News, events and schools' information for families across Bristol

Bristol Old Vic turns 256 on Monday 30 May, and to celebrate they’re throwing open the doors and inviting you and your family for a fun, free, inclusive Family Day

The day will be jam-packed with creative and hands-on activities for all the family with time and space to explore the historic theatre which has been welcoming audiences for over 25 decades!

Harriet Wilson, Bristol Old Vic’s Heritage Participation Producer, said, “Bristol Old Vic is a brilliant place to explore with the family. The building holds so many stories and our free Birthday Family Day is the perfect time to hear them, get behind the scenes, and be creative together.”

During the Family Day, Bristol Old Vic’s expert tour guides will weave myth, fact and Bristolian folklore into thrilling Family Tours (advanced booking required) where you might get to see the friendly theatre ghost. 

There’s also Singing Workshops (advanced booking required), crafting space to design your own dream party outfit using upcycled materials, a Silver Coin Activity Trail around the building, plus you’ll be able to transform yourself into characters from past Bristol Old Vic productions! 

Bristol Old Vic’s Birthday Family Day is FREE – drop in on Monday 30 May from 11am – 3pm and join in the fun.

Full details are available at

Then just a few days later on 5 June, the Bristol Old Vic is holding its Open Stage 2022 event, where they’re throwing open the theatre’s doors to the local community for a whole range of performances.

The performances will include:

  • Local choirs Bristol Acapella, She Choir Bristol and Bristol Rock Choir, plus the theatre’s very own BOV Community Choir.
  • Comedic poems and monologues all about theatre by Willa King and Neil & Sandra, an Improvised Twilight Zone by Real Positive Poles, Oi Polloi performing what happens when 10 people are trapped in a box on stage, Evelyn Bonela’s one-woman play about neurodivergence, and Carl James’ about struggles with OCD. 
  • Punk poetry by TS Idiot, Princess Sparkles (a Professional Princess), a dark inner story of a housewife Gladys Medcroft, Rosanna Turner’s ‘The APPreciation Awards’, nine-year-old Harris Katiisa Cheney’s poem and performance poetry by Gabrielle Finnegan.
  • Plus see some WIP shows here first, including stand up comedian’s Jaleelah Galbraith and Tom Denbigh’s monologue on the worst poetry night ever, music by Adam De Santis and Mica Sinclair, comedy songs by Chloe Thurlow and traditional African dance by AFIDANCERS.

Free and suitable for all the family, these performances will make a real treat for this upcoming Jubilee bank holiday Sunday. 

The event is unticketed so seats are available on a first come, first served basis. 

There are three showcases over the day (12:00-13:30, 15:00-16:30, 18:30-20:00) and doors open 15 minutes before each showcase begins. 

As this event is unticketed, so if you have any access requirements, please contact the box office on 0117 987 7877 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.