Bristol Old Vic coverage of autumn launch

Here is some coverage from The Post on our announcement about the autumn programme of work

This Is Bristol




One thought on “Bristol Old Vic coverage of autumn launch

  1. rogerwatts Howell says:

    This is all great! So very welcome! At last the world can see how James Saunders (Garrick’s carpenter) designed this theatre to look and work not unlike Shakespeare’s first Rose Theatre. But one unresolved question remains: should audiences sit permanently encircling the sides of the stage floor, as they do in modern theatres (and as they did at Shakespeare’s Rose)? Key people in the refurbishment ignored the fact that carpenters proportioned stages on rectangles with a traditional width-to-depth ratio of 3:2. In 1766, Bristol’s stage measured 3 rods (50ft) wide. Carpenters’ traditions suggest its stage curtain therefore dropped 2 rods (33ft) from the 1766 rear stage wall. Saunders planned the Richmond (Surrey) Theatre in 1765 on 2 rods or 33ft. This was the same time the first four Bristol Theatre Proprietors received his architectural drawings.. Coincidence? I’ll leave that with you to consider. Carpenters since P{eter Street and John Griggs have always known how to proportion theatre spaces. They did, after all, design and build two of the most successful theatres of all time: the Globe and the Rose. The first Rose had 11 gallery bays encircling its stage. Bristol has 11 boxes encircling its stage front. Bristol’s stage front dimensions and the distance to its galleries opposite almost exactly matches the first Rose. Bristol has Classical pilasters on its stage front very close to the position of the Classical columns that stood on the second Rose stage. There is more to this remarkable surviving playhouse than something that survives from 1766: it contains the magic of Shakespeare’s playhouses, but only if spectators sit permanently on both sides of its stage floor.

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