The Thunder Run

Circa: 1766

The 18th-century Thunder Run is a wooden trough which slopes above the stage. Spherical iron weights were rolled down it during performances so that peals of 'thunder' would reverberate above the heads of the audience. 

Part of the Grade I listed building, this instrument was restored during our 2012 redevelopment.

It was last used in the 2016 production of King Lear as part of Bristol Old Vic's 250th anniversary celebrations. Prior to this, its last recorded use was in 1942. It is one of only three working Thunder Runs remaining in the country; the others are in two London theatres: Her Majesty's and The Playhouse. We hope to host public tours of the Thunder Run in future.