The Little Theatre

Circa: November 1963

In 1963 the Arts Council's 21-year lease of the Theatre was up, and they decided not to renew it. 

The Old Vic, London had merged with the National Theatre when it was established in 1962 and, since the 1950s, the Bristol Old Vic Company had been becoming increasingly independent. 

With financial support from the Arts Council, they separated from The Old Vic completely, creating the Bristol Old Vic Trust Ltd. Soon after they were invited to take on artistic direction of the Little Theatre (part of Colston Hall) in addition to the Theatre Royal.

Their first production at Little Theatre was The Importance of Being Ernest, featuring glamorous film star Susannah York. This was the first time a regional company had ever run concurrent seasons at two theatres under one artistic policy.