Theatre News

Bristol Old Vic announces new season with Mark Rylance, Giles Terera, Wise Children and more

The venue is springing back into action

Bristol Old Vic
Bristol Old Vic

Bristol Old Vic has revealed its season plans through to March 2022.

 Giles Terera's eagerly anticipated The Meaning of Zong will have its theatrical premiere, playing from 11 September to 2 October. The piece explores the early years of the abolition movement.

 Terera said: "When I first started exploring this story, I felt very strongly that there was a connection between today and the 18th century when these events took place. History isn't just history, it's a continual conversation with the present. It's a play about us, now.

At this moment, there is lot of discontentment, but at the same time there are  a lot of people standing up for people who don't look like them or live like them. This play focusses on that –as an individual what is your obligation to your society and community? What are you prepared stand up for? What are you prepared to defend?"

As previously revealed, Wise Children's version of Wuthering Heights will have its world premiere in Bristol before it heads on tour, with a National Theatre run in 2022. It plays in Bristol from 9 October.

The Wardrobe Ensemble will work with Bristol Old Vic to stage Christmas show Robin Hood: Legend of The Forgotten Forest from 25 November to 8 January.

Into 2022, Mark Rylance will make his Bristol Old Vic debut in the postponed Dr Semmelweis, running from 20 January to 12 February 2022. Rylance said today: "This is a radical new play which is the story of a particular moment of the advancement of science in human history. Society needs original thinkers, but people who are original thinkers are not always the easiest people to get along with. They're often renegades or rebels.

"Dr Semmelweis is one of the most famous examples of this type of person. It's an ambitious, very exciting project and very personal to me, I can't think of a better theatre to do this than Bristol Old Vic where I've always wanted to act." The text is written by Stephen Brown with Mark Rylance, and directed by Tom Morris.

Finally, Ross Willis' Wonder Boy will have its world premiere, directed by Sally Cookson. The piece follows a young boy trying to find his voice, and was also originally postponed by the pandemic.

This production will include music by Benji Bower, set and costume design by Katie Sykes, lighting by Aideen Malone, sound by Mike Beer, movement by Laila Dialo and captioning by Limbic Cinema.

The venue intends to live-stream as many productions as possible across its season.

Sign up for our newsletters for more