Bristol Old Vic and St Pauls Carnival join forces to host a Carnival Takeover on 4 May

26 Apr 2019

On 4 May, St Pauls Carnival will take over Bristol Old Vic’s front of house spaces to celebrate the two month countdown to this year’s carnival and join the smash hit production of Barber Shop Chronicles as it powers into Bristol Old Vic as part of its UK tour.

Barber Shop Chronicles is one of the decade’s most successful plays and takes place in six Barber Shops in six different cities across the globe as a joyous celebration of masculinity, fatherhood and identity. Described by The Guardian as “one of the best 25 plays of the decade” it is a riot of laughter, dance and music and feels like the perfect fit with St Pauls Carnival, now in its 51st year, creating a great moment to bring the two events together for a day of fun, food and festivities.

Beginning at midday on Saturday 4 May, this explosion of arts and culture will feature African-inspired DJ sets, drumming and song, with craft activities throughout the foyer, and an Afrikan-Caribbean menu served by Bristol’s latest food hotspot, 1766 Bar & Kitchen. Names of the artists and musicians taking part will be announced next week.

This free event is wrapped around two performances of Barber Shop Chronicles at 2.30pm and 7.30pm with tickets available from £11.50.

LaToyah McAllister-Jones, newly appointed Executive Director of St Pauls carnival said: 

“We’re excited to be working with Bristol Old Vic in the run up to this year’s celebration. Carnival is so much more than a one-day event with many other activities taking place across the city in the run up to the day itself.
“This will be a fun-packed, high energy performance which reflects the culture and ethos of carnival so it’s definitely one to add to your social calendar!”

Bristol Old Vic’s Executive Producer Chloe Naldrett Elwood said: 

“We’re constantly looking for new ways to reach people across the city and to welcome them into the brilliant new theatre spaces. Barber Shop Chronicles is a story which does something really unique; throughout its world tour, audiences from every background and every city from Leeds to Massachusetts have found themselves swept up in a night of unforgettable joy. Carnival is the perfect fit – celebrating music, individual flair and community connections. We are thrilled to be able to bring a little bit of carnival into Bristol Old Vic and share this brilliant show in return."

St Pauls Carnival, photo by David Tidman

Barber Shop Chronicles, photo by Mark Brenner

Bristol Old Vic is the longest continuously running theatre in the UK, and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016. The historic playhouse aims to inspire audiences with its own original productions, both at home and on tour, whilst nurturing the next generation of artists, whether that be through their 350-strong Young Company, their many outreach and education projects or their trailblazing artist development programme, Bristol Ferment.

They use their funding to support experiment and innovation, to allow access to their programme for people who would not otherwise encounter it, or be able to afford it, and to keep their extraordinary heritage alive and animated.

On 24 Sep 2018, Bristol Old Vic completed its 2-year multi-million pound redevelopment project, which transformed its front of house space into a warm and welcoming public building for all of Bristol to enjoy, created a new studio theatre and opened up its unique theatrical heritage to the public for the first time.

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