Bristol Old Vic’s THE GRINNING MAN

A recording of the original Bristol version of hit musical The Grinning Man is now available online to watch for free for a week.

A strange new act has arrived at the fairground. Who is Grinpayne and how did he get his hideous smile? Helped by an old man, a lone wolf and a blind girl, his story must be told.

The epic tale of an abandoned child with a terrible secret. A disfigured youth who is desperate to hide and a sightless girl who longs to be discovered. Let the darkness seduce you.

Based on The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo and brought to life by director Tom Morris (Touching the Void) and writer Carl Grose (Dead Dog in a Suitcase), don’t miss this digital revival, captured during its original Bristol run by TVPP, and featuring a sensational original score by Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler and puppetry from Gyre & Gimble – the original puppeteers of War Horse!

First seen at the Bristol Old Vic as part of its 250th anniversary season, the show then transferred to the West End late in 2017 to critical and audience success.

GUIDANCE: Suitable for ages 12+ Contains some sexual references and swearing.

The show lasts approximately two hours. The show is available until Friday 3rd July at 6pm.

Although this production is free to watch, please strongly consider making a donation to Bristol Old Vic to enable them to keep operating after this crisis has passed.

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Bristol Old Vic’s A MONSTER CALLS

Available now is The Old Vic and Bristol Old Vic co-production of A MONSTER CALLS.

“‘Stories are wild creatures’, the monster said. ‘When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?'”

Thirteen-year-old Conor and his mum have managed just fine since his dad moved away. But now his mum is sick and not getting any better. His grandmother won’t stop interfering and the kids at school won’t look him in the eye. 

Then, one night, Conor is woken by something at his window. A monster has come walking. It’s come to tell Conor tales from when it walked before. And when it’s finished, Conor must tell his own story and face his deepest fears.

Adapted from the critically acclaimed bestseller by Patrick Ness, and directed by Sally Cookson (Peter PanLa Strada), this Olivier Award-winning production of A MONSTER CALLS offers a dazzling insight into love, life and healing.

GUIDANCE: Suitable for ages 10+ Contains themes of terminal illness, death and grief. Use of haze, strobe and loud sound effects

The show lasts approximately two hours. The show is available until Friday 12th June at 6pm.

Although this production is free to watch, please strongly consider making a donation to Bristol Old Vic – or – making a donation to the Old Vic in London to enable them to keep operating after this crisis has passed.

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TALKING AUDIENCES: An Exhibition in Bristol

For anyone who lives in or is visiting Bristol within the next few weeks, there is a very interesting exhibition at the University of Bristol Theatre Collection, one of the world’s largest archives of British theatre history. Until February 28th, the Collection hosts “Talking Audiences”, an exhibition which is the culmination of two years of archival research by Dr Kirsty Sedgman into the Bristol Old Vic as part of her British Academy postdoctoral Fellowship project.

Nearly lost in the late 1940s, when under threat of being sold off as a warehouse, the Bristol theatre was built in 1766 as the Theatre Royal, and was one of the first successes of the Arts Council of Great Britain’s remit of making great theatre available across the country. Linked to London’s Old Vic, the relationship had its stresses and strains, but the theatre thrives to this day, long after the link has fallen away.

Although the theatre’s journey was an uneven one, the exhibition traces the ups and downs of these early years intercut with audience reactions, which makes a fascinating look at how a venue interacts with those it seeks to engage with.

You can find out more information here