In 2009 we set about a plan to raise £25,000,000 with which we would fully refurbish your theatre; the first phase of works, rebuilding the glorious Georgian auditorium was completed in 2012 to award-winning acclaim.

But we've been acutely aware that the front of house at Bristol Old Vic has been letting the side down, with awkward, inaccessible spaces and poor facilities that do little to make your visit as enjoyable as we want it to be. 

By 2018, coming to Bristol Old Vic will be a very different experience. A building able to give you a terrific welcome, offering you great food and drink in a new front of house; not just pre show, but throughout the day.

It will be a beautiful combination of historic and new architecture; spaces that you might simply want to come and spend time in with your family and friends, and places that you might want actively to explore as we develop ways to tell our 250-year history through new artworks and activities. 

You'll soon see the hoardings go up on King Street as the contractors move in. Don't worry! The theatre itself is still open, you'll just need to head around the corner onto Queen Charlotte Street, turning left onto The Rackhay to come in the Stage Door entrance (which we are giving you the opportunity to name), joining us in the Backstage Bar before the show. And, do come and say hello to us in Number 16 King Street, just opposite Renato's, where our day time Box Office and many of our staff will be working during the build. It's a beautiful building that we're lucky to have as our temporary home.

Do keep an eye on our website, on our blog and in local press for updates. It's going to be quite the adventure!

If you are able to support the UK's oldest continuously working theatre in this exciting new step, please visit our support pages:

Our Front of House Redevelopment

Images Haworth Tompkins


Theatre Entrance

From Saturday 18 June you will be invited to enter the Theatre via stage door, walking the footsteps of such legends as Peter O'Toole, Daniel Day Lewis and Miranda Richardson.

Our new Theatre entrance can be accessed through Rackhay (BS1 4HJ) off Queen Charlotte Street around the corner from King Street.

Click here for more information and updates on our Theatre entrance.


Box Office

From Monday 13 June, our customer facing Box Office will move across King Street and can be found at No. 16. We will be open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm and you can purchase tickets here for any Bristol Old Vic performance across any venue.

On performance days, our Box Office will be situated in the Backstage Bar opening 90 mins prior to each performance. Our phone lines remain unchanged; Monday to Friday 10am-6pm and, of course, you can book tickets online.

Click here for more information and updates on our Box Office.


Backstage Bar

During our redevelopment works, we have transformed our backstage area into an exciting pop up space. The Backstage Bar sits in the heart of our Theatre and opens 90 minutes prior to each performance. On offer will be an excellent selection of beverages from the best of the South West including Bath Ales. So why not join us for this unique experience?

Click here for more information and updates on our Backstage Bar.



Customers requiring wheelchair access to our Theatre can utilise the Stage Door lift which provides entry to both the Backstage Bar and the performance space. As Rackhay is a fire access road, regrettably there is no drop off point however, there are three Disabled Bays immediately opposite on the ground floor of the Queen Charlotte Street NCP car park.

Click here for more information and updates on accessing our Theatre.



It is not possible to drop-off or pick-up from Rackhay as this is a one-way, dead end street which must remain empty for Fire Access. Vehicle access to Rackhay will be controlled by our staff for all performances.

Click here for more information and updates on arriving at our Theatre.



During our redevelopment Bristol Old Vic Studio will continue to present work in alternative venues across the city while we build a brand new Studio theatre designed by award-winning architects Haworth Tompkins.

This summer sees the launch of our first Studio Walkabout Season which presents a brilliant studio programme in venues including the Wardrobe Theatre and The Lantern at Colston Hall.

Click here for more information and updates on our Studio Walkabout Season and new Studio space.

2012 - Theatre Refurbishment

In 2012, we completed the redevelopment of our historic Georgian auditorium, rehearsal spaces and back offices. Hours after the builders had left, Philip Vile's photograph captured the first few moments of the theatre, blushing in its beautiful, freshly-spruced state.

Photograph Philip Vile

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