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Bristol Old Vic Theatre

King Street, BRISTOL, BS1 4ED
01179 877877

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What's On Highlights

THE PEOPLE'S TOUR
From:03-06-2021
To:15-12-2022
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The People's Tour


Inspired by the people, performers and players who have walked the boards through our two-and-a-half-century tenure, learn more about our world-class theatre and the productions that made history.

The People’s Tour combines myth, fact and Bristolian folklore, as our experienced tour guides expertly weave past and present into a thrilling and informative experience. The perfect morning for anyone with an interest in 18th–21st-century theatre and the people behind Bristol Old Vic’s rich history.

Spaces regularly included on The People’s Tour:

The new Bristol Old Vic Foyer
The Georgian Auditorium, Stage, Gallery, and Pit passages
The Linbury Paintshop
The Weston Studio
Coopers’ Hall

All ages welcome
Running Time: Approximately 1 hour

It Begins In Darkness
From:27-09-2022
To:30-09-2022
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It Begins In Darkness is a dance full of ghosts.

In this stark, stripped back performance, five dancers move through a series of mysterious and experimental rites of passage, channelling past, present and future tensions through their bodies and voices. As if to exorcise the haunted house of history, the dancers whisper, jump, wrestle, shiver, wail and laugh, filling the space with horrors, both real and imagined.

It Begins In Darkness is an environment for processing the fear, anger and confusion which arise from the histories of slavery and colonialism that haunt the present.

Supported by: Arts Council England Project Grants, The Place, Dance4, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Impermanence, Bluecoat, University of Roehampton, Sadler's Wells and Chats Place.


1 hour
Ages 12+

A DEAD BODY IN TAOS
From:30-09-2022
To:01-10-2022
+ More Info +

A Dead Body in Taos


The body of a 70-year-old woman is found in the New Mexico desert near the town of Taos, a place of pilgrimage for those seeking to embrace alternative forms of living.

She is Kath Horvath. On her body the police find a message for her daughter, to whom she has not spoken for many years. The message reads, ‘Sam. Do not grieve. I am not here’.

A Dead Body in Taos tells Sam’s story as she travels to New Mexico to bury her estranged mother. Gradually Sam uncovers her mothers traumatic past. Her attempts to break away from her stifling American small-town upbringing, her protest days in the 60s, her experiments with alternative lifestyles and her lifelong, fruitless quest for freedom which eventually left her with nothing (and, as it turns out, everything) to live for.

And this leads Sam to discover a shocking secret behind the mysterious message her mother left. For in Taos, Kath Horvath has secretly exercised the ultimate right as a consumer - the right to defy death. In the most remarkable way possible.

And it leaves her daughter with a terrible decision to make.

Set against the backdrop of modern America, A Dead Body in Taos is part mystery, part sci-fi epic and part love story, that leaves the audience wondering whether, in the 21st Century, freedom is something we should run to or escape from.

Approximately 2 Hours 6 mins

HAMLET
From:13-10-2022
To:12-11-2022
+ More Info +

A Bristol Old Vic Production - HAMLET



Hamlet's father is dead. His mother has remarried. He is alone with his thoughts. Then, he speaks.

Haunted by grief, and with his world spinning violently out of control, Hamlet has to make some decisions: forget or remember; live or die.

Rising star Billy Howle (The Serpent; MotherFatherSon; On Chesil Beach) returns to Bristol Old Vic to play the title role.

This visceral new production directed by John Haidar (Richard III) excavates the dark subconscious of Shakespeare's greatest tragedy.

Ages 12+

FOR A PALESTINIAN
From:13-10-2022
To:15-10-2022
+ More Info +

For A Palestinian - a Wolab production


Bilal has always been obsessed with love stories.

Here he tells you his favourite: the true story of Palestinian translator Wa’el Zuaiter.

Join Bilal as he ventures through the orange groves of Jaffa, Rome's piazzas, and the Duty-Free aisles of Luton Airport, piecing together this untold story, and asking what it means to be a Palestinian in the West.

For Ages 12+ includes mentions of racism, violence, death.

TALKING ABOUT A REVOLUTION
From:19-10-2022
To:22-10-2022
+ More Info +

Tiata Fahodzi: Talking About A Revolution


What would a revolution look would like in 2022?

TALKING ABOUT A REVOLUTION is a triple bill of short plays by writers Diana Nneka Atuona, babirye bukilwa and Malaika Kegode, who ask us to look at the world around us in new ways.

The last 3 years have been turbulen, traumatic, and terrorising globally.
These pieces will instigate conversation for both audiences and artists.

The Thunder Run Experience
From:22-10-2022
To:22-10-2022
+ More Info +

Ever wondered how eighteenth-century sound technicians conjured thunder above the heads of our very first audiences?

Witness the running of the oldest Thunder Run in the country as – just as they did 250 years ago – our technicians unleash the roar of thunder throughout the auditorium. A unique experience for theatre fanatics and thrill-seekers alike.

A socially distanced experience, our Theatre Tours are designed for small groups or 'bubbles'. In line with the current guidance, we can accommodate a group of up to 6 people from any number of households for each tour.

Spaces regularly included on The Thunder Run Experience:

The new Bristol Old Vic foyer
The Georgian Auditorium and Stage
The original theatre roof space and Thunder Run
Plus hear the Thunder Run in action!

Venue: Building-wide
£60 for a group of up to 6
Approx. 45 mins
Ages 10+


You must book your tour at least 72 hours beforehand.
Comfortable shoes are advised.
All of our tours have a step-free route for people with access needs. Please advise us at the time of booking if you'd prefer this option by calling 0117 987 7877 or emailing tickets@bristololdvic.org.uk
As a working theatre with ongoing rehearsals and other technical work, there are certain times when parts of the building will be inaccessible. We always endeavour to provide a true behind-the-scenes experience, but it may be necessary for tours to be rescheduled in rare circumstances.
Please advise your tour guide if you are uncomfortable with heights.

HIBERNATION
From:25-10-2022
To:29-10-2022
+ More Info +

The biggest yawn, the cosiest bed,
The softest blanket, the sleepiest head,
Winter’s approaching, prepare for a rest,
With some help from the animals who hibernate best.

Come and gather at Bristol Old Vic and be transported to a magical forest full of mirth, live music and marvellous creatures.

As the nights draw in and temperatures drop, staying wrapped up in our nice warm beds seems like a great idea. But have you ever imagined what it would be like to stay asleep for the whole of winter? Some creatures are experts and they’re here to show you how. Join award winning Little Bulb Theatre (house band in CBeebies ‘The Nutcracker’) as together we prepare to take a very long nap!

Audience members are encouraged to bring a favourite blanket and any cuddly friends who would like to tag along.

Ages 3-7

Approximately 0 Hour 45 mins

SOFIE HAGEN - FAT JOKES
From:30-10-2022
To:30-10-2022
+ More Info +

Sofie Hagen - Fat Jokes


Edinburgh comedy award winner Sofie Hagen presents Fat Jokes, a show bursting with big jokes and fat punchlines.

Sofie returns to her craft of devastatingly brilliant joke writing and storytelling and has created this collection of fat jokes and unforgettable moments that you can laugh at without feeling like sh*t. Come as you are and enjoy an actual fat person at the top of her game.

Ages 16+
Running Time: 90 minutes

Approximately 1 Hour 50 mins

RADIUM GIRLS
From:04-11-2022
To:12-11-2022
+ More Info +

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School presents: Radium Girls


New Jersey, mid 1900s. Business is booming at the United States Radium Corporation.

The company’s ability to meet the growing demand for painting luminescent dials onto watches is music to owner Arthur Roeder’s ears – and why wouldn’t it be with pioneering physicist Marie Curie encouraging radium into the mainstream?

Meanwhile on the factory floor, it’s a different story. Painters Grace, Irene and Kathryn are noticing disturbing changes in the women working alongside them. Deaths are hastily explained away; but media interest is building and soon enough, many injustices are uncovered.

What unfolds is a fast-paced and shocking exploration into the workers behind a historical sensation, which impacted labour rights and health physics – but at what cost? Written with warmth, humour and dignity, Radium Girls is an unflinching tribute to the women racing against time.

JESSICA FOSTEKEW
From:06-11-2022
To:06-11-2022
+ More Info +

Jessica Fostekew - Wench


A show about sexy things (awkward), private things (oh no) and a woman trying to sit on the face of time to keep it still (hot, right?). You’ve seen Jess on Live at the Apollo, QI and on Harry Hill's Clubnite amongst other TV shows. She's a regular co-host of The Guilty Feminist Podcast, the host and creator of The Hoovering Podcast and you hear her regularly on BBC R4's News Quiz and Now Show.

Jess was nominated for the Dave Edinburgh Comedy Award – Best Show 2019 with her last show Hench, and she won Best Show and Best Breakthrough Act in the Chortle Awards 2020.

Ages 16+
Running Time: 110 minutes

BABYTALES: CABARET FOR LITTLE PEOPLE
From:17-11-2022
To:26-11-2022
+ More Info +

Babytales: Cabaret For Little People


Once upon a time all of the fairy tale characters gathered to tell us their stories – the Snow Queen teaches us to make snow, Hansel and Gretel dance their way through the forest introducing us to the animals of the wood, and in the end Sleeping Beauty sings us all to sleep.

This November, Made in Bristol presents a brand new show for 0-3 years. Join us for Babytales: Cabaret For Little People and discover the sights, sounds and textures of classic stories in a playful sensory and musical exploration of fairy tales. A beautiful 30-minute theatre show suitable for babes in arms and toddlers, accompanied by carers.

Suitable for 0-3 year olds

THE NUTCRACKER
From:24-11-2022
To:07-01-2023
+ More Info +

The Nutcracker


On a Christmas Eve unlike any other, Clara receives a magical gift that most certainly didn't come from Amazon...

Transported to a fantastical kingdom where toy lemurs come to life, nutcrackers can talk and just about anything feels possible, she soon discovers that it’s not just mice lurking beneath the floorboards.

But danger is coming - will Clara and her friends be able to stop the King of the Rats in his tracks before it’s too late?

And why is she so fixated on her imaginary unicorn?

Bristol Old Vic presents a bold and wild theatrical re-telling of The Nutcracker, full of magic, adventure and show-stopping dance numbers.

Ages 7+

BELLE & SEBASTIEN
From:02-12-2022
To:08-01-2023
+ More Info +

Belle and Sebastien have run into the mountains, away from everyone and everything.


Born on the same day seven years ago, this boy and this dog have yearned forever to feel like they belong.

Now all they have is each other and they don’t even realise it yet.

Join these mischievous, playful, kindred spirits as they adventure into the wild to escape and discover themselves. Can they forge a friendship strong enough to survive the perils of the mountain? Could they even find a place to call home?

A story of love and friendship set against the backdrop of snowy mountains and stormy relationships.

A classic family tale, reimagined by two of the South West’s strongest co-producing partners, Travelling Light and Bristol Old Vic.

Recommended for ages 4+
Running time 50 minutes

Approximately 0 Hour 50 mins

The Thunder Run Experience
From:10-12-2022
To:10-12-2022
+ More Info +

Ever wondered how eighteenth-century sound technicians conjured thunder above the heads of our very first audiences?

Witness the running of the oldest Thunder Run in the country as – just as they did 250 years ago – our technicians unleash the roar of thunder throughout the auditorium. A unique experience for theatre fanatics and thrill-seekers alike.

A socially distanced experience, our Theatre Tours are designed for small groups or 'bubbles'. In line with the current guidance, we can accommodate a group of up to 6 people from any number of households for each tour.

Venue: Building-wide
£60 for a group of up to 6
Approx. 45 mins
Ages 10+
You must book your tour at least 72 hours beforehand.
Comfortable shoes are advised.
All of our tours have a step-free route for people with access needs. Please advise us at the time of booking if you'd prefer this option by calling 0117 987 7877 or emailing tickets@bristololdvic.org.uk
As a working theatre with ongoing rehearsals and other technical work, there are certain times when parts of the building will be inaccessible. We always endeavour to provide a true behind-the-scenes experience, but it may be necessary for tours to be rescheduled in rare circumstances.
Please advise your tour guide if you are uncomfortable with heights.

The Thunder Run Experience
From:17-12-2022
To:17-12-2022
+ More Info +

Ever wondered how eighteenth-century sound technicians conjured thunder above the heads of our very first audiences?

Witness the running of the oldest Thunder Run in the country as – just as they did 250 years ago – our technicians unleash the roar of thunder throughout the auditorium. A unique experience for theatre fanatics and thrill-seekers alike.

A socially distanced experience, our Theatre Tours are designed for small groups or 'bubbles'. In line with the current guidance, we can accommodate a group of up to 6 people from any number of households for each tour.

Spaces regularly included on The Thunder Run Experience:

The new Bristol Old Vic foyer
The Georgian Auditorium and Stage
The original theatre roof space and Thunder Run
Plus hear the Thunder Run in action!






Venue: Building-wide
£60 for a group of up to 6
Approx. 45 mins
Ages 10+
You must book your tour at least 72 hours beforehand.
Comfortable shoes are advised.
All of our tours have a step-free route for people with access needs. Please advise us at the time of booking if you'd prefer this option by calling 0117 987 7877 or emailing tickets@bristololdvic.org.uk
As a working theatre with ongoing rehearsals and other technical work, there are certain times when parts of the building will be inaccessible. We always endeavour to provide a true behind-the-scenes experience, but it may be necessary for tours to be rescheduled in rare circumstances.
Please advise your tour guide if you are uncomfortable with heights.

THERE'S NOBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD, AND THE WORLD WAS MADE FOR ME
From:11-01-2023
To:14-01-2023
+ More Info +

Summer 2023. A group of teenagers are stranded, lost and finally free to do whatever they want...

But what’s the difference between the illusion of total freedom and anarchy?

There’s Nobody Else In The World, And The World Was Made For Me is a new show from Bristol Old Vic Young Company exploring the bloody line between right and wrong.

Inspired by the classic dystopian novel Lord of the Flies and devised by the company, There’s Nobody Else In The World, And The World Was Made For Me will delve into the relationship between youth, power and humanity in Bristol Old Vic Young Company’s innovative style.

DRIVE YOUR PLOW OVER THE BONES OF THE DEAD
From:19-01-2023
To:11-02-2023
+ More Info +

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

A new Complicité production directed by Simon McBurney


Based on Nobel Prize winning author Olga Tokarczuk’s novel of the same name, the darkly comic, anarchic noir caused a seismic reaction in Tokarczuk’s native Poland due to its defiant attack on authoritarian structures, with right-wing press branding the writer an ‘eco-terrorist’ and national traitor.

The story unfolds through the eyes of 65 year-old local woman, Janina – itself a radical act in a society which seeks to render older women invisible. Janina is engaged in fierce resistance against the injustices around her, and refuses to be a prisoner of society and gender. Her actions ask questions both of the male world which surrounds her and of our deeper human intentions. What does it mean to be human and what does it mean to be animal, and can we separate the two? Why is the killing of animals sport and that of humans murder?

Collaborating with McBurney on the project are set and costume designer Rae Smith, lighting designer Paule Constable, sound designer Christopher Shutt, video designer Dick Straker and dramaturgs Sian Ejiwumi-Le Berre and Laurence Cook.

JAYDE ADAMS - MEN, I CAN SAVE YOU
From:02-04-2023
To:02-04-2023
+ More Info +

Change is always hard, and what better person to lead the men selflessly by the hand into the new world than TV’s Jayde Adams.

Multi-award winning comedian and actress, Jayde Adams’ critically-acclaimed special was released on Amazon Prime to worldwide applause, was longlisted for an Emmy and has amassed over 156 million views.

Jayde stars in Sophie Willan’s BAFTA-winning TV series Alma’s Not Normal (BBC Two), the upcoming Take That movie Greatest Days and also stars in Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens (Amazon Prime). She is the co-host of the BAFTA nominated series Snackmasters and Netflix smash hit, Crazy Delicious.

Ages 16+

PHIL WANG: WANG IN THERE, BABY!
From:04-06-2023
To:04-06-2023
+ More Info +

PHIL WANG : WANG IN THERE, BABY!


Hot off the heels of his critically-acclaimed Netflix special, David Letterman appearance, and role on Life & Beth with Amy Schumer, Phil Wang is bringing a brand new stand-up show to venues nationwide.

He’s chatting race, family, nipples, and everything else that’s been going on in his Philly little life.

Ages 16+

Approximately 2 Hours 15 mins

Transport

Bristol Old Vic is located on King Street, a 5-minute walk (0.2 miles) from the City Centre Harbourside.

There are bike racks on both King Street and Prince Street.

Bristol Old Vic is a 15-minute walk (0.8 miles) from Bristol Temple Meads railway station, or there are regular buses and taxis from outside the station. There is also a ferry which runs from the railway station into the City Centre. Bristol Bus Station is a 15-minute walk (0.7 miles) away. From Bristol Airport, it's 40 minutes by bus or 25 minutes by taxi to the City Centre.

Please book taxis for drop-off (and pick-up) to Bristol Old Vic, King Street, BS1 4ED.

Parking

There are good car parking facilities in the surrounding area including the NCP on Queen Charlotte Street and Trenchard Street car park, a 5 minute walk across the city centre. Meter parking is also available on Queen Charlotte Street and Queen Square. There is one disabled space round the corner of the theatre on Queen Charlotte Street. Blue Badge Holders park for free. For more information on parking, including options for minibuses and large vehicles, visit Bristol City Council parking services.

There is space for two coaches to set-down and pick-up in front of The Rackhay. The closest coach park is near the M Shed museum (access off of Cumberland Road) with a fee of £1.10 for up to 24 hours (do check this before setting off). Read about coach parking in Bristol on the Travel West website.

Cafe
Restaurant

Make yourself at home in one of our purpose-built beach hut-style cabins, decorated with a touch of theatrical magic, and while away your day with craft beers from Left Handed Giant, local ciders, coffee, tea, snacks and more (Marshfield ice cream, anyone?). Or sit in our architecturally award-winning foyer, set against the stunning backdrop of the original 1766 Theatre wall.

For more information and to view menus and opening times please visit: bristololdvic.org.uk/eat-drink

Bar
Access Info

Several per season. For detailed access information please visit the theatre's access page: bristololdvic.org.uk/your-visit/access

Built in 1766 as a place where the people of Bristol could come together, Bristol Old Vic is the oldest continuously working theatre in the English speaking world.

It was built as a symbol of the pride we have in our city and what it can achieve and remains a place of joy, discovery and adventure to this day.

Our front of house has recently undergone a multi-million pound redevelopment. Our new building boasts a brand new Studio Theatre, relaxing and fully-accessible front of house space, with a bar and kitchen serving everything from tasty treats with a morning coffee to an evening meal, alongside a new interactive heritage offering – opening up the 250-year-old history of this unique building for everyone to discover and enjoy at their own pace.

Our mission is to create pioneering twenty-first-century theatre in partnership with the people of our energetic city; inspired by the history and magical design of the most beautiful playhouse in the country.

We are led by artists who see the world with distinctive clarity and whose ability to articulate what they see allows us to understand and engage with our world afresh, whether that be through our 350-strong Young Company, our many outreach and education projects or helping ascendant artists by nurturing the spark or seed of an idea into something fully-formed.

We are publicly funded by Arts Council England and Bristol City Council, using that investment to support experiment and innovation, to allow access to our programme for people who would not otherwise encounter it or be able to afford it and to keep our extraordinary heritage alive and animated.

We strive to be welcoming, professional and boundlessly curious; playful, ambitious and rigorous; resourceful, honest, and generous; collaborative, Bristolian and world class.

Come and play.

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