Bristol Old Vic’s Best Of 2017

We’ve had an incredible 2017 – from creating our first ever theatre show for babes in arms and toddlers, Ice Ice Baby, to revealing the original 1766 theatre wall as part of our ongoing redevelopment. To celebrate our memorable year, we thought we would share some of our favourite moments with you…

Production photograhy GIF

Ice Ice Baby, 15–18 Dec

“My highlight of 2017 is watching my two nieces’ (1 and 3) faces light up as they watched Ice Ice Baby. It brought a tear to my eye seeing them smile and enjoying the show. And it kept them still for longer than 5 minutes. Well done to all those involved!”
Becky Davies – Production & Operations Administrator 

“I have only been here a little over six months and my first Bristol Old Vic production Press Night was The Little Matchgirl. To say I was excited about the show is an understatement! I have been lucky enough to go to other performances (The Grinning Man in 2016 is still one of my favourites), but I have never been moved to tears in the theatre before, and The Little Matchgirl did just that. I laughed and cried and it was a perfect story for the holidays. It made me really proud to work for Bristol Old Vic!”
Brittney Bies Finance Assistant 

Junkyard - Photo by Manuel Harlan 61

Junkyard, 24 Feb – 18 Mar

“My fond memory from 2017 is seeing Junkyard transform our stage into a playground and the gorgeous song about it ‘This is a ship, this is where we do dip the dip’ – utterly heart-warming.”
Zoe Crick-Tucker – Development Director 

“So many great things this year: I was especially thrilled in late March/early April when I saw secondary school students performing as part of NT Connections, the awesome BalletBoyz and our stunning Messiah, all on our stage and all within the space of a week – how about that for range?! But I think the biggest buzz for me was travelling on the London Underground earlier this autumn and seeing posters for The Grinning Man and Long Day’s Journey Into Night sitting alongside one another. Bristol took both shows to their hearts, and I’m so excited to now be sharing them with new audiences beyond our city.”
Chloe Elwood – Executive Producer 

The Grinning Man

The Grinning Man at Trafalgar Studios

“So many great memories to pick from! One that stands out was in the summer where we teamed up with Local Learning to create Meadows to Meaders. A lively soap opera,  performed by residents from Southmead, which brought local stories to life in a fantastic street performance!”
Hattie De Santis – Engagement and Young Company Assistant
Read Engagement’s 2017 Highlights in full here.


The Little Matchgirl   House of Fraser window display

“One of my favourite moments of 2017 (although I’ve only been here for a quarter of it!) was kitting out our House of Fraser window with The Little Matchgirl. In a matter of hours, we created a charming scene with 3D illustrated figures from the story and a Little Matchgirl puppet centre stage for Cabot Circus crowds to enjoy. There’s still the odd splash of black paint on my jumper to remind me of that day!”
Alice Wheeler – Head of Marketing 

“There are so many highlights from 2017! If I had to pick just one it would be announcing our Bristol Old Vic 2018 ‘Year of Change’ programme in November. We have some incredible shows coming next year and it was exciting announcing it to the press and public.”
Charlotte Fortt – Marketing Assistant

Year of Change A2 Poster

Our 2018 ‘Year of Change’

“The highlight of 2017 for me was receiving the orchestral recordings of some of the songs from The Grinning Man. Ahead of the show’s transfer to the West End, we had recordings made by a film orchestra in Budapest, for our cast and various celebrities to sing to, as part of our promotional campaign. As I couldn’t get out to Budapest, we sent the music across with some money, and I was somewhat nervous about what we would get back in return. Thankfully the recordings all came back in a timely manner, and they sounded amazing. I played them aloud in the office for days. Since then we’ve recorded Amanda Palmer, Kelsey Grammer, Alexander Armstrong, Matt Lucas and Harry Enfield singing songs from the show.”
Matt Lister – Assistant Producer 


Bristol Old Vic Front of House, opening 2018

“For me the highlight of 2017 was the moment that our building site became the promise of our new building. The piles of rubble and demolished metal that had been the dominant look and feel of the past 12 months suddenly took the shape of new rooms, studios and public spaces – the building that we will finish next year and reopen to the public in autumn 2018. Last week I saw, for the first time, the sunlight beaming down on the revealed 1766 façade of the theatre.  It was completely beautiful, and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
Emma Stenning – Chief Executive

Thank you to everyone who supported us throughout 2017. We look forward to welcoming you back for the reopening of our brand new front of house and, of course, our 252nd birthday! It’s going to be a year to remember. Happy New Year!

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