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 or 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, with a first offer of refusal.

Our Sponsor a Seat campaign has already proven popular with our £250, £500 and £1,000 seats now sold out. We also have other seats available from £2,500-£5,000 and, if it's easier, payments can be made monthly over a year. Seats are also available to sponsor in our soon-to-open brand new Studio theatre for £1,000.

To sponsor a seat please contact the Development team on 0117 907 2689 or email 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


As we move towards our 250th anniversary in 2016, and the final phase of the theatre's renovation, we are looking to the business community of Bristol to raise £500k of the £12m we need to help secure the future of the building for another two-hundred and fifty years. The transformation will turn our historic Grade I listed Coopers' Hall into one of the city's premier venues for business functions.

The Twenty Twenty Club will be made up of an exclusive group of twenty organisations who, in return for a one-off subscription of £20,000 (+VAT), will enjoy some similarly exclusive benefits:

• 20 free tickets a year for five years to Bristol Old Vic productions (Mon-Wed)
• 500 tickets a year discounted by 30%. In effect, this is an entire house and gives you the opportunity of taking over the theatre for a night for exclusive use, or spreading the allocation over the year. Any bookings of over ten will be limited to shows from Monday-Wednesday. Given that the full value of the house is just over £12,000, the value of this discount over six years amounts to £21,600
• Your company logo featured in all programmes, season brochures and website
• Invitation to regular Twenty Twenty members' events throughout the year
• Priority booking to the Executive Dining Room seating twelve guests
• Priority booking on all facilities offered in the newly refurbished Coopers' Hall at discounted rates according to group size

Our inaugural Twenty Twenty Club members:
Commercial property company Jones Lang LaSalle
International law firm Osborne Clarke


For more information, to join the Twenty Twenty Club or discuss a separate, bespoke corporate package, please email or call 0117 949 3993.


The Peter O'Toole Prize is an annual award given to the most outstanding actors to graduate from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

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, in 2012, we re-established the tradition through the Patrons' Prize with temporary funding from our supporters which enabled us to offer two talented graduates the opportunity of launching their careers at Bristol Old Vic.

This opportunity continues today and has been renamed the Peter O'Toole Prize, named in honour of the late, great actor and long-standing much-loved friend of Bristol Old Vic.

Since we reopened our redeveloped auditorium, the first two recipients of the prize were Isaac Stanmore and Emily May Smith (both are 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.


To donate to the Peter O'Toole Prize fund, and help kick-start the careers of the emerging actors of tomorrow, click the button below.


Click to donate

You can donate to ANY of Bristol Old Vic's projects through the following:

ONLINE To donate online, visit our secure payment page.

BY PHONE 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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