The Bristol Old Vic – the UK’s oldest continually working theatre – has revealed plans for a “stunning and dramatic” £12 million refurbishment of the grade I-listed venue’s front of house spaces and studio that will create “an inviting public space in the heart of” the city.
The development, by architects Haworth Tompkins (whose portfolio includes projects with the Royal Court, Young Vic and the egg in Bath) includes a proposal to expose the Georgian theatre’s 253-year-old iconic front wall to both the street and internally to a new public foyer. It also includes the transformation of its studio space into a “flexible and fully accessible” theatre and returning the Cooper’s Hall building (currently the public entrance to the theatre) to its original purpose as a function hall.
Arts Council England has already pledged £6 million towards the refurbishment, the first phase of which was completed in September 2012. A fundraising campaign aiming to raise an additional £6 million will be launched in the new year.