Company 3

Circa: 1987

From the 1960s onwards, performances at the Theatre began to be more diverse. Audiences had primarily been white and middle-class, so in 1987 Artistic Director Leon Rubin supported the creation of multicultural acting group Company 3. They aimed to build new audiences outside of Bristol Old Vic theatre-goer’s usual ethnic and socio-economic makeup. 

Between the cast’s differing ethnicities and their decision to perform in community settings where people generally didn’t have access to theatre, Company 3 intended to show that productions could reflect and resonate with a truly diverse society. 

Their first production Julius Caesar toured Bristol schools, community centres, and Leyhill Prison, receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews. Since then, Bristol Old Vic has tried to increase diversity through outreach and engagement, including collaborations with Firebird Theatre, Diverse City, Borderlands and Bristol Old Vic Young Company.