sat 25/05/2019

Bristol Old Vic reopens its doors in September | Arts News

Bristol Old Vic reopens its doors in September

Artistic Director of the Bristol Old Vic Tom Morris has announced his refurbished venue's Autumn season. This reopening is the culmination of Morris and Executive Director Emma Stenning’s transformation of the Georgian auditorium and back-stage areas to create a new contemporary building.

The theatre will reopen in September with John O’Keefe’s Wild Oats directed by Mark Rosenblatt, whose company will also devise Does My Society Look Big in This? - an up to the minute satire on current news and events - with writer Stephen Brown and Tom Morris. The theatre will then fling itself into Bristol Jam - the country’s only festival of improvised performance, before director Sally Cookson returns, following her critically acclaimed Treasure Island, to direct a new imagining of JM Barrie’s classic tale Peter Pan as the Christmas production.

In the Studio, the company will enter a first time collaboration with Cardiff's Sherman Cymru, for Katherine Chandler’s brilliant and vivid new play Before It Rains. Running in tandem with Peter Pan this festive season is the theatre’s annual production for younger audiences, Hey Diddle Diddle, directed by Miranda Cromwell.

The auditorium is the oldest working playhouse in the country, loved by artists and audiences alike and celebrated by the theatre’s Patron Daniel Day Lewis as a “sublimely beautiful theatre”. During past 18 months, during the refurbishment, Bristol Old Vic has continued to produce a full programme of work, not only in the Studio, but across Bristol. The company has broken previous audience records (Treasure Island and Swallows & Amazons both played to more than 23,000 people), developed collaborations with arts organisations across the city (Coram Boy at Colston Hall played to 17,000 in ten days over Christmas 2011). Nostalgia sells, but its success also opens up a space for more challenging work: invited visiting companies include Fuel and Chris Goode.

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