Celebrating Female Achievement In Theatre

posted 8 May 2020, 10:53 by Marc Pepperell

Bristol Old Vic Launches Sound Installation Celebrating Female Achievement In Theatre: Women of Bristol Old Vic 

To coincide with the recent International Women’s Day, Engagement  has launched a new heritage resource: Women of Bristol Old Vic and it will still be there for you to view when BOV reopens.

Charlotte Churm, Engagement Intern, writes:

“Over the past year I have been working on this project to help celebrate the wonderful women from history, and from today, around the theatre in the hope of inspiring the next generation of theatre makers.  It’s a fantastic free way to engage with the history of women who have worked here. Women of Bristol Old Vic is a free audio resource that people can listen to at home or in the theatre space.”

The seven installations combine archive material, oral histories and locations across the theatre’s foyer. There are seven QR codes (pictured), which can be found throughout Bristol Old Vic’s Foyer, and each unlocks a story about the women of the theatre, from the first female theatre manager Sarah Macready to Wise Children’s artistic director Emma Rice

BOV insight

posted 31 Mar 2020, 03:34 by Bristol Old Vic Theatre Club

Amanda Adams, Head of Communications 

You may well have seen the statement released on social media indicating that, in light of the Government Statement made on 16 March regarding the global health crisis, the Bristol Old Vic suspended all performances until the end of April.

This is a hard thing for a theatre to do, but the circumstances are unprecedented. Our productions and co-productions will be rescheduled, including The Red Lion. Wherever possible, visiting work will be rescheduled into the coming year.

Alongside the postponement of these shows, we will be re-configuring both our engagement programme (including the work of the Bristol Old Vic Young Company) and the work we do supporting artists across the South West through the Bristol Ferment.

During this time, we will be working closely with other theatres, the Arts Council, Equity and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to ensure that the interests of the independent artists who provide the rocket fuel for all of our creative industries are protected. And we will continue to champion the importance of creative opportunity in every part of society, particularly in challenging times such as these. 

Stage Talks, Amanda Adams Head of Communications

posted 2 Mar 2020, 03:50 by Marc Pepperell

Bristol Old Vic is delighted to be able to announce five Stage Talks for the Spring, in association with Festival of Ideas. All of these talks are free to Theatre Club members! 

Stage Talks are a series of pre-show discussions that aim to shine new light on some of theatre’s most innovative productions. With our revolving panel of hosts interviewing an array of top creative talent, step behind the curtain and discover more…

Midlife: Thur 5 Mar 6pm

Faustus: That damned woman: Fri 13 Mar 5.30pm

The Red Lion: Wed 18 Mar 6pm 

The last of the Pelican Daughters: Wed 22 April 5.30pm

I think we are alone: Tue 28 Apr 5.30pm

 Mention that you are a BOVTC member to the Box Office when you book. 

Christmas at Bristol Old Vic - plenty of theatrical treats

posted 30 Nov 2019, 14:19 by Bristol Old Vic Theatre Club

A Christmas Carol returns to Bristol Old Vic this year with a brand new Scrooge (as shown in this previously unreleased picture shared with us by BOV). As well as Charles Dickens classic morality tale there are plenty of other theatrical treats to enjoy on King Street this festive season:


In the Weston Studio, Sally Cookson’s magical dance-theatre show for ages 2–7 is returning home, back to where it all began after nine years touring the world. The story centres on two boys waiting for Father Christmas to arrive, with awe-inspiring break-dance and contemporary choreography sprinkled throughout.

This Travelling Light co-production stars 2019 Peter O’Toole winner and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate Kel Matsena (The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby) and choreographer Wilkie Branson (Baddies: The Musical, The Velveteen Rabbit) and will run from 29 November 2019 – 5 January 2020.

Anansi & the Grand Prize

This Christmas also marks the premiere of the full production of Ruth Ramsay and Edson Burton’s piece, last seen as a ‘work-in-progress’ at Ferment Fortnight in July 2019. Set in a fictitious island melting-pot during Festival season, Anansi… is a vibrant retelling of the classic African folktale about the eponymous trickster hero. Full of reggae, soul music, colourful costumes and dance, this cheeky carnival-inspired production offers an alternative night of celebration for adults.

Anansi and the Grand Prize will run in the Weston Studio from 9 – 21 December.

Big Screen Event

For those who cannot get enough of Christmas, Bristol Old Vic has partnered with Bristol Film Festival to present two special seasonal film screenings of The Muppet Christmas Carol and The Wizard of Oz. The screenings will both take place on Monday 30 December in the historic auditorium, for an experience that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Bristol Old Vic Theatre Club’s 73rd AGM

posted 2 Nov 2019, 10:09 by Bristol Old Vic Theatre Club

Bristol Old Vic Theatre Club’s 73rd Annual General Meeting takes place on Saturday 23 November at Bristol Old Vic.  

Refreshments will be available from 09.30, followed at 10.30 by the AGM. 

We encourage all members to attend. The agenda and details of how to nominate a member to join the committee are enclosed for all members with this newsletter. Past AGM minutes can be found on our website: 

15 Sept - Volunteer for BOV Open Day!

posted 11 Sep 2019, 05:49 by Marc Pepperell

Members may remember in previous years we have supported BOV in providing a warm welcome to the public when they open the house as part of Bristol Open Doors.

We are delighted to announce that we have been asked again. Precise details are still being decided but essentially the ask is for budding volunteers to provide a warm smile, a directional arm and engage with those that want to about your highlights and reflections of the theatre over the years.

BOV volunteers will be on hand to give the official tours, while we have been asked to be located in Coopers Hall and Front of House to continue the conversations after the tours.

The event takes place between 09.30 - 13.30 and 13.30 - 17.50. You do not need to be available for the whole time, and slots can be flexible, but we ask that you are able to commit to at least 2 hours. BOVTC volunteers will be issued with a lanyard and welcomed/briefed by the duty manager on sign in.

If you would like to take part please email by Weds 11 Sep and state the times you are available and if you have any requirements that we need to be aware of. It would also help to know if this is something you have done before, but this is not essential. For further information call Guy 

New Chairing arrangement

posted 15 Jun 2019, 10:59 by Bristol Old Vic Theatre Club

Fran Havard advised the committee of her intention to stand down as Chair after many years of commitment both as a member and Chair. The committee would like to thank her publically for the tremendous amount of work and dedication she has given to the club.

We wish Fran well and are delighted that she will continue as a committee member and support our new Co-Chairs Gary Hall and Guy Keith-Miller

A touch of Bristol Old Vic history by Anne Lovejoy

posted 2 Apr 2019, 12:17 by Bristol Old Vic Theatre Club

If you venture to the very end of left pit passage you might have noticed recently a large… television? … shiny table at a funny angle?.. display board? Don’t be afraid, for this is A Touch of History, a way for you to quickly access an ever-expanding treasure trove of images from Bristol Old Vic’s past.

The touch table was installed as part of the recent capital works project and is one of several heritage exhibitions and interventions dotted around the new foyer and around the auditorium. The touch table’s interface was created by Nick Harpley at Satzooma in collaboration with archivists at Theatre Collection and Bristol Old Vic heritage staff. The content was selected by Theatre Collection archivists. We wanted initially to provide a small selection of material giving an idea of the breadth of the company’s repertoire, and some of the notable members of the its cast and crew. 

To launch the touch table we decided to use the grouping Bristol Stories. These are plays written about Bristol, usually specifically for BOV, or existing texts re-imagined in a Bristol setting. 

New Plays in Rep season

posted 5 Mar 2019, 02:52 by Bristol Old Vic Theatre Club

Bristol Old Vic’s Writers Department has partnered with Bristol Old Vic Theatre School to present 5 plays and a musical born from The Open Session. 

New Plays in Rep will include two fully staged productions and four workshop performances. 

The season of work will take place in BOV’s Weston Studio in repertory style and will be performed entirely by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School actors-in-training. 

Also involved are students on other BA and MA courses, including Design, Production Arts, Costume, Directing and Scenic Art. 

For more details on the productions see page 10 of the March Newsletter

we bid farewell to Emma Stenning

posted 2 Dec 2018, 07:17 by Bristol Old Vic Theatre Club

As we bid farewell to Emma Stenning leaving for her new post in Toronto, an interim Executive Director steps up to support BOV’s senior management team settle into the new building and progress exciting programming plans for 2019.  

Sally Cordwell was, until recently, Deputy CEO and Director of Marketing and Visitor Experience for the SS Great Britain Trust, so has in-depth experience of the heritage industry which is a relatively new dimension of BOV’s offer. This is key to making sure BOV can attract visitors all day long as a ‘heritage destination’ as well as a highly regarded theatre on the national stage.  

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