Bristol Old Vic
On Monday 30 May 2016, Bristol Old Vic will become 250 years old, making it the oldest working theatre in the English speaking world and the oldest public theatre in Europe.
To recognise the special relationship between Bristol and its theatre, Bristol Old Vic is inviting the city to celebrate in a very special way over the Bank Holiday weekend (28-30 May).
On Saturday 28 May, the birthday weekend kicks off with a unique gift to the city. The theatre will be giving away a full-house of tickets to come and see a performance of The Flying Lovers.. for free. Tickets will be allocated via a ballot and the theatre has called on its friends across the Bristol media- radio, online and print- to help distribute these tickets far and wide.
Anyone interested in being part of the audience needs to keep a look out across Bristol’s press from April onwards to be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets. Local press taking part include: Bristol Post, Bristol 24/7, Bristol Life Magazine, Ujima FM, Bradley Stoke FM, BCFM, Filton Voice, Rife Magazine, and many others.
The lucky winners will be notified by Sunday 8 May and sent information on how to collect their tickets on the night of the performance (28 May).
A small number of tickets will also be available on the night itself and a returns queue will be running so come along, see what King Street has to offer and be in with a chance of seeing this brand new show in its magical setting and soak up the atmosphere.
The Flying Lovers.. is a brand new co-production between Bristol Old Vic and Bristol’s adopted Cornish cousins, Kneehigh Theatre. It tells the love story of painter Marc Chagall and his wife Bella who were partners in life and on canvas, immortalised as the picture of love and romance. But whilst on canvas they flew through the skies, in life they walked through some of the most devastating times in history- world wars, revolution and exile. In the usual adventurous style Bristol audience have come to love, Kneehigh will tell the story of their relationship in the most dazzling way using live music and physical theatre.
Kneehigh productions regularly take Bristol audiences by storm, most recently Dead Dog in a Suitcase blew the roof off the theatre when it returned last November for a sell-out run and their hit productions, including Brief Encounter and The Red Shoes, regularly travel to Broadway and beyond.
This free performance forms just one part of the three-day celebrations which includes:
Sat 28 May
DISCOVER Bristol’s Theatre as it opens its doors to the city. There’s a day of guided tours around the hidden spaces of the theatre, workshops for families and young people from the Outreach team, showing how the productions are created, talks hosted by our passionate Theatre Club and in the evening, a free performance of The Flying Lovers… for anyone who wants to see a show in the historic theatre and who is lucky enough to win tickets in a city-wide ballot.
Sun 29 May
CELEBRATE the past, present and future with a glittering gala fundraising event. Featuring appearances from some of the stars who have trod the boards here over the years. Recent additions to the evening include award-winning trumpeter Alison Balsom who will open the evening’s entertainment with a performance of the Bristol Fanfare, and distinguished stage and screen actor Toby Jones.
They are joining Timothy West, Caroline Quentin, Sir Tony Robinson, Tim Pigott-Smith, Michael Morpurgo, Erebus Ensemble, Samantha Bond, Patrick Malahide, Stephanie Cole, Pippa Haywood and Greta Scacchi, to name just a few, who will be creating a series of unique theatrical moments in honour of the past, present and future of Bristol Old Vic. A final few tickets are still available to be part of this very special event and birthday party lasting well into the night. More names will be released in the coming weeks.
The evening will culminate with the first showing of a specially commissioned film projected onto the front of the building. This film, created by Bristol-based Limbic Cinema, will illustrate the changing face of the theatre over its 250 year history and show how the designs for the final stage of our refurbishment will reveal the secrets of the theatre’s long life to the street for the first time.
Mon 30 May
PARTICIPATE in Bristol’s rich creative life as the whole building will be dedicated to a programme celebrating the creativity of our beautiful city; all arts organisations in Bristol are welcome to take part, there will be a street festival with food, entertainment and the chance to take part in everything from Bhangra workshops to juggling skills. There will also be Bristol Open Stage Showcases running throughout the day on the stage showing highlights from the two Open Stage events that took place at Bristol Old Vic in February and March this year. Open Stage shows how Bristol rose to the challenge and took over the stage with any and all creative offerings they wanted to share, with spectacular results! Tickets are free with showcases happening from 1pm every hour until 6pm.
We particularly like the fact that Tom Morris also announced an Anniversary Ale named 1766 is to be produced by Bath Ales to celebrate this significant milestone. Available at Bristol Old Vic from April.
Bristol Old Vic