Bristol Old Vic announces Christmas line-up

24 Oct 2019
  • John Hopkins plays Scrooge in Bristol Old Vic debut
  • Brand-new production Anansi and the Grand Prize in the Weston Studio
  • Boing! returns after 9 years
  • Wrap-around festive treats announced including film screenings & new Christmas Menu

Bristol Old Vic today announced a festive extravaganza, including a new cast for Charles Dickens’ timeless tale A Christmas Carol, returning to Bristol Old Vic this November following a record-breaking run in 2018.
John Hopkins makes his Bristol Old Vic main stage debut, as the most iconic of all Christmas characters, Scrooge.
John recently appeared in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ at the Ambassadors Theatre and starred in Much Ado about Nothing as Benedick alongside Mel Giedroyc’s Beatrice at The Rose Kingston. As well as being an accomplished stage actor, John’s other work includes Sgt. Dan Scott in Midsomer Murders, Lowell Manchester in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Sir Francis Bassett in BBC’s Poldark.
Making their return and joining Musical Director Gwyneth Herbert on stage are Harry Bird and Christophe Capewell, who, together, form the travelling folk band the Rubber Wellies who have played to audiences across the globe and released three albums.

We’re also thrilled to welcome Ewan Black in the role of Marley who is making a welcome return to Bristol Old Vic after his electrifying performance in The Grinning Man (also West End).

Returning to A Christmas Carol is recent Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate George Readshaw as Young Scrooge, who will be joined by fellow alumni and 2019 Peter O’Toole winners* Mofetoluwa Akande as Belle and Shane David-Joseph as Freddie. They are joined by recent Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama graduate Rebecca Hayes as Little Fan.

Completing the cast is Bob Cratchit as Stephen Collins, an Associate Artist for Amplified Theatre and Lead Artist for DH Ensemble. On stage, Stephen has worked extensively with Graeae (Blasted, Reasons To Be Cheerful) and Deafinitely Theatre. His film credits include Dawn of the Deaf (2016).
Dickens' classic is adapted by Tom Morris (Touching The Void, The Grinning Man) who joins forces with Director Lee Lyford (The Elephant Man) and Musical Director Gwyneth Herbert (The Snow Queen) to present the ultimate festive feast for all the family. They are joined by Designer Tom Rogers, Lighting Designer Anna Watson and Sound Designer Helen Skiera.
A Christmas Carol will run at Bristol Old Vic from 28 Nov 2019 – 12 Jan 2020.

In the Weston Studio, Sally Cookson’s magical dance-theatre show for ages 2–7, Boing! is returning home, back to where it all began after nine years touring the world. The story centres on two boys waiting for Father Christmas to arrive, with awe-inspiring break-dance and contemporary choreography sprinkled throughout. The Travelling Light co-production stars our third 2019 Peter O’Toole winner and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate Kel Matsena (The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby) and choreographer Wilkie Branson (Baddies: The Musical, The Velveteen Rabbit) and will run from Fri 29 Nov 2019 – Sun 5 Jan 2020.


This Christmas also marks the premiere of the full production of Ruth Ramsay and Edson Burton’s Anansi and the Grand Prize, last seen as a ‘work-in-progress’ at Ferment Fortnight in July 2019. Set in a fictitious island melting-pot during Festival season, Anansi is a vibrant retelling of the classic African folktale about the eponymous trickster hero. Full of reggae, soul music, colourful costumes and dance, this cheeky carnival-inspired production offers an alternative night of celebration for adults. Anansi and the Grand Prize will run in the Weston Studio from Mon 9 – Sat 21 Dec.  The press performance for Anansi and the Grand Prize will be on Thu 12 Dec at 8pm.


For those who cannot get enough of Christmas, Bristol Old Vic has partnered with Bristol Film Festival to present two special seasonal film screenings of The Muppet Christmas Carol and The Wizard of Oz. The screenings will both take place on Mon 30 Dec in the historic auditorium, for an experience that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Finally, 1766 Bar & Kitchen has everything you need for a Christmas party or festive family meal. The new Christmas Menu features locally sourced favourites and a few new surprises – don't forget to order a classic Christmas trifle! Group bookings are welcome for parties with 8 guests or more. See website for details. 

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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