Bristol Old Vic announces 24 new shows now on sale for its Winter/Spring 2019 season

5 Nov 2018

Bristol Old Vic today went on sale with its Winter/Spring 2019 programme, launching a new season of inspiring, cutting-edge and award-winning theatre, set to take Bristol by storm following its ground-breaking Year of Change.

Highlights include Tom Mothersdale in the titular role of Bristol Old Vic’s latest collaboration with Headlong, Richard III, the Alfred Fagon Award-shortlisted Princess & The Hustler, the national tour of Barber Shop Chronicles following its acclaimed stint at the National Theatre and a triumphant return of this season’s sell-out success, Touching The Void.

Featuring a record number of inspiring visiting companies from the likes of Pilot Theatre (Noughts & Crosses), Little Angel Theatre (The Singing Mermaid), English Touring Theatre (Equus) and Kneehigh (Dead Dog in a Suitcase and other love songs), Bristol Old Vic’s new season promises to thrill theatre-seekers from across the region and beyond. 

The new season goes on sale to Priority Bookers today, with general sale opening at 10am on Wed Nov 7. Become a Friend from as little as £36 per year and be among the very first to hear new season announcements, enjoy discounts of up to 25% and benefit from an exclusive Priority Booking period.


The full list of productions in the Winter/Spring 2019 season are:


Hercules
9 – 12 Jan
The Weston Studio
From £13


In collaboration with our wildly inventive Young Company (T***k You), Made in Bristol alumni The Wardrobe Ensemble (Education Education, Education) return to Bristol Old Vic to bring the Hercules myth bang up to date, scrutinising what it means to be strong in today’s society.

A brand-new, devised show looking at how our young men are raised and the pressures of masculinity.

Princess and The Hustler
9 – 23 Feb
The Weston Studio
From £16

Written by Chinonyerem Odimba
Directed by Dawn Walton
An Eclipse Theatre Company, Bristol Old Vic and Hull Truck Theatre co-production

Bristol Old Vic is delighted to announce The Weston Studio’s first major production of 2019 (9 - 23 Feb), The Princess and the Hustler. Written by Bristol writer Chinonyerem Odimba (Medea, Bristol Old Vic) and directed by Dawn Walton, the play tells the story of Bristol in 1963, as Black British Civil Rights activists walk onto the streets and Princess finds out what it really means to be black and beautiful.

The Princess and the Hustler is a co-production between Bristol Old Vic, Eclipse Theatre Company and Hull Truck. It also marks a second national tour born from Revolution Mix, an Eclipse Theatre Company movement that is spearheading the largest ever delivery of New Black British stories.

The first Revolution Mix story was last year’s sell-out production of Black Men Walking, also directed by Eclipse Artistic Director Dawn Walton, which played to packed houses in Bristol in 2018

The Singing Mermaid
22 – 24 Feb
Theatre
From £12.50
Ages 3–8

A Little Angel Theatre and Royal & Derngate co-production

Through beautiful puppetry and performance, Little Angel will be bringing Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo) and Lydia Monks’ (What The Ladybird Heard Next) enormously popular story The Singing Mermaid to life.

Richard III
1 – 9 Mar & 2 – 13 Apr
Theatre
From £7.50

Directed by John Haidar, Headlong Associate Artist
Cast includes: Tom Mothersdale (The Glass Menagerie)
A collaboration between Headlong, Bristol Old Vic and Alexandra Palace with Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Oxford Playhouse

John Haidar directs Tom Mothersdale (BBCs Peaky BlindersCleansed - National Theatre) as Shakespeare’s most notorious and complex villain, Richard III. This inventive new production is a co-production between Headlong, Alexandra Palace and Bristol Old Vic, with Royal & Derngate Northampton and Oxford Playhouse.

Bristol Old Vic’s Tom Morris, said, “We’re thrilled to be building on our partnership with Associate Company Headlong and all our collaborators, through this premiere of a modern psycho-drama of a power-crazed outsider, entirely carried by the timeless language of Shakespeare. John Haidar is a young director with a talent for visionary storytelling. His interpretation of the most notorious King in British history, together with Tom Mothersdale as Richard, Duke of York, is already hotly anticipated and we can’t wait to welcome them to Bristol!”

Noughts & Crosses
12 – 16 Mar
Theatre
From £10

Presented by Pilot Theatre in co-production with Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Derby Theatre, Mercury Theatre Colchester and York Theatre Royal
Based on the book by Malorie Blackman and adapted by Sabrina Mahfouz 
Directed by Esther Richardson (Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre)
Cast: Heather Agyepong and Billy Harris 

Sephy and Callum sit together on a beach. They are in love. It is forbidden.

Sephy is a Cross and Callum is a Nought. Between Noughts and Crosses there are racial and social divides. A segregated society teeters on a volatile knife edge.

This gripping Romeo and Juliet story by acclaimed writer Malorie Blackman and adapted by Sabrina Mahfouz is a captivating drama of love, revolution, and what it means to grow up in a divided world.

Touching The Void
19 – 23 Mar
Theatre
From £12.50
Ages 14+

A Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Fuel co-production

Following its sell-out world premiere in 2018, “Tom Morris’ most accomplished project since War Horse” returns to Bristol for one final week this spring.

Institute
26 – 30 Mar
Theatre
From £10
Ages 12+


Internationally touring physical theatre company Gecko Theatre (The Wedding) return to Bristol Old Vic with their 5-star Orwellian smash-hit Institute, featuring original music by Dave Price.

Acts of Resistance
7 – 8 April
Theatre
From £8

Presented by Headlong Futures
Directed by Rob Watt (SEXY, Vanessa Kissuule, How To Survive a Post Truth Apocalypse)
Created by The Company & Stef Smith (RoadKill – Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre Olivier Award)

Created through a bold and ambitious project called Headlong Futures, this brand-new play from four communities across England and award-winning writer Stef Smith is a playful and passionate look at what we have inherited and what, for the sake of all our futures, we are willing to leave behind.

Acts of Resistance was first work-shopped with the Bristol Old Vic Young Company and performed during The Weston Studio Opening Weekend from Oct 5 – 7.

Equus
16 – 20 Apr
Theatre
From £10
Ages 14+

Written by Peter Shaffer (AmadeusLettice and Lovage)
Directed by Ned Bennett (Pomona, An Octoroon)
An English Touring Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East co-production

Inspired by a true story, Equus explores the complex relationships between devotion, myth and sexuality.

When teenager Alan Strang’s pathological fascination leads him to blind six horses in a Hampshire stable, psychiatrist Dr. Martin Dysart is tasked with uncovering the motive behind the boy’s violent act. As Dysart delves into Alan’s world of twisted spirituality, passion and sexuality, he begins to question his own sanity and motivations in a world driven by consumerism.

Following two consecutive sell-outs with The Weir and A Streetcar Named Desire, English Touring Theatre return to Bristol Old Vic with Ned Bennett’s bold new production of Peter Shaffer’s critically-acclaimed psychological thriller.

1972: The Future of Sex
30 Apr – 11 May
The Weston Studio
From £16
Ages 12+

Presented by The Wardrobe Ensemble

It’s 1972. An era of possibility and polyester and pubic hair.
Ziggy Stardust is on Top of the Pops, Penny is writing an essay on Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Christine is watching Deepthroat. Brian is confused. 

With their trademark theatricality in tow, The Wardrobe Ensemble (Education, Education, Education) return to their old stomping ground to tell stories of the class of ‘72, accompanied by a live band and some spacehoppers. 

Barber Shop Chronicles
2 – 18 May
Theatre
From £11.50

Written by Inua Ellams
Directed by Bijan Sheibani
A Fuel, National Theatre and Leeds Playhouse co-production

One day. Six cities. A thousand stories.

After an outstanding and trailblazing run at the national theatre, we are delighted to be able to welcome the phenomenal hit show to Bristol Old Vic as part of its national tour. This UK tour follows two runs at the National Theatre, performances at Leeds Playhouse and a tour of Australia and New Zealand.

This dynamic play by Inua Ellams leaps from a barber shop in London to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, lagos and Accra. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling.

The Remains of the Day
21 – 25 May
Theatre
From £10
Ages 14+

An Out of Joint and Royal & Derngate co-production
Based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
Directed by Christopher Haydon (Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre)

2017 Nobel Prize-winner Kazuo Ishiguro’s masterpiece of memory and regret entranced millions as a novel and a BAFTA-winning Merchant Ivory film. Now transformed into an exquisite stage play by returning theatre company Out of Joint (Rita, Sue and Bob Too), The Remains of the Day is a story for anyone who has ever been afraid to follow their heart.

In The Willows
29 May – 1 Jun
Theatre
From £10
Ages 6+

Presented by Metta Theatre (Jungle Book)

With epic show tunes and killer beats, this classic story is brought popping and locking into the 21st century in an extraordinary new hip-hop musical. Featuring fast bikes, fierce moves and fabulous vocals, and starring the Olivier Award-winning Clive Rowe (Guys & Dolls, Tracy Beaker) as Badger.

After the overwhelming Bristol response to Jungle Book in 2017, award-winning Metta Theatre are back with a bold new take on this much-loved classic.

One Night in Miami…
25 – 29 Jun
Theatre
From £10

Presented by Nottingham Playhouse Theatre
Written by Kemp Powers (Little Black Shadows)
Directed by Matthew Xia (Blue/Orange, Wish List)

Kemp Powers’ tough talking, in-your-face drama pinpoints the pivotal moments in the lives of black American icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown. Over music, whiskey and two tubs of vanilla ice cream, the men wrangle with the change that’s going to come. What will emerge are four legends that would define an era.

A play about prejudice and brotherhood, Matthew Xia (Shebeen) directs this brand new production of One Night in Miami… following its UK theatrical stage premiere at The Donmar Warehouse in Oct 2016.

Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs)
2 – 13 Jul
Theatre
From £10
Ages 14+

Presented by Kneehigh
Directed by Mike Shepherd

Kneehigh are back with their theatrical tour-de-force Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs). Based on John Gay’s classic musical satire, The Beggar’s Opera, Kneehigh’s wild retelling is busting with wit, wonder and weirdness. This encore performance of Kneehigh’s riotous hit sees their extraordinary cast of actor musicians shoot, hoot and shimmy their way through this twisted morality tale for our times.

Spoken Word:
Love: What's The Point?
3 Feb
The Weston Studio
£8


Blah’s annual Valentine’s slam returns with two teams of spoken word favourites, banding together to argue for and against romantic love. With plentiful heart-shaped sweets to chew on, expect moving and beautiful love poems vs. hilarious and scathing cynicism before we cast the ultimate vote: Does love suck? You decide!

Sean Mahoney: Until You Hear That Bell
21 Apr
The Weston Studio
£8


Told through lip-splitting spoken word within timed boxing rounds, “skilled storyteller” (The Stage) Sean Mahoney enters the Blah ring with Until You Hear That Bell – a story that explores the changing relationship between a father and son across ten years of amateur boxing.

Dance:
Ballet Black
2 – 13 Jul
Theatre
From £16

Celebrating their 18th year, Ballet Black return to Bristol Old Vic (The Suit / A Dream Within A Midsummer Night's Dream) with their dramatic and inventive storytelling in a lively showcase of modern ballets.

Ingoma (meaning song) is a specially commissioned piece by Company dancer and choreographer Mthuthuzeli November, which imagines the struggles of black South African miners in 1946 – the same year in which 60,000 of them took courageous strike action. Through a fusion of ballet, African dance and singing, the performance portrays a milestone moment in the country’s history.

It’s followed by a light-hearted narrative ballet by renowned choreographer Luca Silvestrini – another original work for the mesmerising ensemble whose dancers are of black and Asian descent. 

Impermanence: Ball
2 – 13 Jul
Theatre
From £16


Baal is Bertolt Brecht’s first play, written in 1918 upon his return from war. We move between town and forest, life and death, disgust and empathy. Searching for freedom in expression and extremity of experience with disdain for mediocrity; Baal is our anti-hero and the world is there to be consumed – but at what cost?  

BalletBoyz: Them/Us
2 – 13 Jul
Theatre 
From £16


Them is created by the BalletBoyz dancers themselves, together with key collaborators, and the Tony and Olivier Award-winning Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon (An American in Paris) brings us the achingly beautiful Us, inspired by his critically acclaimed duet featured in the Company’s memorable production, FOURTEEN DAYS

Comedy:
Shappi Khorsandi
10 Mar
Bristol Old Vic
From £16

Comedian, author, cultural icon and - most recently - idiot who agreed to be tortured on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!, Shappi Khorsandi is a woman of many parts. But live comedy is where she's in her element, and now - after her spell in the jungle - she sets out for the more welcoming destination of Bristol. 

A brand new show packed full of sharp-tongued gags and cultural observation, this is Shappi's warts and all journey through the 90s comedy scene, to breaking through on telly and then letting it all slip away. 

Foil, Arms & Hog
19 May
Bristol Old Vic
From £21

Foil, Arms and Hog return to the UK with their best show yet. With over 100 million hits on YouTube FA&H are best known for their online videos, but their live show is what they are most proud of. 

CRAICLING is a fast-paced sketch show featuring a tutorial in how to hold a baby, a Gregorian chant about drunken monks and a step by step guide in how to kill an actor.

Henning Wehn
26 May
Bristol Old Vic
£26

You couldn’t make it up; surely the German Comedy Ambassador Henning Wehn hasn’t bosched out yet another new show? And what’s he still doing here anyway? Well, his lack of transferable skills is what keeps him here and his belief that practise makes perfect is what keeps him going. 

This show is a much needed call to arms. Listen, everyone: stop pondering and hand-wringing. Instead get on your bike and put your face to the grindstone! 

Henning's most recent television and radio appearances include Live At The Apollo (BBC2), Have I Got News For You (BBC1), Would I Lie To You (BBC1), 8 Out Of Cats Does Countdown (Channel 4), Fighting Talk (BBC Radio 5 Live) and The Unbelievable Truth (BBC Radio 4).

James Acaster
13 Oct
Bristol Old Vic
£18.50


Master of whimsy James Acaster has received acclaim from around the world, including a record breaking 5 consecutive nominations for 'Best Comedy Show' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In his brand-new show Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999, James will discuss both the best and the worst year of his life -  both are fun in their own ways. 

Bristol Old Vic is the longest continuously running theatre in the UK, and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016. Under Artistic Director Tom Morris and Chief Executive Emma Stenning, 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.

Press Office: 0117 949 4901 | press@bristololdvic.org.uk