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Jo Sweetman and her family enjoyed an afternoon of audience participation, high energy, giggles and fun!

The Great Story Mix Up is an improvised theatre show which had families in Bristol in giggles from beginning to end. Produced by the Roustabout Theatre company, the show was at the delightful pop up Theatre on the Downs, a new pop-up space for Bristol, open from 10 August – 2 October.

The performers, Shae, Toby and Robin, were engaging from the outset and put everyone at ease. They explained how plays are usually written, learnt and practised beforehand, and how this show would be different, even introducing the lighting and sound technician, Guy.

The audience then chose the characters and key props for the play, and then we embarked on a rib-tickling and delightful story of nonsense and laughter. On this occasion, the story was about an evil unicorn, a friendly (and sometimes mean) witch and a tiger… The whole thing was interspersed with songs and lots of audience participation, great sound effects and plenty of jokes for parents and older children.

It was delightful to see everyone, including the performers, enjoying the silliness of the story with laughter throughout. We visited as a family of four with two children aged five (first time theatre goer) and six, and we all had a wonderful time. Both children thoroughly enjoyed it – after being a bit shy at the beginning they both laughed along at the crazy characters. Archie (6) joined in with the singing and actions and liked the contributions of the other children and how they changed the story. 

To find out more about the Roustabout Theatre Company, go to