We were fortunate yesterday to go to the re-opening of the Bristol Old Vic and to see not only two lovely productions but also “behind the scenes” at much of the restoration work that has gone on over the last few years. Anyone walking past the theatre and peeking through the doors would have been forgiven for thinking nothing had happened but that’s because the foyer and public areas have yet to be done. The emphasis so far, quite rightly, has been on the auditorium and technical areas; offices, rehearsal spaces, dressing rooms, fly equipment and fire protection equipment.
And what a fabulous job has been done resulting in cleaner, more flexible spaces including two new areas suitable for performance, greatly improved rehearsal and development capabilities and much more access to, and visibility for, the original features of this amazing building. Audience members will benefit immediately from the greatly improved seating and airflow and the front-of house and Studio will get their make-overs over the coming 3 or 4 years.
The building feels alive again and the converted spaces are quite beautiful – go and enjoy and if you get a chance then take a tour, there’s a lot to see back there and it is truly fascinating.
We have also recently been to the Hippodrome where they have completely changed the Piano Bar and made it much more audience friendly. The toilets are not now a long trek away, the floor is more open and level, the bar is more approachable and the cocktails are a real treat.
Feeling good Bristol 😉