2016 represents an extraordinary moment in British theatre history as the oldest working theatre in the country will celebrate its 250th anniversary.

Much has changed since our theatre first opened its doors in 1766. Technically illegal, the theatre had to disguise plays as concerts and was forced to hide its entrance from public sight. Today, under the leadership of Artistic Director, Tom Morris and Chief Executive, Emma Stenning, Bristol Old Vic enjoys national and international recognition as a theatrical powerhouse, housing ground breaking theatre whilst nurturing unique and individual talent and serving as a cultural beacon for the city and the South West.

Having completed the redevelopment of our spectacular Grade I listed Georgian auditorium in 2011, we are now turning our attentions to our front of house, completing the theatre's once-in-a-lifetime transformation.

The anniversary year will see the building begin the final phase of its redevelopment as the current RIBA Stirling Prize-winners, Haworth Tompkins, are set to transform the front of house spaces to bring its history to life and create a warm, welcoming and accessible venue.

We are over three quarters of the way to raising £12.5million to catapult Bristol Old Vic onwards for the next 250 years.

If you are able to support the UK's oldest continuously working theatre, or want to learn more about the redevelopment visit: bristololdvic250.org.uk


The 2011 Works

In 2011, we completed the redevelopment of our historic Georgian auditorium, rehearsal spaces and back offices. Hours after the builders had left, Philip Vile's photographs (below) captured the first few moments of the theatre, blushing in its beautiful, freshly-spruced state.

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