The Bristol Old Vic is a historic theatre in Bristol, England. The theatre faces Prince Street and backs onto King Street. The theatre was founded in 1766 and is the oldest continuously operating theatre in the English-speaking world.
The Bristol Old Vic has been an important venue for theatre productions for over 250 years. Many famous actors and actresses have performed on its stage, including Sarah Bernhardt, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Peggy Ashcroft, Dame Judi Dench, and Sir Ian McKellen. In recent years, the Bristol Old Vic has been known for producing innovative and exciting new theatre, including hit shows such as War Horse and The Grinning Man.
The Bristol Old Vic is a Grade I listed building and is a significant part of the city’s heritage. The theatre has undergone an ambitious redevelopment project, which saw it transformed into a world-class cultural destination. The redevelopment included a new 500-seat auditorium, improved public spaces, and state-of-the-art backstage facilities.
In September 2018, the 2-year redevelopment project that transformed the front of the building into a warm and welcoming space for everyone in Bristol to enjoy was completed. The Old Vic added a new studio theatre and opened up its unique theatrical heritage to the public.
The redeveloped building features improved catering facilities, modern standards of environmental sensitivity and sustainability, and barrier-free access for everyone. It returned the internal configuration of the Grade I listed Coopers’ Hall to its Georgian origins and created an extensive suite of public spaces that can be used for a multitude of purposes.
The Bristol Old Vic is not only important to the city of Bristol, but also to the wider world of theatre. The theatre has a rich history of hosting world-renowned opera singers, such as Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti. This is indicative of the high calibre of productions that the Bristol Old Vic puts on, and the theatre’s commitment to attracting top talent from all over the world. The Bristol Old Vic is a must-see part of Bristol’s heritage and its future looks bright. Thanks to its recent redevelopment, the theatre is now better equipped than ever before to produce world-class theatre in Bristol for years to come.
Overall, the redevelopment project has made the facilities more visible and welcoming to everyone, while preserving its rich theatrical history for all to enjoy.