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PACTS was originally set up in 1993 by Jon Beedell, Frankie Anderson, Kim Tilbrook, Tim Roberts and Olly Crick after the demise of Fooltime circus school (theforerunner of Circomedia) to create and manage a shared space where members could rehearse, design, make, produce, meet, exchange ideas, and share office space and administrative back-up.

The Mivart Street Studio has been in constant use since 1995 and is used by different arts groups, both regularly and on an ad hoc basis. For over 20 years the studio, storage and office spaces have been used by a diverse and talented variety of artists, makers, cultural strategists, advocates, and important movers and shakers of Bristol’s vibrant cultural and artistic life.

In 2016 a basic refurbishment of the facilities took place with a small ACE grant and investment from Desperate Men and the landlords. In 2023, after their “40 Years of Desperation” the Desperate Men handed over the reins of PACTs to Tit for Tat Circus, who had began their own work here in 2013. Tit for Tat continue to uphold this wonderful legacy.

PACTS Aims & Objectives

  • To provide a wide range of resources to established groups and also to newgroups who need nurturing and support.
  • To support artists in making performance work for the professional sector
  • To provide an administrative base supporting key Bristol based, non-core funded live arts groups.
  • To provide a resource base for good quality training for performers, visualartists, makers, administrators, technicians, teachers, youth and community workers.
  • To concentrate resources providing cost effective rehearsal, storage and meeting space, administrative services, workshops.
  • To provide an infrastructure to promote & support collaborative projects.
  • To contribute to the cultural development of Bristol, and to support wider touring work.
  • To encourage solidarity and co-operation in the Artistic Community from which positive and creative artistic links can be forged nationally, within Europe and internationally.

PACTS is a not-for-profit unincorporated group managed by Ryan Murphy and Maia Ayling of Tit for Tat, a Circus Theatre company based in Bristol. Tit for Tat’s wider work connects PACTs to UK-wide creative networks, industry professionals, and community groups to better support and sustain the artistic members at Desperate Studios.

Public Benefit

The Creative Community of Bristol, and further afield, have access to an affordable and flexible space. Sets and props can be left in place during the duration of any hire, avoiding the need for constant get-in and get-outs which are the norm when using community halls. The affordability of the space means that artists and other hirers can spend more time crafting their work and improving its quality.

PACTS provides local adult education courses in the arts, and feeds the Easton area in terms cultural activity and connections. PACTS has strong connections with the Greenbank Pub and its community room and provides an overflow space for their arts classes.

PACTS inspires young people to recognize that arts practice can and does happen in their local area. The work created at PACTS, through ist asorted memebrs and companies, is exported to Bristol and beyond. Not just regionally but internationally.

As lead partners, Tit for Tat offer mentoring and placement opportunities for young artists and community groups. Props, production materials and costumes are often loaned to individuals and community groups.

For 29 years, under the guidance of the Desperate Men, it has been a micro Creation Space for the performance sector. It is nationally recognized as a warm and inviting artist run space, existing to promote collaboration and innovative artistic engagement.


The companies working here have amassed years of expertise spanning Clowning, Street Arts, Physical Theatre, Circus, and Cross Disciplinary Performance. We may be able to offer Directing, Dramaturgy, Production, and Mentoring support to your projects. If you would like to work with any of our resident companies, follow their links to their respective websites and get in touch! Otherwise, you may send general enquiries to

Space Hire

Desperate Studios

If you would like to work with any of our resident companies, follow their links to their respective websites and get in touch!