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Bristol Old Vic announces plans to reopen with performances this week

The series of performances will kick off on Thursday

Bristol Old Vic
© Philip Vile

Bristol Old Vic has revealed plans to stage socially distanced experimental shows from this week.

On Thursday, poet Vanessa Kisuule will perform for one night only – her recent poem Hollow went viral following the toppling of Edward Colston's statue.

On Friday night, comedian Mark Olver will host Who Said That? a comedy evening featuring comedians Jayde Adams, Luke Kempner, Robin Morgan and Lou Conran (all four will dial in remotely). The following night, actor and violinist Patrycja Kujawska and musician James Gow will present classics from the likes of Bach, Mozart, Handel and others.

Further productions are to be revealed very soon.

Artistic director Tom Morris said: "Our doors are already open, but we can only call ourselves a theatre when we are sharing live performance again. While we've been fighting to keep our business alive, we've been overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends and supporters whose kindness is funding this programme.

"We begin with three tiny performances by brilliant and beloved Bristolian artists.

"And behind the scenes, we've already commissioned a series of experiments through Bristol Ferment, which will be performed in early September. Very shortly we will also announce new work by our renowned Young Company and collaborations with the Associate Companies and artists whose work has made our building sing with life over the last decade.

"Our aim is to re-grow our programme gradually, ensuring that the audience experience is safe and the creative process properly protected, too. There will be pioneering experiments in hybrid live/streamed performance to give those who prefer to stay at home a front seat experience alongside the growing audiences we are able to entertain live.

"The journey might be long before we can get close to the scale of work we were enjoying last year, but it's exciting, too, giving us the opportunity to rethink our relationship with the city, and to take a leap forward in the style of work we can present and audiences we can welcome. This theatre must be for everyone in the city, sharing and celebrating the creativity of us all. And we are thrilled to be embarking on a new journey towards that goal this week."