Bristol Old Vic’s “Messiah” to be screened at over 300 cinemas nationwide this Easter

22 Mar 2018

CinemaLive are to release Handel’s Messiah from Bristol Old Vic in cinemas across the UK and Ireland on Wednesday 28 March 2018.  

Bristol Old Vic is delighted to announce their partnership with Event cinema specialists CinemaLive to deliver the theatre’s critically acclaimed 2017 production of Handel’s Messiah to cinema audiences for Easter 2018. It is due to be screened in over 300 cinemas on the 28 March, including Bristol’s Vue Cinemas (Cribbs Causeway and Longwell Green), The Everyman and Bristol Showcase Cinema De Lux.  

This dramatised production of Messiah is staged by Bristol Old Vic’s Tony Award-winning Artistic Director Tom Morris with design by Anna Orton (King Lear). It features internationally-renowned soloists Catherine Wyn Rogers and Julia Doyle, The Erebus Ensemble (Songs of Hope) and Europe's most celebrated Baroque orchestra The English Concert, under the revered baton of Conductor Harry Bicket. Jamie Beddard (actor and Artistic Director of Bristol company Extraordinary Bodies) reprises his role from the 2017 theatre production as he performs the central non-speaking role of The Beloved.   

Recorded in April 2017, Messiah returned to Bristol Old Vic following its sell-out debut at Bristol Proms in 2013. UK Theatre Web, Stage Talk, Classical Source, and The Reviews Hub all gave the production five-star reviews. The Times said “Director Tom Morris makes good use of the Old Vic’s intimate auditorium for this direct and impactful interpretation of Handel’s oratorio”. The Stage called it “astonishingly beautiful” and “a relatable and very human story of loss and grief”.    

Positioned between opera and theatre, this powerfully accessible interpretation of Handel’s seminal work explores the drama and struggle of faith, showing a bereaved community whose grief at the loss of their leader is transformed into hope through a narrative of resurrection. Inspired by early performances of the work, which were staged in theatres and concert halls rather than churches, including its first performance at Bristol Old Vic in 1782, it is a rare treat for connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike. 

CinemaLive Director Janelle Mason commented:

“We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Bristol Old Vic to bring such a highly acclaimed and powerful production to our cinema audiences for Easter.”  

Tom Morris, Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic and director of Messiah said:

“The Bristol Proms, staged in our ancient Georgian theatre set out to bring live audiences closer to classical music. For this staging of Messiah, we collaborated with the peerless English Concert and some of the world's finest vocalists: Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Joshua Ellicott, Brindley Sherratt and Julia Doyle, alongside the charismatic actor Jamie Beddard. Our aim was to explore the emotional drama of Handel's music in the unique intimacy of our theatre, and thanks to the talents of film director Nick Wickham, a broader audience beyond our theatre can now also feel this intimacy from a cinema seat.”   

For more information, ticketing and a list of all participating cinemas in the UK and Ireland, please visit cinemalive.com

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.

Since 2016, while the theatre continues to present work, it has simultaneously been undergoing a multi-million pound redevelopment project to transform its front of house space into a warm and welcoming public building for all of Bristol to enjoy, create a new studio theatre and open up its unique theatrical heritage to the public for the first time. The project is due to be completed in autumn 2018.

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