We know that the lobby, box office, cafe-bar and certainly the loos just don’t do justice to this beautiful theatre.
They’re hard to access if you have limited mobility, it can be a challenge to find friends or reach the bar in the interval - and it can even be intimidating: that’s not what a theatre should be.
We’re really glad the cafe and sofas have become a great meeting space - mums and babies and lunching workers sit alongside actors, writers and audiences. But we need to open this place up much more if it’s to keep serving the City: this internationally-renowned theatre is Bristol Old Vic.
If we can secure support from Arts Council England and Bristol City Council, we’re confident that we can raise the rest of the money to finish the refurbishment of the theatre and ensure that the public spaces are a match for the beautiful auditorium.
This should be a welcoming and exciting space for everyone, regardless of background, age, and their experience of theatre.”
– Emma Stenning, Executive Director, Bristol Old Vic.
The Theatre Royal, Bristol, home to the Bristol Old Vic, has revealed plans for a £12m redevelopment of the front of the theatre in King Street.
It wants to tear down the 1970's brown brick building to the left of the theatre's entrance, to make a walk-way to the auditorium, which is set back several metres from the road.
Cooper's Hall, which houses the foyer, would be returned to its original use as a banqueting hall on the first floor, and the Studio space would move to the ground and basement levels of the Victorian building.
The scheme will cost £12m and the Arts Council England has promised £5m. The theatre also hopes to receive funding from Bristol City Council, with the rest coming from donations.
It is the world's oldest continuous working theatre and the auditorium and backstage area has recently undergone a multi-million pound transformation.