In 2009 we set about a plan to raise £25,000,000 with which we would fully refurbish your theatre; the first phase of works, refurbishing the glorious Georgian auditorium was completed in 2012 to award-winning acclaim.
But we’ve been acutely aware that the front of house at Bristol Old Vic has been letting the side down, with awkward, inaccessible spaces and poor facilities that do little to make your visit as enjoyable as we want it to be.
By 2018, coming to Bristol Old Vic will be a very different experience. A building able to give you a terrific welcome, offering you great food and drink in a new front of house; not just pre show, but throughout the day.
It will be a beautiful combination of historic and new architecture; spaces that you might simply want to come and spend time in with your family and friends, and places that you might want actively to explore as we develop ways to tell our 250-year history through new artworks and activities.
You’ll soon see the hoardings go up on King Street as the contractors move in. Don’t worry! The theatre itself is still open, you’ll just need to head around the corner onto Queen Charlotte Street, turning left onto The Rackhay to come in the Stage Door entrance, joining us in the Backstage Bar before the show. And, do come and say hello to us in Number 16 King Street, just opposite Renato’s, where our day time Box Office and many of our staff will be working during the build. It’s a beautiful building that we’re lucky to have as our temporary home.
Do keep an eye on our website, here on our blog and in local press for updates. It’s going to be quite the adventure!
From Saturday 18 June, the exciting first preview of King Lear, you will be invited to enter the Theatre via stage door, walking the footsteps of such legends as Peter O’Toole, Daniel Day Lewis and Miranda Richardson.
Our new Theatre entrance can be accessed through Rackhay (BS1 4HJ)off Queen Charlotte Street around the corner from King Street.
From Monday 13 June, our customer facing Box Office will move across King Street and can be found at No. 16. We will be open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm and you can purchase tickets here for any Bristol Old Vic performance across any venue.
On performance days, our Box Office will be situated in the Backstage Bar opening 90 mins prior to each performance. Our phone lines remain unchanged; Mon to Fri 10am-6pm and Sat 12pm-6pm and, of course, you can book tickets online.
During our redevelopment works, we have transformed our backstage area into an exciting pop up space. The Backstage Bar sits in the heart of our Theatre and opens 90 minutes prior to each performance. On offer will be an excellent selection of beverages from the best of the South West including Bath Ales. So why not join us for this unique experience?
Customers requiring wheelchair access to our Theatre can utilise the Stage Door lift which provides entry to both the Backstage Bar and the performance space. As Rackhay is a fire access road, regrettably there is no drop off point however, there are three Disabled Bays immediately opposite on the ground floor of the Queen Charlotte Street NCP car park.
It is not possible to drop-off or pick-up from Rackhay as this is a one-way, dead end street which must remain empty for Fire Access. Vehicle access to Rackhay will be controlled by our staff for all performances.
There are still good parking facilities in the surrounding area especially at the NCP on Queen Charlotte Street.
If arriving by Taxi please request drop-off and pick-up from King Street where you can follow signs to the Rackhay.
Coaches are able to drop-off and pick-up on King Street around the corner from our stage door entrance.
This month we say goodbye to our beloved Studio in its current form. A place where many of you have experienced fantastic productions from every corner of the globe.
Bristol Old Vic Studio will continue to present work from visiting artists in an alternative venue from Spring 2017. And this Christmas we’re delighted to present our Early Years Christmas show Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain at The Lantern at Colston Hall between 2 Nov-8 Jan.
In 2018 we look forward to opening our new 188 seat Studio in the basement of the beautiful Coopers’ Hall.
If you are able to support the UK’s oldest continuously working theatre, or want to learn more about the redevelopment visit: bristololdvic250.org.uk