Bristol Old Vic and Travelling Light announce classic Christmas “tail”, Belle and Sebastien, reimagined for young adventurers this winter

5 Mar 2020

Two of the South West’s leading children’s storytellers, Bristol Old Vic and Travelling Light, today announced their latest Christmas collaboration, Belle and Sebastien, based on the classic children’s stories by Cécile Aubry about a six-year-old boy and his dog Belle, a Pyrenean Mountain Dog, who live in a village in the French Alps.

Set against the backdrop of snowy mountains and stormy relationships, Belle and Sebastien opens in The Weston Studio on 5 Dec 2020 and runs until 10 Jan 2021. The iconic story has inspired many versions, including an animated children’s series in 1965, a Japanese anime version nearly two decades later and a motion picture in 2013. This latest reimagining brings this story of the love between a boy and his dog to a whole new generation of children in Travelling Light’s own unique style.

There’s a vicious beast on the loose in the mountains – that’s what people are saying. But people say lots of things that aren’t true around here.

Back in the village, six-year-old Sebastien is being bullied for being different again. Orphaned at birth, he longs for kinship and adventure. So, when he hears about a wild dog roaming the cliffs above his house, it isn’t long before he sets off in search of ‘Belle’, alone.

Tickets go on sale on 5 March to the general public, marking not only World Book Day but also, in a nod to our famous doggy friend “Belle”, the opening day of Crufts Dog Show!

With ‘Belle’ created by Bristol puppetry director Marc Parrett (We’re Going on a Bear Hunt), live music from Seamus Carey, a wild and wintry set design by Edwina Bridgeman, and directed by Travelling Light’s Heidi Vaughan (Igloo), come and snuggle up with your best friends for a cosy night of love, friendship and kindred spirits.
Pyjama Nights return!
On selected performance dates, come along in your pyjamas for a 6pm show and grab a hot chocolate & a flapjack from 1766 Bar & Kitchen.

Pay it Forward
Following on from the success of our Pay it Forward scheme last year, this is relaunched for Belle and Sebastien, allowing you to pay towards an additional ticket for someone who would not otherwise be able to attend. Last year 160 tickets were gifted to children and care-givers through the scheme; we aim to double that figure this year.

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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