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An update on the progress of the refurbishment

posted 13 Dec 2016, 13:32 by Marc Pepperell

The big day for Bristol Old Vic finally arrived on Tuesday 1 November when we officially handed over the keys to the building to Gilbert Ash, the main contractors appointed to fulfil the building works. From this day on, Bristol Old Vic staff admission to the building is prohibited unless agreed in advance with the site foreman.

The first job for them was the mobilisation of the site, specifically making the separation between front and back of house safe and improving the sound barriers. On Monday 7 November, demolition began in earnest and, for those of us working in the surrounding area, it is very clear to see (and hear!). The demolition that will remove Coopers’ Gallery in its entirety is also well underway and the Macready Room wall has already begun to be removed which will reveal the original theatre wall.

The party wall to 36 King Street has also commenced demolition enabling the removal of the admin office block to allow for the preparation of the foyer roof and demolition will continue until Spring 2017, including revealing original theatre wall but also demolishing concrete pillars, floors and other high-density materials (which will be particularly noisy!).

Scaffolding around the neighbouring yard will also be erected to surround the west wall that is being worked on and the establishment of the site will continue to include portacabin offices and welfare facilities by Friday 2 December.

So, that’s a bit of insight into the work that is currently taking place, but what does it mean for the Theatre?

The building site’s working hours will be Monday to Friday, 8am – 6pm and Saturday 8am – 1pm. This protects our business to keep operating as a theatre during the building works, but does mean that all internal day-to-day activity during the builders’ working hours may be subject to noise. Therefore, during this time, we are unable to engage with any Private Hires, additional matinee performances on week days and any other events due to the inherent risks of the project.

Any additional bookings requested by our partners, such as the Theatre Club, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, which is reviewed within the Planning Committee to consider the risks to both parties.

Throughout this period of refurbishment, we will keep the Theatre Club updated and we thank you for your continued support and patience during these exciting times.