19 Jul 2021
Photo by @JonCraig_Photos

Bristol Old Vic today announced it would continue to offer audiences a selection of guaranteed socially distanced shows for each of its autumn/winter productions this season.

For all long-running shows until March 2022, the theatre will guarantee two performances each week will remain socially distanced, in order to cater for vulnerable members of the public or those who need to keep extra precautions in place. These socially distanced performances will also require mandatory mask-wearing, whatever happens to other rules in the theatre or in society at large.

Since the summer of 2020, theatres have shown themselves among the COVID-safest spaces for public to visit. The government’s Events Research Programme in the spring and the latest announcements from UK Theatre show that indoor performances are safe to attend, but audiences remain cautious about a return to full capacity.

Bristol Old Vic has been operating at less than 50% capacity in its auditorium since theatres were able to begin presenting shows in May. It has also been operating strict safety measures to ensure all visitors to the 253-year-old venue are safe and comfortable.

In addition, the theatre will also continue to film and/or live broadcast of all its signature productions so that audiences who feel safer watching at home in Bristol and around the world can enjoy the thrill of live theatre in complete comfort and safety at home.
In addition to the socially distanced shows, here’s how Bristol Old Vic will make sure theatres remain among the COVID-safest spaces you can visit:

  • Staff will continue to wear face coverings
  • Additional cleaning will stay in place  
  • The theatre’s ventilation remains at the highest level
  • At-table ordering via app and table service will continue to be offered
  • Staff will take lateral flow tests 3 times a week
  • No-questions-asked exchange or credit on tickets if audience members no longer feel comfortable attending

The theatre is also recommending its audiences, wherever they can, continue to wear face coverings, respect others’ personal space, and to not attend if they have any symptoms of Covid-19.

Bristol Old Vic’s Executive Director Charlotte Geeves said today:
“Today’s announcement of the end to restrictions in England mean theatres can remove all social distancing measures and sell productions at full capacity for the first time since March 2020. However, public confidence varies widely. Some people are rushing through the doors, keen to sit side-by-side in a buzzing auditorium, while others are feeling more cautious.

This theatre belongs to everyone, so we wanted to make sure everyone has the opportunity to return to the theatre in their own time and in a way that feels right to them.”

She continued: “We want to reassure everyone who visits us that as the latest information comes from Public Health England, we’ll be keeping a very close eye on how things develop and will adapt accordingly. Our top priority is keeping people safe.”

The Meaning of Zong (11 Sep – 2 Oct)
Guaranteed Socially Distanced performances:
Wed 15 Sep, 7.30pm
Sat 18 Sep, 2.30pm
Tue 21 Sep, 7.30pm
Thu 23 Sep, 2.30pm
Mon 27 Sep, 7.30pm
Tue 28 Sep, 2.30pm

Wuthering Heights (9 Oct – 6 Nov)
Guaranteed Socially Distanced performances:
Wed 13 Oct, 7.30pm
Sat 16 Oct, 2.30pm
Mon 18 Oct, 7.30pm
Thu 21 Oct, 2.30pm
Tue 26 Oct, 7.30pm
Thu 28 Oct, 2.30pm

Robin Hood: Legend of The Forgotten Forest (25 Nov – 8 Jan)
Guaranteed Socially Distanced performances:
Thu 2 Dec, 7pm
Fri 3 Dec, 2pm
Tue 7 Dec, 2pm
Wed 8 Dec, 7pm
Wed 15 Dec, 7pm
Sat 18 Dec, 2pm
Sun 2 Jan, 2pm
Tue 4 Jan, 7pm
Thu 6 Jan 2pm

Dr Semmelweis (20 Jan - 12 Feb)
Guaranteed Socially Distanced performances:
Mon 24 Jan, 7.30pm
Sat 29 Jan, 2.30pm
Mon 31 Jan, 7.30pm
Thu 3 Feb, 2.30pm 
Tue 8 Feb, 7.30pm
Thu 10 Feb, 2.30pm 

Wonder Boy (5 - 26 Mar)
Guaranteed Socially Distanced performances:
Tue 8 Mar, 7.30pm
Sat 12 Mar, 2.30pm
Mon 14 Mar, 7.30pm
Sat 19 Mar, 2.30pm
Mon 21 Mar, 7.30pm
Thu 24 Mar, 2.30pm

Tickets: / 0117 987 7877


For further information, please contact Amanda Adams
07957 438212 / 

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.

Press Office: 0117 949 4901 |