Bristol Old Vic
(© Jon Craig)

Bristol Old Vic will mark its 250th anniversary with a weekend of celebrations over the bank holiday weekend on 28 to 30 May.

The theatre is currently the longest continuously-running theatre in the UK and on bank holiday Monday, it will become the first British theatre in history to survive 250 years.

To celebrate, a programme of events has been planned to take place at Bristol Old Vic and along King Street. The weekend will kick off with a performance of Kneehigh's The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk which tells of a young couple navigating the Russian Revolution and each other. The show will be free and balloted and plays at the theatre before a run in Cornwall and London.

On 29 May, the theatre will stage an anniversary gala which will feature appearances from people such as Caroline Quentin, Stephanie Cole, Greta Scacchi, Tim Pigott-Smith, Michael Morpurgo, Patrick Malahide, Tony Robinson, Pippa Haywood and Samantha Bond. After the gala, an art animation by Limbic Cinema will be projected onto the front of the Old Vic to show how the theatre has changed over its 250 year history, as well as offering a glimpse at how the theatre will look after the completion of its major redevelopment project which begins later this year.

To close the weekend's celebrations, community groups from across the city will perform across the Old Vic and the street beyond. King Street will also host a street festival with arts, food and theatre events.

Throughout the weekend the theatre will also host a number of workshops, talks and guided tours to learn more about the Bristol Old Vic and encourage participation in dance and theatre.

Tom Morris, artistic director of Bristol Old Vic, said: "Our celebrations over the May bank holiday weekend are all about throwing open our doors to the Bristol community and welcoming everyone into this historic, vibrant theatre to mark this incredible milestone.

"We are planning to celebrate the theatre's fascinating past and exciting future, as well as the people and organisations that make Bristol one of the most creative and innovative cities in the country. It is this unquenchable passion, steadfast support and creative spirit that have helped Bristol Old Vic become the first theatre in the English-speaking world to survive 250 years."