Bristol Old Vic
Bristol Old Vic
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Theaters
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11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 11:30 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 11:30 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 11:30 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 11:30 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 11:30 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 11:30 PM
Sunday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
Built in 1766 as a place where the people of Bristol could come together, Bristol Old Vic is the oldest continuously working theatre in the English speaking world. It was built as a symbol of the pride we have in our city and what it can achieve and remains a place of joy, discovery and adventure to this day.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Tours & experiences
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  • Travelling_w_kids_9
    Bristol, United Kingdom107 contributions
    Massive fan!
    BOV does a varied range of plays for all ages and tastes. They often have a slightly quirky take on their plays, so if you like things to tradition and exactly as they have always been... I wouldn't recommend it, otherwise it's a must-go, even to those not so big in theatre. Because the theatre is old, some of the seats have very limited visibility. It's always called out in the booking system. Some times, it doesn't matter much, other times it seems quite distracting, so do try to avoid. The BOV does a "friends" option whereby you pay a membership fee for a year. As a member, you will then get 25% discount on your tickets. This means that as a group of 4, you've instantly got your money back - larger groups are obviously already saving! You'll also get early access to booking tickets
    Visited November 2019
    Written February 24, 2020
  • Tony G
    Beek Gem Montferland, The Netherlands35 contributions
    A Christmas Carol - a truly wonderful experience at the Old Vic
    During our recent visit to Bristol, we were delighted to discover that their musical version of A Christmas Carol was still being performed. The theatre itself is wonderful and lends itself beautifully to a show such as this. Wherever you sit in the theatre, you are always close to the action, something which only goes to improve a show such as this involving a great deal of audience participation. The foyer of the theatre has been completely renewed and apparently they have built a completely new studio theatre, but the original theatre has been left completely intact and still has all it's original charm. An absolute joy to visit, highly recommended!
    Visited January 2020
    Written January 18, 2020
  • BobandJosie
    Reading, United Kingdom989 contributions
    Very Impressive
    My wife had been to the Bristol Old Vic "many years ago" and wanted to see how it had changed. The entrance and bar area is very, very customer friendly. We saw "The 3 Musketeers" and throughly enjoyed the performance.
    Visited March 2020
    Written March 14, 2020
  • Blackth0rn
    Bristol, United Kingdom1,358 contributions
    Fascinating backstage tour
    A fascinating backstage tour around this lovely old theatre. We were lucky enough to be the only people booked on it on this particular occasion, so it was like an exclusive tour just for us. Our guide had worked there for many years and had a great knowledge about the history of the building. We got to see all the public areas as well as getting on the stage and having a good look around behind the scenes and the adjacent workshop where the props are created. Well worth a visit.
    Visited May 2022
    Written June 6, 2022
  • Robin M
    Clevedon, United Kingdom216 contributions
    Brilliant tour
    Our tour of the refurbished theatre was SUPERB. Andrew, our guide, was brilliant…. Erudite, amusing, knowledgable and helpful. The history of this Bristolian institution makes for fascinating listening with many an amusing anecdote. The enormous backstage area is a wonder and the sound effects area is delightful. I cannot recommend this tour highly enough. GO
    Visited March 2022
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 11, 2022
  • Kathryn368
    7 contributions
    Disappointing!
    This years Christmas production ‘The Nutcracker’ was really disappointing. I’ve never felt like this before but it was underwhelming, strange, confusing and we just didn’t enjoy it on any level. Reduced me to a fit of the giggles in the second half and several audience members chose to leave during the interval. I am baffled by all the good reviews. I’ve seen a lot of good theatre and this wasn’t up there! Also our ‘restricted view’ seats were awful with virtually no visibility at all. All in all a very disappointing Boxing Day experience!
    Visited December 2022
    Traveled with family
    Written December 28, 2022
  • rensza_11
    Cheltenham, United Kingdom10 contributions
    Uncomfortable.
    For an impressively refurbished building I was left wondering if the designer EVER sat in the balcony in the basement studio. There's more legroom on a budget airline Your feet have to remain right under your knees .Theres a bar situated right at eye level forcing you to either sit bolt upright, lean forward over it or slump down in your seat to look under it .By half time I was desperate to stretch my legs.Very uncomfortable so difficult to concentrate on the play.Won't return to the small studio for that reason.
    Visited January 2022
    Traveled with friends
    Written January 24, 2022
  • Lizzieflint
    Thirsk, United Kingdom75 contributions
    Brilliant play - Joanna Faustus
    First visit to the Bristol Vic. Interesting building, riveting play with talented cast. The foyer cafe is a great venue even if you aren't seeing a performance. We found online booking straightforward and were pleased with the seats we'd chosen.
    Visited March 2020
    Written March 13, 2020
  • Corinne R
    Bristol, United Kingdom2 contributions
    Great experience during lockdown
    We came here the first week of opening in April 2021. Lila served us, who had only been working there for 2 days. She was extremely good to us and made us feel very welcome so we enjoyed our time here. We highly recommend her and this venue.
    Visited April 2021
    Traveled with friends
    Written April 15, 2021
  • bsandrs
    Portsmouth, United Kingdom23,076 contributions
    A Thoroughly Entertaining Evening
    We have attended the Bristol Old Vic in the past, so knew that the performance would be of a high standard. Cyrano, the play, we have seen in the past but this was a refreshing new production and it was a great evening of theatre in an impressive building. We will be back.
    Visited October 2019
    Written November 5, 2019
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
429 reviews
Excellent
278
Very good
105
Average
26
Poor
12
Terrible
8

Blackth0rn
Bristol, UK1,358 contributions
May 2022
A fascinating backstage tour around this lovely old theatre. We were lucky enough to be the only people booked on it on this particular occasion, so it was like an exclusive tour just for us. Our guide had worked there for many years and had a great knowledge about the history of the building. We got to see all the public areas as well as getting on the stage and having a good look around behind the scenes and the adjacent workshop where the props are created. Well worth a visit.
Written June 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robin M
Clevedon, UK216 contributions
Mar 2022 • Friends
Our tour of the refurbished theatre was SUPERB. Andrew, our guide, was brilliant…. Erudite, amusing, knowledgable and helpful.
The history of this Bristolian institution makes for fascinating listening with many an amusing anecdote. The enormous backstage area is a wonder and the sound effects area is delightful.
I cannot recommend this tour highly enough. GO
Written March 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kathryn368
Bristol, England, United Kingdom7 contributions
Dec 2022 • Family
This years Christmas production ‘The Nutcracker’ was really disappointing. I’ve never felt like this before but it was underwhelming, strange, confusing and we just didn’t enjoy it on any level. Reduced me to a fit of the giggles in the second half and several audience members chose to leave during the interval. I am baffled by all the good reviews. I’ve seen a lot of good theatre and this wasn’t up there! Also our ‘restricted view’ seats were awful with virtually no visibility at all. All in all a very disappointing Boxing Day experience!
Written December 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rensza_11
Cheltenham, UK10 contributions
Jan 2022 • Friends
For an impressively refurbished building I was left wondering if the designer EVER sat in the balcony in the basement studio.
There's more legroom on a budget airline Your feet have to remain right under your knees .Theres a bar situated right at eye level forcing you to either sit bolt upright, lean forward over it or slump down in your seat to look under it .By half time I was desperate to stretch my legs.Very uncomfortable so difficult to concentrate on the play.Won't return to the small studio for that reason.
Written January 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lizzieflint
Thirsk, UK75 contributions
Mar 2020
First visit to the Bristol Vic. Interesting building, riveting play with talented cast. The foyer cafe is a great venue even if you aren't seeing a performance. We found online booking straightforward and were pleased with the seats we'd chosen.
Written March 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Corinne R
Bristol, UK2 contributions
Apr 2021 • Friends
We came here the first week of opening in April 2021. Lila served us, who had only been working there for 2 days. She was extremely good to us and made us feel very welcome so we enjoyed our time here. We highly recommend her and this venue.
Written April 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bsandrs
Portsmouth, UK23,076 contributions
Oct 2019
We have attended the Bristol Old Vic in the past, so knew that the performance would be of a high standard. Cyrano, the play, we have seen in the past but this was a refreshing new production and it was a great evening of theatre in an impressive building. We will be back.
Written November 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BarryHaynes
Leicester, UK241 contributions
Mar 2016 • Couples
This production of a very powerful play about a dysfunctional family goes beyond acting. Sitting in row G in the Pit, we felt part of the family, sharing in their agonising trials and tribulations. It was all so incredibly real. The superb direction (Richard Eyre) and stage design (Rob Howell) and the perfect cast made this possible. Lesley Manville is undoubtedly the star with a very polished performance as the drug-addicted wife and mother with the most alienated and empty of lives, and around whom the ethos of the play revolves. Lesley Manville is the most perfect of actors! She could make a shopping-list sound enthralling! Jeremy Irons as the self-serving, alcoholic husband and father, Hadley Fraser and Billy Howle as the aimless, problematic sons and Jessica Regan as the wonderful Irish housemaid are all excellent. We saw the performance on the first preview night and the production was already mature. This is theatre at its best. Go see! A must!
Written March 26, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tony
Chelmsford, UK49 contributions
Aug 2019
This was my first trip to Bristol and I just had to see the Bristol Old Vic. There wasn’t a theatrical production I could book a ticket for so I elected to go on the tour of the theatre. It has recently undergone a transformation and its possible to access the theatre, from King Street, directly into the foyer. This was opened by Prince Harry and Megan in 2019 and is visually impactful with the original 1700’s exterior wall to the theatre now a backdrop to the foyer, box office and cafe area. It’s a lovely juxtaposition of the original to the modern incarnation of this wonderful theatre, the oldest continuously working theatre in Great Britain. The guide was an enthusiastic young French lady who delivered the history of the Old Vic with humour and great knowledge and the 1 and 1/2 hour tour flew by. The tour group was led into the theatre and as we sat in the stalls the guide recounted the list of actors that have graced this theatre’s stage and named the theatrical productions that has been performed here and quite an impressive set of lists they were. Peter O’Toole began his stage career here and as a life long fan it was a real treat to get on the stage and see the auditorium from the view he would have seen in his repertory days. The tour progressed to the upper circle and this truly offered a superb view of the the decorated ceiling and also the original seating areas that have been retained for posterity (but not posteriors!). This provided another great insight into theatre going in the 1700’s and a tangible link to this great theatre’s past. I highly recommend this tour as a wonderful introduction to Bristolian tradition.
Written September 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Malcolm and S
Stroud, UK1,124 contributions
Sep 2016 • Friends
We enjoyed the production of 'The Rivals' , especially the set and the modern touches, some of the OTT acting and the delivery of Mrs Malaprop. The theatre is in the throes of major building work but the use of the paint shop as a backstage bar is interesting and imaginative. Unfortunately the OL Vic was built during times when theatre goers were less tall than the modern generation, and legroom is an issue, when acts are over one hour long. For me this production needed two intervals, as I was most uncomfortable crammed into the dress circle seats. Perhaps it is possible to get end of row seats but on this occasion friends had booked best available centre row. The theatre is a Bristol iconic venue and we were pleased to have had the opportunity of this visit, but would like to have been more comfortable.
Written September 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Bristol Old Vic - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Bristol Old Vic

Bristol Old Vic is open:
  • Sun - Sun 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Mon - Sat 9:00 AM - 11:30 PM
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