Stepping Behind the Scenes

8 Sep 2023
Anne Lovejoy

On Sun 19 Sep, to celebrate Heritage Open Day and Bristol 650, we're flinging open the doors for a day of free activities exploring the creative people who have made stories come to life on our stage for more than 250 years. There's an exclusive tour, exhibition, and a kid's workshop.

If you can't wait that long - here's a sneak peek of what's in store!

taster tour

On this self-guided tour you will meet guides around Bristol Old Vic who will bring the spaces to life with stories about the creative people that have worked to make our shows come alive.

Get exclusive access to some backstage areas of the theatre including...   

The Linbury Paintshop with its historic paint frame.

(Did you know, during our foyer refurbishment in 2016-18, the paintshop was turned into a Backstage Bar and audiences came through stage door to see the shows?)

A front cloth being painted for the production of Cyrano in 2019

Bristol Old Vic's roof space which is home to the oldest working Thunder Run in country.

(Did you know we last used the Thunder Run in King Lear in 2016 to celebrate the theatre's 250th birthday?)

The Thunder Run in the theatre's attic


Head upstairs to Coopers' Hall to see a temporary installation of photographs and designs from the Bristol Old Vic archives featuring costume designs, set designs and portraits of staff from years gone by.

Photo by Derek Balmer.

Making a Scene

Learn how to make a scene with our interactive virtual reality workshop, (for kids aged 4-16).

In the workshop you get to create your own scenes using a prompt script from our archive as your inspiration. It's a great way to learn about different roles behind the scenes. Kids can be dropped off while grown-ups explore the rest of the event.

Don't miss out on this fun day of free activities! Our celebration of Heritage Open Day and Bristol 650 takes place on Sun 17 Sep. Find out more