Black History: Black Present: Black Future

Are we ready to rise to the challenge of Black Lives Matter to create a fairer and more representative city after the pandemic? How can a better understanding of our past help this? What is the impact of Bristol’s history on the racial injustice we witness today? How can we use stories of the past to help us build a better city in the future?

Join leading figures in the city for a series of conversations that focus on the momentous events of 2020, Bristol’s relationship with its past and the individuals and organisations who are committed to changing the city now and in the future.

Co-curated by Chinonyerem Odimba & the Bristol Old Vic team

Listen again to the talks on SoundCloud

This summer we have seen a powerful idea turning into a widespread movement; an idea that we could possibly create a society that isn’t racist: a society that is anti-racist.

David Olusoga

Pay What You Choose

So everyone can access tickets, we’re using a flexible pricing scheme. Find out more about it here. Although you have to book in bubbles, each seat in a bubble has a price range* that you can choose from:

  • Concession (£2.50) – we know these times are extraordinary, so if you don’t have the extra cash right now, don’t worry; book this price range and let us welcome you with open arms.
  • Standard (£6) – if you can afford to, please book this rate; the extra money you give will support your theatre and the independent artists and companies on its stages.
  • Pay It Forward (£12) – if you’re feeling generous and you have the means, please consider choosing this rate. Each Pay It Forward ticket subsidises two concession tickets, and helps more people experience the delight of watching live theatre.

*These prices do not apply for the Olivette Otele event, which is priced on Festival of Ideas’ Pay-What-You-Can structure of £0-8.


How will it work? Find all the details on how your visit will work and all the measures we’ve put in place to keep you safe here.

When shall I arrive? Please arrive at least 30 minutes before the show starts. This is to allow us time to seat everyone in the auditorium safely. We cannot accept latecomers.

What if the show sells out? With reduced capacity, many of our shows sell out fast. If the show sells out, email our Box Office to be added to the waiting list.

The Future: Can Bristol Really Change?

Approx. 1 hour

In this pivotal year of 2020, will the opportunity for change be seized or will it once again pass Bristol by?

This final conversation will invite some of those making real change happen to share their vision, describe the obstacles they are confronting, and set out what they need if Bristol’s potential is to be reached. Panellists include Aisha Thomas on her new company ‘Representation Matters’, Dr Mena Fombo on the launch of Bristol African Caribbean Cultural Space – the first black-led creative organisation in the city centre – and spoken word artist Malaika Kegode. The discussion will be chaired by Tim Pemberton, Managing Editor at BBC Radio Gloucestershire and incoming Head of BBC Religion.

  • 6:00pm