Bristol returns to Tier 3 on Boxing Day, but Bristol Old Vic’s digital offer is still going strong

Bristol returns to Tier 3 on Boxing Day, but Bristol Old Vic’s digital offer is still going strong.

While returning to Tier 3 is disappointing, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to be adaptable.

We promised to do all we could to entertain Bristol this Christmas and we have done our absolute best to achieve that, both at the theatre and at home. But today’s announcement inevitably means that from Boxing Day, all performances of Living Spit’s joyful Beauty and the Beast will be postponed until regulations relax in 2021.

Westcountry comedy duo Living Spit have been able to perform six uplifting live performances of their Christmas caper in front of an audience at Bristol Old Vic since 19 Dec. Their final live performance before the regulations change will take place on Christmas Eve at 2.30pm.

The duo had been hard at work preparing both a live production for an in-person audience, alongside a version of the show to stream digitally into people’s homes or release as a recording. This meant that they were ready for every eventuality in these changing times. So from today (23 Dec), a digital recording of their show is available to watch from the comfort of your own sofa, until such times as the restrictions are lifted. You can book via the website:

If anyone has booked an in-person ticket for a now cancelled show, they will be offered access to the digital version, or a full refund, if preferred. The Box Office team are working hard to contact everyone affected. There is no need to call the theatre directly.

In addition to the digital version of Beauty and the Beast, Bristol Old Vic are continuing to provide a range of streamed and on-demand productions. This includes the on-demand Bristol Old Vic at Home Season 2, available until 28 Feb 2021, which includes The Grinning ManMessiah, A Christmas Carol, The Night that Autumn Turned To Winter, and Swallows and Amazons.

Also available to watch for free from the Bristol Old Vic website is Angels In Bristol, a truly Bristolian version of the nativity and other miracles – providing nine short stories involving schools and communities across Bristol, which is available free of charge. Each story is delivered daily from 20 Dec up to and including 28 Dec, and will be available to watch until the New Year as a gift to the city. Angels in Bristol | Bristol Old Vic

Bristol Old Vic’s Artistic Director Tom Morris said: “These are very strange and very unpredictable times.  We were joyfully surprised to be allowed to reopen last Saturday, and it feels doubly strange to have to close again on Boxing Day.  We haven’t seen the detail of the imminent dangers now faced in Bristol but control of the virus is all of our priority and we are committed to playing our part in that.  Our promise to entertain you over Christmas will therefore have to be entirely online from Boxing Day – and we very much hope you will be able to find something to lighten an afternoon or an evening over the holiday period.

It also seems fitting to end the year by saluting the unquenchable energy and inventiveness of Living Spit, and all of the artists and theatre professionals whose work has been seen in the theatre or online this year.  And with them to thank you, the most passionate and generous audience a theatre could wish for, who have been so supportive of all of us as we’ve fought to rebuild our programme throughout the Summer and Autumn. Thanks to your help, theatre will return stronger than ever, changed, challenged and inspired by the experiences we have all shared this year.  We can’t wait to rediscover what that work will be, with you, in a happier and safer 2021.”

About Author /

Kath is an actor, singer and writer with a passion for theatre. She has been reviewing for At The Theatre since 2014. Kath has a Masters in Performance at Liverpool Hope University and is Creative Engagement Worker for B arts, a participatory arts organisation.

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