Bristol Old Vic and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

When Bristol Old Vic Company was formed in 1946, we became the first publicly funded theatre outside of London. In the same year we also established Bristol Old Vic Theatre School as a training school for our acting company and for the nation. 

Some 40 years later, Bristol Old Vic Company and the Theatre School separated into two distinct organisations that share common roots and a name that is recognised the world over. This enabled the two organisations to better respond to the changing world, while continuing to maintain a close and mutually supportive relationship despite there being no formal affiliation.

Learn more about Bristol Old Vic Theatre School here.

Bristol Old Vic is a member of The Bristol DIY Network; an independent gathering of arts organisations and arts practitioners, large and small, funded (Arts Council, Bristol City Council) and unfunded, all of whom deliver cultural programmes within the city of Bristol.

We meet regularly to advocate for the sector and to discuss and inform policy, as well as forming working groups in response to specific issues and to develop shared activity. This thinking feeds directly into the wider cultural conversations happening at a high level in the city through the Cultural Strategy Steering Group.

The group’s members work across different scales and different artforms; some specialise in participatory opportunities, others seek out an audience; some charge, some don’t; and some provide complex programmes that sit across a number of strands. 

Together, we are committed to the successful future of our city, and the creativity of both Bristol and Bristolians. 

Network members also include Watershed, Knowle West Media Centre, Artspace Lifespace, Field Art Projects, Circomedia, Architecture Centre, Bristol Beacon, Bristol Culture, Room 13, The Paraorchestra and Friends, Zion, The Trinity Centre and many others including independent artists.