Bristol Old Vic's Autumn/Winter 2014 Season Announced


Buoyed by 5 YEARS OF EXPERIMENTAL SUCCESS, its confirmed ACE investment for 2015-18, and anticipating the transformation of its business by the revolutionary refurbishment of its foyers, Bristol Old Vic announces a thrilling new season.

THE CLASSIEST IMAGINABLE  CLASSIC, A BRAND NEW SAVAGE MUSICAL, A WILD NEW STAGING OF THE FIRST OPERA EVER COMPOSED, THE RETURN OF OUR MOST BELOVED FAMILY CHRISTMAS SHOW, A UNIQUE COLLABORATION BETWEEN A THEATRE AND A MUSEUM, AND MUCH, MUCH MORE…


This autumn, Tom Morris and Emma Stenning celebrate five years in charge at Bristol Old Vic. When they joined in 2009, they set out their objectives for Bristol Old Vic: to be accessible, inspiring and world-class. Since that time, the building has undergone a transformation, not only artistically but physically:


•    It has completed the first phase of a multi-million pound refurbishment which re-established the unique geometry of the historic Georgian Theatre, and made it fit for 21st century audiences.

•    The work has won acclaim from critics and audiences with Jane Eyre, Faith Healer and Juliet & Her Romeo, toured the world with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, taken Coram Boy to Colston Hall, The Wild Bride to St George’s, and Treasure Island outdoors to King Street.

At the same time, Bristol Old Vic has engaged thousands of people from every part of Bristol in the pioneering work of the Outreach department, launched the much imitated Bristol Ferment programming to support talent development in the South West, and engaged new audiences through The Bristol Jam, Bristol Proms and a powerful range of visiting and home-grown work.


Morris and Stenning are now setting out their stall for an ongoing, balanced programme of work which will run through the radical refurbishment of Bristol Old Vic’s drab foyer and trading areas and confirm the secure future of Britain’s oldest and best loved regional theatre.


DETAILS OF WINTER PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED


The work and vision for the company continues through autumn 2014, beginning with a dazzling new production Juno and the Paycock, Sean O’Casey’s masterpiece set in Dublin 1922. Directed by Gemma Bodinetz,  starring Niamh Cusack (The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time, Apollo/National Theatre; Playboy Of The Western World, The Old Vic), this co-production with the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse will premiere at Bristol Old Vic before transferring to Liverpool.

We’re also thrilled to be celebrating the return to Bristol of Kneehigh with their brand new critical and audience smash hit Dead Dog in a Suitcase (based on John Gay's classic musical satire, The Beggar’s Opera). Full of Kneehigh inventiveness and a powerful live score combining trip-hop and folk, ska, grime and dubstep, it echoes Gay’s original by plundering the sounds of our times. We are also building on our growing collaboration with Bristol’s Tobacco Factory Theatres by transferring Mark Bruce’s Dracula (winner of the prestigious South Bank Sky Arts Award for Dance) into our atmospheric Theatre.

Christmas brings another mix of home-grown shows to both the Theatre and the Studio. Back by popular demand, Tom Morris’ much-loved family musical Swallows and Amazons, with score by Neil Hannon, returns after a sell-out run in 2010 and a national tour. There is also a brand-new production for our littlest audiences of The Magic Elves, featuring Bristol legend Kid Carpet and based on The Elves and the Shoemaker by the Brothers Grimm. Under2s can also see the show for free as a great first introduction to theatre.

We’re also delighted to announce a collaboration with English National Opera in spring 2015. Bristol Old Vic Artistic Director Tom Morris is reunited with designer Tom Pye (Juliet and her Romeo) to present Monteverdi’s Orfeo, one of the world’s oldest musical dramas presented in the intimate setting of the UK’s oldest continuously working theatre. Tom Morris also opens his 2012 ENO production of The Death of Klinghoffer at New York’s Metropolitan opera (co-produced by ENO and the Met) with eight performances scheduled in Manhattan from October 2014.

Other inspiring visitors including the welcome return of critically-acclaimed physical theatre company Gecko with Institute, and the extraordinary L’apres Midi d’un Foehn, where ordinary plastic bags are transformed into prima ballerinas of the air to the music of Debussy.

During half term, we’re delighted to welcome a pre-school favourite, The Gruffalo to the Theatre for the first time and, for slightly older children, Bristol Old Vic’s Studio presents The Great Big Story Mix Up. Back by popular demand, this totally unique show puts children aged 7+ squarely in charge of the plot. There’s also a spooky Halloween version if you dare!
 
Ferment’s work with developing artists continues in the autumn: Ferment artists Theatre Damfino return with a child-friendly version of their culinary theatre experience, The Little Table of Delights; Ferment co-commission Hoke’s Bluff (presented by Action Hero); a new play The Window (written by Bristol Old Vic writer in residence Silva Semerciyan) and Echo Beach, developed at BAC with support from Ferment.

To commemorate the centenary of the First World War, we are also thrilled to be collaborating with Bristol Museums on Moved by Conflict, an exhibition at Bristol’s M-Shed museum uncovering the memories of Bristol people during the conflict. Melly Still, an Associate Director at Bristol Old Vic, brings a theatrical storytelling sensibility to the design and interpretation of the exhibition. In the Studio, Bristol Old Vic presents War Game, inspired by Michael Foreman's novella for young readers. This devised adaptation is directed by Toby Hulse (co-director of Last Days of Mankind and Minotaur).