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Bristol Old Vic transformed: new building opens to the public following ten year refurbishiment

The Bristol theatre has reopened following a ten year restoration project

The new front of the Bristol Old Vic
© Jon Craig

The Bristol Old Vic's new building was officially launched last night, with a party to mark the transformation of the theatre.

The new timber and glass front, designed by architects Haworth and Tompkins, allows the original theatre facade to be visible in the foyer for the first time.

The ten year restoration project cost £26 million and the space is to become an all-day heritage visitor attraction.


Shutters on the front of the theatre display a poem from Miles Chamber and the text of David Garrick's inaugural 1766 address.

The restoration includes the Georgian Coopers' Hall, which will now act as an assembly room for Bristol. There is also a new studio theatre, mezzanine galleries and viewing platforms.

Emma Stenning, chief executive of the theatre said: "We'd urge anyone who's interested in seeing what has been going on behind the hoardings for the past two years to come and find out more about this inspiring new space when we throw open our doors."

Artistic director Tom Morris said: "In a challenging time for regional theatre, this major redevelopment marks the launch of a new business model for the theatre and the renewal of its unique relationship with the city, with a radical programme presented that not only entertains, but also reflects the topics that people here care about most."