Firebird Theatre celebrate 25 years of pioneering work with sponsored walk to King Street

On Sunday 16 August, Firebird Theatre, a Bristol–based company of 16 disabled actors, will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary with a sponsored walk. The walk is aimed at raising funds for the ongoing work of this well-loved and respected company and also to celebrate performing in professional theatre for over a quarter of a century.

Firebird Theatre

Formerly known as the Portway Players, members of the company met in 1985 at the Portway Day Centre, a social services resource and activity centre based in Shirehampton (five founder members still work with Firebird). In 1990 the Portway Players made their debut performance at the Bristol Old Vic. In 2005 The Portway Players changed its name to Firebird Theatre and became an Independent Theatre Company. 25 years on Firebird is an associate company of Bristol Old Vic, meeting and working there every Monday.

The route for the sponsored walk has symbolic significance as it mirrors the journey made by the Portway Players to become Firebird Theatre. It starts in Woodwell Road near the old Portway Centre site and finishes at Bristol Old Vic in King Street.

All monies raised will be spent on Firebird’s work, in particular their relaxed performances in November.

Bristol Old Vic Executive Director Emma Stenning said: “We are proud to have supported Firebird Theatre since 1990 and as one of our Associate Artists since 2012. They are true pioneers who stand at the forefront of addressing social and industry attitudes with passion, humour and fierce creativity. Everyone at Bristol Old Vic wishes them a happy 25th anniversary and good luck on their sponsored walk. We look forward to seeing them here on Sunday at the finish line!”

People can sponsor the group online at or send cheques to Firebird, 5 Dial Hill Road, Clevedon, BS21 7HJ.

The walk begins at 10am and the company aim to complete the 6mile walk by 1.30pm.

Thanks to CEMEX for supporting the event.

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