Back by popular demand, Bristol Open Stage returns for a jam-packed day of free performances this bank holiday

12 May 2017

The highlight of Bristol Old Vic’s 250th anniversary celebrations last year was Bristol Open Stage, which saw the theatre taken over by people from every corner of the city in a joyous performance during the 250th Birthday Weekend.

This year, as part of the legacy of the 250th anniversary, the theatre has once again thrown open its doors and invited Bristolians to share their stories over the course of one very special day – our 251st Birthday on Monday 29 May.

Hosted by local TV legend Joe Sims – a Bristolian and actor who works regularly with Bristol Old Vic’s Engagement team, having grown up in Bristol Old Vic Young Company, he now teaches Adult Company classes and hosts events for our COMPANY schools performances. Working professionally as an actor, he is best known for playing plumber Nigel Carter in ITV’s hit show Broadchurch.

Joe said: “As a proud Bristolian I cannot wait to see the indigenous talent that have come from all over Bristol to light up the main stage at Bristol Old Vic. It's my absolute pleasure to have been asked to compere the day, as the work that the Engagement team at Bristol Old Vic have been doing across Bristol for both young people and adults alike fills me with pride. Their unrelenting thirst for discovering and nurturing new talent means the future is bright for Bristol. It's always been such a creative city and the Bristol Open Stage performances are further proof of the breadth of talent we have in our brilliant city. Come and see for yourself!

With over 30 acts involving 300 people taking to the historic stage, Bristol Open Stage will showcase everything from stand-up comedy, to jazz quintets, to spoken word, to salsa, African and Bollywood dance, to drama to acapella – the people of Bristol have a lot to offer!

Each performance will culminate in a roof-raising performance from different choirs hailing from across the city. The 12noon performance will be rounded off by Bristol’s home grown pop and rock choir Riff Raff Choir, the 2.30pm performance will see Bristol MAN Chorus back with a bang after making their debut at last year’s Bristol Open Stage, and the 5pm performance will see Gurt Lush Choir’s triumphant return to the Bristol Old Vic stage, as one of the largest and most remarkable open-access choirs in the country, their performances always sure to be electrifying.

The day will also feature: Anthony Grimley and David Turvey, Bristol MAN Chorus, CoMA Bristol, Cordelia Wood and June Rippon, Gurt Lush Choir, Jaelith Mahone, Jake Cooper, Kelvin Players Theatre Company, Kettle of Fish, Lavrak Circus, Marianne McAleer, Martin Urmson, Pariah Khan, Pearl Andrews-Horrigan, Riff Raff Choir, RISE Youth Dance, Sabrina DeMi, Saias Liberdade, Sarah Wintle, Screaming Cream Productions, Sylvia Daley, The Diva and Dave and World Fusion with Movema & Rise,

Sian Eustace, Engagement Producer at Bristol Old Vic said: “Bristol Open Stage was the real stand out moment from our historic 250th anniversary celebrations last summer. The spirit in which all our brilliant participants performed, and the joy the entire team at Bristol Old Vic felt when watching local people treading the boards, sharing their stories within the beautiful theatre have been the best inspiration for the continuation of the Bristol Open Stage legacy. Whether you’ve been on stage before, or it is your first time in the spotlight - everyone is welcome. These incredible days are a shining example of how creativity can truly change your outlook on life.

Free for all the family, the Bristol Open Stage performances are the perfect way to visit Bristol Old Vic and a real treat for the late May bank holiday. Tickets are free and available on a first come, first served basis. Please call the Box Office or visit for more information.

Bristol Open Stage Bristol Old Vic Theatre Monday 29 May 2017

Performance times: 12noon – 1.30pm 2.30 – 4pm 5 – 6.30pm

Entry is free and on a first come, first served basis. Doors open 15 minutes before each showcase begins. The capacity in the theatre is limited. Please arrive early to get a seat. Each showcase will vary and include different acts. More information: 0117 987 7877 /