Citing the upcoming Midsummer Night’s Dream, a collaboration between director Tom Morris and Handspring Puppet Company, Morris wanted to highlight the power of regional theatre, “the best can work globally independent of London” and said the Bristol Old Vic was, “in the vanguard of this sea-change”.
To kick start this sea change, Spring 2013 at Bristol Old Vic sees the return of familiar companies with new work that promises a high theatrical benchmark from the country’s oldest producing theatre.
Following the Christmas offerings of Peter Pan (Main House) and Hey Diddle Diddle (Studio), the South West’s own Kneehigh return for their first of two productions in the Spring Season. January sees the Emma Rice directed and adapted Steptoe and Son, a revisit to the glory days of Galton and Simpson. Their second production, this time in the studio, is a collaboration with the Little Angel Theatre, London. A retelling of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez story A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, the show promises, “a startling world of ruined beauty…where everyone dreams of their five minutes of fame”.
Other highlights include Complicite’s Lionboy, directed by Annabel Arden, a first for them insofar as it is their first show specifically for families and young audiences. Based on Zizou Corder’s bestselling trilogy, Lionboy is a co-production between Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman, Oxford Playhouse and Warwick Arts Centre and receives its premiere in the Bristol Old Vic main house in May.
White Rabbit, Red Rabbit promises to keep Bristol audiences on its toes with a new actor every night of the run of this one person show in the Studio in January. The story is based on writer Nassim Soleimanpour’s own experiences of living in Iran and sets the actor playing the role the task of cold reading the script they receive at the beginning of the evening. The final night of the run sees film director Ken Loach take the role on board.
With the familiar blend of Mayfest, Ferment and the ever growing Young Company thrown into the mix, Spring 2013 looks set to put the newly reopened theatre back into the spotlight where it belongs.
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