to France.

Supporting art and culture in Ukraine is a vital strand in supporting their independence as a country. All monies raised through these events goes directly to theatre artists in Ukraine and the charities they nominate who are supporting the war effort.

Theatre of War Project Logo Design - Liudmyla Tymoshenko

Please consider supporting future events both online and staged in this initiative, which we will keep you updated about here.



2nd May 2022 - Bad Roads by Natalya Vorzhbit

30th May 2022 - Seven Against Moscow

4th November 2022 - HIMARS1 To Russia with Love

15th February 2023 - The Leopards are Already Here

13 - 24th May 2023 - Refugee Cats

[more details . . ]

02 May 2022 to 31 Mar 2026

Latest News

Stepping Out Theatre Trips 2024
Feb 2024

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Memorable group theatre trips over recent years have included those to see our Patron Mark Rylance in 'Jerusalem', the award winning 'A Monster Calls' at the Bristol Old Vic and many other productions by leading companies such as Kneehigh Theatre and Wise Children in Bristol and Cornwall.

We will be running our usual series of free or heavily subsidised theatre trips during 2024. The Bristol Old Vic, the Tobacco Factory and the Alma Tavern Theatre are just a few of the venues where we meet regularly to watch the best of live theatre locally. If you are interested in finding out more about us, theatre trips are an ideal way to meet up with the group for the first time in a relaxed and friendly environment while enjoying great theatre. To register your interest in our theatre trips, please contact Project Co - Ordinator Mark Breckon on or 07896 684097.

Mother Christmas ticket details
Dec 2023

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Festive fun from Stepping Out Theatre in a charity fundraiser raising money for SALVE International who work with street children in Uganda's second city of Jinja.

Showing for 2 nights only!
Hen and Chicken, Southville, 3rd Dec at 8pm
Backwell Playhouse, Backwell, 4th Dec at 8pm

For tickets, please donate £5 to Stepping Out Theatre using the link here. Please leave your name, address and email address and tickets will be emailed out to you.

[news archive . . .]


Stepping Out Theatre
13 Creedwell Orchard

Registered Charity (CIO) 1179310 (since July 2018), Formerly Charity 1117912 (since February 2007)

m. 07896 684097

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