Touching the Void - Partner Venues announced

17 May 2021
(LtoR) Top row: Theatre Royal Plymouth, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Soulpepper, The Lyceum, Sheffield Theatres 2nd Row: Bristol Old Vic, Oxford Playhouse, Fuel, The Lowry, NYU Skirball 3rd Row: Aberdeen Performing Arts, Perth Theatre, Birmingham Rep, Eden Court, Royal & Derngate, Barn Theatre

Full line-up of Partner Venues for digital live broadcast of Touching the Void announced today.

As the final in-theatre seats were snapped up for Bristol Old Vic’s Touching the Void, the theatre today announced its live-broadcast partners to help bring the production to a global audience.

This simultaneous in-theatre and live-broadcast production will reopen Bristol Old Vic and also reach out across the theatre community in the spirit of collaboration that has risen out of the pandemic across the arts sector.
Directed by Tony Award-winning Tom Morris (War Horse) and based on Joe Simpson’s bestselling memoir turned BAFTA-winning film, David Greig’s thrilling adaptation charts this astonishing feat of human endurance as Joe Simpson and Simon Yates' perilous descent of Siula Grande becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival. Life-affirming and often darkly funny, Touching the Void takes the audience on an epic adventure that asks how far you’d be willing to go to survive.

This ambitious live broadcast using multi-camera techniques and surround-sound technology uses the digital theatre exploration of the past 12 months to recreate the atmosphere not only of being on the mountain, but also of being part of a theatre audience once again, no matter where you are in the world.

Partner theatres are selling tickets for this theatrical tour-de-force to their own theatre communities for the length of the run (26-29 May).

Speaking today Bristol Old Vic's Executive Director Charlotte Geeves said:
"We are absolutely thrilled to be able to work with such incredible partners to stream Touching the Void. Prior to the pandemic we had several partners we regularly made work with, including The Lyceum Edinburgh, Royal & Derngate Northampton and Fuel, who are our co-producing partners on this show, but COVID-19 has opened up a new way of working. To be able to work with such a range of partners across the UK and the rest of the world is incredibly exciting and unlocks the possibility of broader partnerships in future, not just in supporting the work of Bristol Old Vic, but for enabling us to support the work of others and bring their work to our audiences."

Partners Venues and Co-Producers:
Soulpepper (Toronto)                             
Emma Stenning, Executive Director - “Touching the Void was the last show I worked on with the team at Bristol Old Vic before moving to Canada almost 3 years ago, so it’s obviously very special to me that we can share this wonderful production with our community here in Toronto. I’d long wanted to share a bit of Bristol with my friends and colleagues in Canada.”

Kate McGrath, Director - “It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a whole lot of collaboration to put on a show – perhaps now more than ever, although it’s always been true! Touching The Void was created through collaboration and it’s brilliant that arts organisations are working together to bring it back to life and to the widest possible audiences. It’s also the perfect ‘reopening’ show – a reminder of our human need to experience being truly alive.”

NYU, Skirball (New York)
Melissa Negro, Senior Marketing Manager - “In a time when we're not able to invite audiences into our own theater, it's wonderful to bring Touching the Void direct from the Bristol Old Vic to our audiences, anywhere they are. We're in good company as part of the show's international tour, and joining forces with our partner venues is a strength for all of us, increasing visibility of the show, as well as the types of shows we're able to present.”

Barn Theatre
Iwan Lewis, Artistic Director - “I first watched Touching the Void with legendary British mountaineer Kenton Cool (who summited Everest for the 15th time this week) in the production’s original run at Bristol Old Vic. We were both blown away. When the opportunity arose for the Barn Theatre to partner with our friends at Bristol Old Vic for its global broadcast it felt like an incredible opportunity to share this adrenaline-fuelled show with our audience. The past year has shown the power and strength of theatres when they come together. The result is always exciting and innovative work. We look forward to many years of collaboration with Bristol Old Vic.”

Birmingham REP
Sean Foley, Artistic Director - "I couldn't pass up the opportunity to partner with Bristol Old Vic and share this extraordinary production with our audiences. It's a show that's sure to knock your socks off and I can't wait for Birmingham audiences to see it - brilliantly - without having to leave the comfort of their own homes."  

Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres
Mark Da Vanzo, Chief Executive - “We’re delighted to be supporting Bristol Old Vic and the global digital production of Touching the Void. Especially during these times, it’s great to be working together in a collaborative way to share wonderful work across the country. We’re delighted to be involved.”

Plymouth Theatre Royal
Phillipa Revest, Head of Marketing Touching the Void is one of those stories that doesn’t sound like it could be true, but it is. COVID-19 too was one of those stories that felt like the plot of a film, but again it did happen, and the UK theatre industry pulled together like never before. So now Touching the Void is being supported by UK theatre venues across the country as a perfect example of this global partnership, of venues pulling together no matter their geography.”

Royal & Derngate, Northampton
James Dacre, Artistic Director - “We’re thrilled to be partnering again with Bristol Old Vic on sharing this powerful story with audiences in Northamptonshire and around the world, offering a spell-binding theatrical experience to audiences from the comfort of their own homes.” 

The Lowry
Steve Cowton, Head of Theatre Operations - "As The Lowry continues to prepare for the physical re-opening of our building - we're delighted to present Touching The Void - streamed live from the stage of Bristol Old Vic where it will be performed in front of a live audience. This unique collaboration gives our audiences the chance to enjoy a stunning and innovative piece of brilliant physical theatre."

The Lyceum, Edinburgh
David Greig, Artistic Director –“Touching the Void is a story about the extraordinary depth of the human spirit in adversity. It’s a story that connects to people at any time, but it feels especially resonant as we emerge from the dark crevasse that is COVID. I was so proud of the show when it thrilled sold out audiences on The Lyceum Stage in 2019, and I’m delighted that, even as our theatre is shut, we’re able to offer a live online version of the stage play to our audiences - both in Edinburgh and across the world.”

Perth Theatre
Lu Kemp, Artistic Director - “We brought Touching the Void to Perth Theatre in 2019 and our hill walking and climbing community absolutely loved it. It’s so exciting to bring a production of that scale and that ambition to Perth theatre. Now to be part of a network of theatres across the UK presenting Touching the Void as a live stream is very exciting.”

Aberdeen Performing Arts
Jane Spiers, Chief Executive - “We are delighted to be working with Bristol Old Vic and collaborators to bring an epic tale of survival direct to our living rooms. It is such an innovative production and an outstanding piece of theatre it is exciting for us to be involved.”

They are joined by Eden Court, Oxford Playhouse and Sheffield Theatres.

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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