how to support us...

We rely on your generous support to enable us to deliver an imaginative and pioneering artistic programme for the whole of Bristol and beyond. We work in partnership with statutory bodies, trusts, foundations, individuals and businesses on all areas of our programme including:

- The delivery of our £24million capital redevelopment programme

- The development of our innovative artistic programme

- Our outreach programme for schools, young people and individuals

There are a number of ways in which you can support the work we do in return for a number of benefits, including:


Many of our supporters make small monthly or annual donations, which are vitally important to us. In return, we'll keep you regularly updated about our work and invite you in from time to time for a glass of wine and some nibbles to discuss the future of the theatre and the work we hope to do.

Click to donate


Our membership scheme, Friends of Bristol Old Vic, comes in four levels - Friends, Supporters, Partners and Patrons. Membership starts at £36/year and at each level, you're entitled to receive several benefits including 2-for-1 tickets, a free theatre magazine (Inside Track), priority booking and we'll even waive your booking fees. In fact, we'd wager you won't find a better memebership scheme around.

Click here to sign up or find out more.


By sponsoring a seat in our refurbished auditorium, you will be making a vital contribution to the future of this theatre. In return, you will get an engraved plaque attached to your seat for up to 25 years.

Our Sponsor a Seat campaign has already proven popular with the majority of our £250 and £500 seats now sold out. We also have other seats available from £1,000-£5,000 and, if it's easier, payments can be split up across several months. Seats are also available to buy in our brand new Studio theatre, set to open in 2016.

To sponsor a seat please contact the Development team on 0117 907 2689 or email Katie Ryan for some options.


Bristol Old Vic was founded by a group of fifty merchants, lawyers and politicians, who each donated £50 in order to build a theatre for the city of Bristol. We are proud that almost 250 years later we are still working in partnership with local businesses that share our commitment to creating work with, and for, Bristol audiences. There are a variety of ways in which your business can work with Bristol Old Vic, including:

- Production and festival sponsorship

- Sponsorship of our Outreach programme

- Buying some seats or an exclusive box in our Theatre for your private use periodically throughout the year

All sponsorship packages are bespoke and are designed to meet the specific needs of your business. We can offer a range of benefits in recognition of your support including:

* Complimentary tickets for staff and clients

* Branding and advertising opportunities

* Complimentary champagne reception and canapés

* Invitation to special question and answer with the cast and creative team


Until the late 1980s, it was commonplace for graduates of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School to be employed by Bristol Old Vic, providing a natural progression from their training.

"During our three years as students at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, the sublimely beautiful Theatre Royal glowed in the night, within our reach yet just beyond it. For my first year as a professional actor it was my home."
Daniel Day-Lewis

"I left Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 1979 and was extremely fortunate to be asked to join the Bristol Old Vic Company. I stayed for a year and worked with such luminaries as Simon Callow, Julie Walters, Prunella Scales and many, many more. I learnt an amazing amount just by watching and supporting them."
Amanda Redman

The tradition was strengthened by the implementation of the Chesterton Award, offering two contracts per year to Theatre School graduates. However, in the mid-1990s the award was withdrawn owing to the lack of funds.

Almost twenty years later, to coincide with the re-opening of our refurbished auditorium, the Patrons' Prize was inaugurated to re-establish the tradition of offering talented graduates the opportunity of launching their careers at Bristol Old Vic.

The first two recipients were Isaac Stanmore and Emily May Smith (pictured below, performing in our 2012 Christmas show, Peter Pan, and rehearsing for/performing in Wild Oats, also in 2012).

"I gained so much confidence and stamina, working with different directors with completely different styles on three separate projects, giving me the chance to immediately put into practice what I had learnt at drama school and experiencing the day to day realities of life as a working actor. Plus six months of solid work growing and learning and picking up things from other actors in a rep style environment. The Patrons' Prize offers two people an astonishing opportunity to launch themselves into the industry, and begin their careers the right way. I feel incredibly lucky to have been part of the company for six months, and in supporting this prize you can be sure of making a lasting impression and difference to two deserving people. It is something I will keep with me for the rest of my life."
Isaac Stanmore

"It immediately felt like home for Isaac and me, providing a safe space to make mistakes and learn from them. The experience of working with older actors and directors with varying approaches was invaluable. I feel that watching and working alongside such inspiring artists was by far the most important training I have undergone thus far in my young career. I left drama school as many new actors must, I imagine, feeling intimidated by the industry, worrying that there was no space for me. I now go to auditions with a sense of worthiness, knowing that I could enter a room of professionals and not be filled with that paralysing fear. The placement gave me courage and helped me find my voice in this creative world."
Emily May Smith

In the next five years, we want to be able to give at least another ten graduates the start that propelled Daniel Day-Lewis in to the pantheon of theatrical folklore as the only man to win three separate Academy Awards for Best Actor. With your help, we can do just that.


ONLINE To donate simply visit our online secure payment page.

BY PHONE To donate call the Development team on 0117 907 2689

BY POST Download our donation form and return it to:


Development Team

Bristol Old Vic Trust

Theatre Royal

King Street



Photography: Mark Douet, Philip Vile

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