new shows added to complete Nancy Medina's first year as Artistic Director

18 Oct 2023

Final productions announced to complete Nancy Medina’s first year as Artistic Director at Bristol Old Vic.

  • World premiere of A Child of Science written by Gareth Farr and directed by Matthew Dunster.
  • London transfers of The Glass Menagerie and It’s A Motherf**king Pleasure.
  • Expanded summer season of family work.
  • 2022 production of Hamlet to be broadcast as part of the BBC’s Shakespeare celebrations.
  • Tickets on sale from Thu 19 Oct, 10am to members and on general sale from Thu 26 Oct.

As Nancy Medina opens Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy, her Bristol Old Vic directorial debut, the theatre has today announced the shows to complete her first year as Artistic Director for the historic theatre – shining a spotlight on hidden voices.

Nancy Medina said: The first productions I announced in April were bursting with joy and hope and celebrated how we’re so much stronger when we work together. I’m mindful too that our theatre has a responsibility to share the stories and wealth of perspectives that might otherwise never be heard. And a number of the productions I’m announcing today are connected by the theme of hidden voices – voices that have been ignored, that are repressed, or that history might have celebrated and acknowledged before.”
In June 2024, Bristol Old Vic and Impossible Producing will present the world premiere of the Bruntwood Prize-winning writer Gareth Farr’s new play A Child of Science. Directed by Matthew Dunster (2.22: A Ghost Story) with cast includes Tom Felton (Harry Potter). Running at Bristol Old Vic from 5 Jun – 6 Jul, A Child Of Science charts the incredible story of scientific pioneers Patrick Steptoe, Robert Edwards and Jean Purdy, and the army of women from across the UK whose immense bravery helped them achieve the impossible - to create human life in vitro (IVF).
Speaking ahead of the launch, director Matthew Dunster said:“My triplets are the result of IVF. And I’m from Oldham where the first IVF baby was delivered. So the story of this miracle means a great deal to me. Over the last few years, I’ve watched Gareth put this beautiful story together, about the brave, anonymous women of my home town, and the three medical giants, Purdy, Steptoe and Edwards, that gave so many of us hope. I had to direct this wonderful new play and I’m honoured to have the opportunity.”
Atri Banerjee’s acclaimed 2022 Royal Exchange production of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, will transfer to Bristol Old Vic from London as part of a UK tour, with Geraldine Sommerville (Gosford Park) returning to her critically acclaimed role as Amanda. This intimate and intense memory play explores the complex web of love and loyalty that binds families together in an adventurous production which takes a fresh look at this classic play. Running from 711 May.
New productions announced for The Weston Studio next year include the world premiere of Nanny (31 Jan-10 Feb), a new comedy about two nursery workers trying to establish their voices as a comic double-act. In Feb, the Bristol Old Vic supported show Dear Young Monster, visits the Studio from 22 Feb – 9 Mar. This debut solo show from Pete MacHale explores a young trans man’s journey through fear and otherness, towards embracing who he truly is. This is followed by multi award-winning FlawBored theatre company’s debut show It’s a Motherf**king Pleasure, a dark satire on disability which played to sell-out audiences and critical acclaim at London’s Vault Festival earlier this year. It visits the Studio as part of a UK tour.
This sits alongside work from the next generation of theatre makers. In Jan, The Roaring Girl will be presented by Bristol Old Vic‘s Young Company (a major part of Bristol Old Vic’s engagement activity that welcomes over 800 people each week to its sessions) while in May, we’re delighted to welcome Bristol School of Acting to the Weston Studio for the first time with their production of Piaf.
This Studio work joins previously announced productions Project Dictator, Help! I Think I’m a Nationalist and Bacon.
There’s also a host of family favourites for the summer from the return of Zog and the Flying Doctors and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, to new productions Dragons and Mythical BeastsLive direct from the West End, and the laugh-out-loud family comedy King Arthur from Le Navet Bete. These family gems in the theatre follow on from the newly announced Feb Half Term production, The Farmer and the Clown which will take place in the Weston Studio, adapted from the charming picture-book by Marla Frazee.
Plus, the newly announced New Year’s Eve House Party extends Nancys invitation to the whole city, setting the award-winning foyer space jumping - whether you are a theatregoer or not!
And on 5 Nov, Bristol Old Vic’s production of Hamlet starring Billy Howle and directed by John Haidar, will be broadcast on BBC Four as part of the BBC season celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s first folio.
Charlotte Geeves, Bristol Old Vic’s Executive Director said: “It’s been brilliant to see Bristol respond so positively to Nancy’s first season earlier this year. Since then, we’ve welcomed over 42,000 people through the doors including 7,000 first time bookers. The programme we’re announcing today is just as strong and we look forward to welcoming people back to Bristol Old Vic for more memorable experiences and welcoming even more first-time visitors.”

Explore the full programme with our digital season guide here