Autumn Season 2022 On Sale from Today

13 Jul 2022


As we all feel our way towards post-pandemic recovery, Bristol Old Vic continues to build the foundations for a strong future with the completion of a dazzling year of high-quality drama.

A blazing start to 2022 saw three new plays, Dr Semmelweis, Wonder Boy and The Meaning of Zong reignite Bristol audiences’ love of live performance, while also shining a bright light on key issues of the day. Now, the theatre heads into the autumn with a season of theatrical dynamitereimagined classicscutting edge new partnerships and brilliant collaborations which feed engagement and artist development in the Weston Studio and Theatre.

Cutting Edge Partnerships
Announced today, A Dead Body in Taos, the new play by David Farr (writer of the multi award-winning TV show The Night Manager) comes to the theatre from 30 Sep – 1 Oct. Part mystery, part epic sci-fi and part love story, this Bristol Old Vic supported production from Fuel is directed by Rachel Bagshaw (The Shape of the Pain) and explores what developments in artificial intelligence might mean for our understanding of death, consciousness and the soul.
Bristol Old Vic’s Ferment initiative is marking ten years of supporting South West artists with a series of Ferment-backed productions running throughout the autumn and a revamped offer to companies and artists from the region. The return of previously announced Outlier (14-24 Sep) is one example of Bristol Old Vic’s ongoing determination to support and collaborate with artists from across the South West. Genre-defying and emotional, Outlier explores the impact of isolation, addiction and friendship on young people in the often-forgotten places. Co-produced with Ferment, this show is back after a sensational and critically acclaimed run in August 2021. It is written by and stars Malaika Kegode, with original live music by Jakabol and directed by Jenny Davies.

A Dead Body in Taos
Opal Fruits

Opal Fruits by Holly Beasley-Garrigan, supported by Ferment through the Pleasance’s Edinburgh National Partnerships initiative, visits the Weston Studio in September after an Edinburgh run, while Ferment Takeover marks the long-awaited return of Ferment to the Weston Studio for an explosive two weeks of fun, frivolity and live performance, with a full programme to be announced later in the summer.

The theatre’s digital partnerships are also going from strength to strength this autumn. Announced today, is a new partnership with Sky Arts as Bristol Old Vic On Screen presents the TV premieres of two five-star hit shows Wonder Boy and Wise Children’s Wuthering Heights. Broadcast dates will be announced soon.

Billy Howle as Hamlet at Bristol Old Vic
Billy Howle as Hamlet

Reimagined Classics
Bristol Old Vic’s previously announced flagship autumn production Hamlet (13 Oct - 12 Nov) marks director John Haidar’s return to the theatre with rising star Billy Howle (On Chesil Beach, The Serpent, The Beast Must Die) in the title role. John brings his characteristically cinematic style and pace to the stage to both subvert and refresh this classic play for a new audience. Billy was last seen at Bristol Old Vic in 2016’s Long Day’s Journey into Night, starring alongside Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville.
This leads into a magical Christmas of previously announced stage adaptations for children of all ages. In the Theatre, The Nutcrackerreimagined by Tom Morris, reunites him with the hugely successful creative team behind A Christmas Carol – director Lee Lyford and composer and lyricist Gwyneth Herbert. For younger children, a brand-new retelling of the classic story of a boy and his dog, Belle and Sebastien will take over the Weston Studio in a co-production with Bristol’s leading children’s theatre company Travelling Light.

Talking About a Revolution

Theatrical Dynamite
From 13-15 Oct, WoLab bring For a Palestinian to the Weston Studio. Bilal has always been obsessed with love stories. Here he tells you his favourite: the true story of Palestinian translator Wa’el Zuaiter. Join Bilal as he ventures through the orange groves of Jaffa, Rome's piazzas, and the Duty-Free aisles of Luton Airport, piecing together this untold story, and asking what it means to be a Palestinian in the West. Written by Bilal Hasna and Aaron Kilercioglu.
From 19-22 Oct, tiata fahodzi is welcomed to Bristol Old Vic’s Weston Studio for the first time. The UKs leading British African heritage contemporary theatre company, tiata fahodzi present a triple bill of short plays Talking About a Revolution written by Diana Atouna, babirye bukilwa and Malaika Kegode which explore what revolution would look like in 2022.


With and For Young People
Family work for autumn brings familiar faces back to Bristol Old Vic. Olivier Award-winning company Little Bulb (Best Family Show - Wolf Witch Giant Fairy) return with Hibernation while the latest Made In Bristol company, who are resident at the theatre for 12 months, are presenting an Early Years cabaret, BabyTales.
Connections to young people and community groups across the city continues to grow with the first production by the newest members of Young SixSix (a theatre company based at Bristol Old Vic which harnesses the raw talents of young people from across the city). Young SixSix will devise a new version of Lysistrata with previous collaborator, Bristol poet Vanessa Kisuule, while Bristol Old Vic’s award-winning Young Company present There’s Nobody Else in the World, and the World was Made of Meinspired by The Lord of The Flies, in Jan ’23.
We are also delighted to welcome Bristol-based mental health charity Many Minds with Same Storm Same Sky to the Theatre on 3 Sep, supported by Bristol Old Vic. Young people from Barton Hill and BASS choir come together to present this playful musical performance about being apart and finding our way back together.

Bristol Old Vic’s Artistic Director, Tom Morris said: 
“This season is all about the future and Bristol Old Vic’s role as a meeting place between the people of Bristol and the most dynamic storytellers we can find from the City, the Region and the wider World. Billy Howle has become a global name since he called Bristol home during his training at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and through this year’s programme we’re ensuring the rising talent of the next generation is showcased and supported across our spaces in whatever way is needed. Companies such as Young SixSix, Made in Bristol and Many Minds, as well as Ferment collaborators including Malaika Kegode and Holly Beasley-Garrigan are just some of the brilliant artists forming the foundations of this season. Creativity is for everyone and our mission in this theatre is to be its Bristolian home.”

Bristol Old Vic is also announcing a string of offers and ticket deals today, to make visiting the theatre easier for every pocket. Tickets for all Bristol Old Vic theatre productions start from £8 or as little as £3 (open concession, preview price). There is also a multi-buy offer for the Weston Studio (buy 3 + shows and get 15% off/ 5 + shows and get 20% off). And with a brand new kitchen + bar offer, there’s a host of reasons to come on in as often as you like!

Tickets go on general sale from 13 Jul at 12noon.

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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