A Midsummer Night’s Dream and much more to look forward to at Bristol Old Vic

28 02 2013

Today sees the first performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bristol Old Vic, the first collaboration between Old Vic artistic director Tom Morris and South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company since their multi-award-winning War Horse at the National Theatre which later played on Broadway.

A Midsummer Night's DreamThis version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was part-funded by the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, and it will be transferring there followed by The International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven once it finishes its Bristol run in May.

Many of its cast are familiar from previous Old Vic productions, including Akiya Henry, Titty in Swallows & Amazons; Saikat Ahamed, Tigerlilly in Peter Pan; and Fionn Gill, Meshak in Coram Boy. The design is by Vicki Mortimer.

Collaboration continues to be a key theme at the Old Vic under the inspirational leadership of Morris and executive director Emma Stenning, who came to the theatre in 2009 having already forged a strong creative partnership at the Battersea Arts Centre in south west London.

Highlights of the summer season and beyond announced this week include:

  • The inaugural Bristol Proms, a partnership between the Old Vic, Universal Music Arts & Entertainment and the Watershed, a week-long festival of classical music combined with cutting-edge digital technology;
  • an association with Sadler’s Wells which will see dance come to a bespoke auditorium created on the Old Vic stage, beginning with Varmints, a brand-new show from Bristol’s Champloo Dance Company, directed by Sally Cookson;
  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf! outdoors on King Street from the creative team behind Treasure Island and Peter Pan adapting Michael Morpurgo’s Aesop’s Fables;
  • The Little Mermaid for Christmas 2013, directed by Evening Standard Theatre award-winner and Bristol Old Vic associate artist Simon Godwin;
  • a Bristol Old Vic Theatre School co-production of Karl Kraus’ The Last Days of Mankind;
  • the first stage adaptation of Stephen Kelman’s Pigeon English from Bristol Old Vic Young Company and the National Youth Theatre;
  • and the tenth anniversary of Mayfest, taking place at the Old Vic and other locations throughout the city including New York smash-hit Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggageat the Trinity Centre.

Tom Morris said: “The huge leaps we have taken over the last year; re-opening our auditorium, reaching new audiences, developing new working partnerships and supporting the tremendous artists on our doorstep.

“We are still early in our journey but we are beginning to fulfil the potential that attracted us to the theatre and the city three years ago. Bristol Old Vic’s reputation can resonate internationally and wherever it does it will take the message of this city’s cultural identity with it.”

COMPETITION: We have one pair of tickets to give away to a weekday performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. To enter, email bristolculture@gmail.com with the subject line, ‘Bottom’.

Dream marketing




One response

1 03 2013

Liking your blog, but do you know whether the Old Vic has formally declared war on the Tobacco Factory? Why else would they unleash this Tom Morris spectacular just as the Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory season begins? Fight. Whose side you on?

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