New Plays in Rep

New Plays in Rep is back: a season of new plays developed through The Open Session, our annual initiative for emerging West Country writers, and performed by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School students.

Harnessing the acting and technical talent of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, this unique partnership sees four new plays (Buzzing, 62 Sperm Whales, To Provide All People, and His Name Is Ishmael) streamed in collaboration with Bristol Old Vic At Home and Bristol Arts Channel, between 19 Jun and 2 Jul.

When theatres and schools went into lockdown, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School had to adapt its teaching and as such has decided to bring this upcoming season online for the first time, so that you can enjoy the work from the comfort of your own home.

Including To Provide All People- Owen Sheers’ play celebrating the everyday heroics of the NHS; Chinonyerem Odimba’s script, His Name Is Ishmael, exploring political corruption; as well as Skot Wilson’s piece, 62 Sperm Whales, exploring what unprecedented events can teach us; Buzzing, by Anita Karla Kelly’s, about the connections we make, this season is relevant, striking and has been vividly adapted to suit the online world. Several performances of two of the plays, Buzzing and 62 Sperm Whales, will be performed fully live, with the actors in each company bringing the show to life at the same time from different places across the country. These performances will be extraordinary moments of liveness and connection for performer and audience.


If you enjoy the work by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, please consider making a donation to support this work and the future creative opportunities provided by the school. If you donate using the button below, your donation will go towards the Peter O'Toole Prize. The Peter O’Toole Prize supports young actors in their professional debut on the Bristol Old Vic stage.

His Name Is Ishmael

By Chinonyerem Odimba, Directed by James Peries
Venue:
Your Home
Price:
Free (donations welcome)
Ages:
14+

‘I am the new way’

Returning from a long exile in the UK, Florence follows in her father’s footsteps to become President of her home country in West Africa. Guided by her uncle Emmanuel, she navigates difficult politics to bring about her ideals, including major Western investment. But what happens when past struggles and the corruption which surrounds her begin to weigh her down?

Her house boy, Ishmael, provides support and grounding as the political heat rises. But soon this relationship becomes complicated too…

This play is currently in development. Stream dates to be announced.

Buzzing Key Image

Buzzing

By Anita Karla Kelly, Directed by Toby Hulse
Venue:
Your Home
Price:
Free (donations welcome)
Ages:
14+
Warning:
Contains flashing images

‘She thinks she’s not watched, not seen, but she is, oh, she is, she has so many eyes on her... She’ll be my way out. When the dress is done.

 There’s a swarm, buzzing.  A buzzing of bees, of phones, of time.  A buzzing of TikTok, of energy drinks, of selfies.  A buzzing of every possibility and absolutely no future. 

At the heart of the buzzing is Kay. And all the while, watching her, is Iris, stitching a dress, a dress made of bees. 

Written as part of Graeae Theatre’s Write To Play programme, and produced by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School as a play in development, Buzzing explores connections – with ourselves, with our peers, with our families, with our online community, and with strangers.

It's said that we're more connected than ever today, but are those connections more fragile than we could possibly imagine?

  • 2:30pm
    Fully live performance
  • 2:30pm
    Watch the recording
  • 2:30pm
    Watch the recording
  • 2:30pm
    Watch the recording
  • 2:30pm
    Watch the recording
  • 2:30pm
    Watch the recording
  • 2:30pm
    Watch the recording
  • 1:00pm
    Watch the recording
62 Sperm Whales Key Image

62 Sperm Whales

By Skot Wilson, Directed by Evan Lordan
Venue:
Your Home
Price:
Free (donations welcome)
Ages:
14+

‘A hole in the Universe. Dead Whales. And an "experienced" drug dealer. Great.’

Marie’s morning routine is going to the beach and smoking a pack of cigarettes. But today is different. 62 Sperm Whales have beached and that’s not all.

As the world’s press and biologists from the Natural History Museum descend upon her small town, the arrival of strangers dredges old  conversations and histories to the surface.

One arrival in particular turns Marie’s world inside out. And she’s running out of cigarettes.

From the writer of Kingdom (Or, the Anthropocene), a climate-crisis play performed as part of our 2019 New Plays in Rep season, we’re excited to produce Wilson’s new play.

The two listed performances are performed fully live, with the actors in the company bringing the show to life at the same time from different places across the country. These performances will be extraordinary moments of liveness and connection for performer and audience. The show will be available to watch online after each live performance until 27 Jun.

  • 7:00pm
    Fully live performance
  • 2:30pm
    Fully live performance
  • 7:00pm
    Watch the recording
  • 7:00pm
    Watch the recording
  • 7:00pm
    Watch the recording
  • 7:00pm
    Watch the recording
  • 7:00pm
    Watch the recording
To Provide For All People Key Image

To Provide All People

By Owen Sheers, Directed by George Mann
Venue:
Your Home
Price:
Free (donations welcome)
Ages:
12+

‘The NHS, it’s there for when the pattern breaks, isn’t it? When the day we expect, the story we’re living, whoever you are, takes a turn we didn’t see coming.’

Written in 2018 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the NHS, this stunning poetic play is a love letter to ‘that beautiful idea made manifest’. The play charts an emotional and philosophical map of the NHS today through the story of its founding and the personal experiences that lie at its heart; from patients to surgeons, porters to midwives. This is a world of transformative pains, triumphs, losses and celebrations and joins us all in our universal experiences of health and sickness, birth and death, regardless of race, gender or wealth. 

Originally produced as a film-poem for the BBC featuring a host of familiar faces, including Michael Sheen, Sian Phillips and Martin Freeman, the play holds even more relevance in these unprecedented times.

Sheers’ lyrical reportage is politically and emotionally charged, asking urgent questions about the future of the NHS. Bristol Old Vic Theatre School is excited to produce Sheers’ verse drama paying tribute to the ideas, ethos and people that come together everyday to make our NHS.

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Sayle Screen Ltd

  • 7:00pm
    Watch from 7pm
  • 7:00pm
    Watch all day
  • 7:00pm
    Watch all day
  • 7:00pm
    Watch all day
  • 7:00pm
    Watch all day
  • 7:00pm
    Watch all day
  • 7:00pm
    Watch all day
  • 5:00pm
    Watch until 7pm