Bristol Old Vic to recruit new Chair as Dame Liz Forgan's celebrated tenure ends.

10 Feb 2021

Bristol Old Vic today announced it was recruiting a new Chair for their Board of Trustees. The new Chair will help to shape the future of one of the most dynamic and inclusive cultural institutions in the UK, leading a team committed to creating theatre with and for its community, and sharing that work with a national and international audience.

The successful candidate will succeed Dame Liz Forgan who is standing down after agreeing to extend her 5 year term to eight years, during one of the most successful decades in the theatre’s 254year history.

Her tenure has seen Bristol Old Vic recover its national and international reputation through a succession of hit shows, celebrate its 250th anniversary, transform its site through an award-winning multi-million pound redevelopment in 2018 and open its doors to new audiences through the process of Bristol Old Vic reimagining its role and relationship with its city.

Dame Liz Forgan said:
“Bristol Old Vic is special. Not just the oldest, most beautiful working theatre in the country, but one with deep roots in its diverse community and a global reputation for courage and creative excellence. I have been honoured and delighted to be its Chair and I wish my successor all the same delight and pride that I have felt in my time on the Board”. 

Artistic Director Tom Morris said:
“The last 8 years have been a period of extraordinary success and change for this beautiful old theatre, now fabulously renewed through a two-stage refurbishment.You can’t achieve change of this kind without the skills of an outstanding chair, and Liz Forgan has provided that across the period. She has combined the deftest skills in steering the organisation through the complex processes of fundraising, constituency-building and commercial development, while never losing her passion for the work, from the Engagement Programme she championed so fiercely to the Bristol Proms which she simply adored. She has celebrated every hit, and applauded the enterprise of every miss, while keeping an assiduous eye on the stability of the business. She has also been a fantastic boss, encouraging, kind, compassionate, forensic and needle sharp. Her name should be etched into the pavement in King Street and I very much hope that sometime soon it will be.”

Charlotte Geeves, who joined Bristol Old Vic as Executive Director in 2019 said:  
"Working with Liz over the last 18 months has been an incredible experience. The last year has been extremely challenging and Liz has given us sterling advice and shared her wisdom, which has enabled us to navigate our way through. She is generous to the core, unfaltering as a Chair and will be greatly missed by me, our Board of Trustees and the organisation."

Arts Council England, Area Director for South West, Phil Gibby said:
"Liz Forgan has been an outstanding chair of Bristol Old Vic. Her eight years in post have been characterised from start to finish by those qualities of care, diligence and skill which are so essential to good governance. We applaud her exemplary tenure and hope she will remain a firm friend of Bristol and its cultural ambitions in the years ahead.”

To find out more about the role and Bristol Old Vic, please visit:

Contact for further information or enquiries.

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 |