2016 represents an extraordinary moment in British theatre history as the oldest working theatre in the country will celebrate its 250th anniversary.
Much has changed since our theatre first opened its doors in 1766. Technically illegal, the theatre had to disguise plays as concerts and was forced to hide its entrance from public sight. Today, under the leadership of Artistic Director, Tom Morris and Chief Executive, Emma Stenning, Bristol Old Vic enjoys national and international recognition as a theatrical powerhouse, housing ground breaking theatre whilst nurturing unique and individual talent and serving as a cultural beacon for the city and the South West.
Having completed the refurbishment of our spectacular Grade I listed Georgian auditorium in 2012, we are now turning our attentions to our front of house redevelopment, completing the theatre's once-in-a-lifetime transformation.
The anniversary year will see the building begin the final phase of its redevelopment as the current RIBA Stirling Prize-winners, Haworth Tompkins, are set to transform the front of house spaces to bring its history to life and create a warm, welcoming and accessible venue.
Fundraising for our £12.5m Anniversary Works is very nearly complete with just £1m left to raise to catapult Bristol Old Vic onwards for the next 250 years.
If you are able to support the UK's oldest continuously working theatre, or want to learn more about the redevelopment visit: bristololdvic250.org.uk
2016 - Front of House Redevelopment
From June this year, we anticipate the beginning of redevelopment works that will transform our front of house King Street entrance into a welcoming, access friendly community space that everyone will be able to enjoy (see the photos below).
During this time, it will be business as usual in the Theatre with our brilliant programme on offer, but how you access the Theatre will change. You will able to enter the Theatre via our stage door, walking the footsteps of legends such as Peter O'Toole, Rosemary Harris and Jeremy Irons backstage through our paintshop into the auditorium.
Simply walk around the corner from our King Street entrance to Queen Charlotte St and down the Rackhay (BS1 4HJ, see map below).
Images Haworth Tompkins
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