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Full cast announced as rehearsals begin for blistering new production of The Caretaker this Autumn

Cast of The Caretaker
Cast of The Caretaker

Cast of The Caretaker

Bristol Old Vic and Royal & Derngate, Northampton announce the full cast for The Caretaker which will begin rehearsals today.

Patrice Naiambana, previously announced in the iconic role of Davies, is joined by dynamic young actors David Judge and Jonathan Livingstone, bringing this radical revival of Pinter’s classic to life for a new generation. The vulnerability and aggression in the homeless Davies and the bitter wrangling between the brothers who offer him a kind of asylum rings out of the play with startling clarity for the present-day social tensions between those who feel they “belong” and those who do not.

Jonathan Livingstone will play Aston. Since graduating from RADA in 2008, Jonathan has made a name for himself on stage, working with director Daniel Kramer as Benvolio in the Shakespeare Globe production of Romeo and Juliet, in the Young Vic’s Now We Are Here (director Ian Rickson)the National Theatre’s Our Country’s Good, the RSC’s Taming of the Shrew and Cheek by Jowl’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. He was also part of the National Theatre/West End production of War Horse and is best known on screen for the role of Boy Tracy in E4’s Chewing Gum.

David Judge will play Mick. A graduate of the E17 acting school and the National Youth Theatre, David went on to be a regular in the Channel 4 series Hollyoaks in the role of Danny Valentine. His film and TV work includes the UK series Prey and the film 28 Weeks Later. Stage work includes Fatherland and Scuttlers (both Manchester Royal Exchange), Eleventh Capital (Royal Court) and A Taste of Honey (Sheffield Crucible).

Patrice Naiambana has most recently starred in the sell-out National Theatre production Barber Shop Chronicles. Describing himself as an “African performing artist from Sierra Leone”, his previous work includes the title role in Kathryn Hunter’s Othello, Warwick the Kingmaker in Michael Boyd’s Olivier Award-winning Histories Cycle Ensemble, and Aslan in Adrian Noble’s The Lion,The Witch and The Wardrobe, all for the RSC. He has played in Steven Berkoff’s Coriolanus and Marcello Magni’s Tell Them I am Young and Beautiful.  Patrice is also the founder and facilitator of Tribal Soul Arts, an organisation which creates innovative and functional arts in collaboration with citizens and communities to bring about positive social transformation.

The production will be directed by Christopher Haydon, his first major production since his celebrated tenure at London’s Gate Theatre (Grounded, Image of An Unknown Young Woman, The Convert). Christopher’s previous credits include Twelve Angry Men at Birmingham Rep and in the West End, and Grounded (Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, Studio Theatre Washington DC, national and international tour) which won a Fringe First and Best Production in the Off West End Awards. He reunites with Designer Oliver Townsend for The Caretaker, after previously collaborating on Grounded (Best Set Design, Off West End Awards).

The Caretaker will open at Bristol Old Vic running from 9 – 30 September with Press Night on Thursday 14 September. It then tours to Nuffield Southampton Theatres (10-14 Oct) before a run at Royal & Derngate, Northampton from 17 – 28 October.

Listings information:

The Caretaker
a Bristol Old Vic and Royal & Derngate, Northampton co-production
Writer Harold Pinter
Director Christopher Haydon
Designer Oliver Townsend
Cast: David Judge (Mick), Jonathan Livingstone (Aston) and Patrice Naiambana (Davies).

9-30 Sep
NATIONAL PRESS NIGHT: THURSDAY 14 SEP AT 7PM

Bristol Old Vic, King Street, Bristol BS1 4ED
7.30pm2.30pm (selected Thu & Sat mats)
£31.50 – £7.50*
Box Office: 0117 987 7877 or online www.bristololdvic.org.uk
* from 17 July 2017,  Bristol Old Vic will no longer apply booking fees

10-14 Oct
Nuffield Southampton Theatres, NST Campus, University Road, Southampton SO17 1TR
7.30pm2.30pm (Sat mat)
Tickets starting at £27, £22, £17, £10
Book tickets: 023 8067 1771 or online www.nstheatres.co.uk

17-28 Oct
PRESS NIGHT: Wed 18 Oct at 7pm
Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton NN1 1DP
7.45pm2.30pm (Thu & Sat mats)
£10 to £30**
Box Office:  01604 624811 or online www.royalandderngate.co.uk
** A charge of £3 applies for all transactions over £15.
Does not apply to Groups, Friends or Disabled Patrons, and is per transaction, not per ticket.

West End transfer announced for acclaimed Bristol Old Vic production Long Day’s Journey into Night

Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville 

Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville 

Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville 


Following its sold out run as part of Bristol Old Vic’s 250th Anniversary season, Jeremy Ironsand Lesley Manville will reprise their roles in Richard Eyre’s acclaimed production of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

Considered one of the most powerful American plays of the 20th century, the production will play a strictly limited 10 week West End season at Wyndham’s Theatre from 27 January to 8 April 2018.

The Tyrones’ summer home, August 1912. Haunted by the past but unable to face the truth of the present, the Tyrones and their two sons test the bonds of a family caught in the cycle of love and resentment. As day turns to night and the family indulge in their vices, the truth unravels leaving behind a quartet of ruined lives. 

Jeremy Irons said “Over forty years ago I saw Laurence Olivier play James Tyrone. I never dreamed I would one day be given the opportunity to play him myself. I am so glad I have the chance to work again with Richard Eyre and Lesley Manville on this, one of America’s greatest plays.”

Lesley Manville said “Shortly after Richard Eyre and I worked together on Ghosts he asked me if I’d be interested in doing Long Day’s Journey Into Night with him at Bristol. Ghosts is a big, emotional and epic play but not even that prepared me for the challenge of O’Neill’s masterpiece which is, by far, the hardest play I have ever done. But at the same time thrilling. I cannot wait to play those scenes again to a wider audience. O’Neill is a genius and Richard Eyre’s production gives nothing but credit to this classic American family saga.”

Richard Eyre said “I’m excited that I’m having the opportunity to revive a production that I loved. We had a wonderful time doing this play in Bristol and it’s marvellous to be able to share the production with audiences in the West End.”

Jeremy Irons plays James Tyrone. A Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate, he began his professional career on the Bristol Old Vic stage in 1969. After years of success in the West End, Irons made his Broadway debut in 1984 opposite Glenn Close in The Real Thing, which won him a Tony Award. An internationally renowned actor, he is well known not only for films such as The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The Mission, Reversal of Fortune, Being Julia and Lolita, but also for the variety of his work – everything from The Lion King to The Borgias. He is one of only a handful of actors to have won an Oscar, a Tony and an Emmy for his work.

Lesley Manville plays Mary Tyrone. An award-winning actress, she is a frequent collaborator with director Mike Leigh, winning the London Film Critics’ Circle Award for British Actress of the Year for her work in both his 2002 film All or Nothing and his 2010 film Another Year, for which she also won the National Board of Review Award for Best Actress. Manville’s extensive stage career includes roles in Top Girls (Royal Court 1990), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (RSC 1986), His Dark Materials (National Theatre 2005), Pillars of the Community (National Theatre 2005). and Six Degrees of Separation (Old Vic 2010). In 2012, she was nominated for an Olivier Award for her role in Leigh’s play Grief (National Theatre 2011), before going on to win the 2014 Olivier Award for Best Actress for her role in the revival of Ghosts (Almeida 2013) directed by Richard Eyre.

Director Richard Eyre is widely considered to be the UK’s greatest living director. Eyre was director of the National Theatre between 1987 and 1997. His most noted theatre productions include Hamlet (twice), with Jonathan Pryce at the Royal Court in 1980 and Daniel Day-Lewis in 1989; Richard III with Ian McKellen; King Lear with Ian Holm; Henrik Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman with Paul Scofield, Vanessa Redgrave and Eileen Atkins; and numerous new plays by David Hare, Tom Stoppard, Trevor Griffiths, Howard Brenton, Alan Bennett, Christopher Hampton and Nicholas Wright. He also directed the musical Mary Poppins in London and on Broadway. He has been the recipient of numerous directing awards including five Olivier Awards, including an Olivier Lifetime Achievement Award, and awards from The Directors’ Guild of Great Britain, the South Bank Show, the Evening Standard and the Critics’ Circle. In November 2013, he once again won the Evening Standard Award for Best Director for Ibsen’s Ghosts starring Lesley Manville at the Almeida Theatre. This production transferred to the West End and to Broadway.

Richard Eyre is joined by set designer Rob Howell who has designed sets and costumes for numerous plays and musicals in the UK, in London and on Broadway over a 20-year period. Howell has won three Olivier Awards for Best Set Design. The most recent of these was for his work on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda the Musical, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award.

International Lighting Designer Peter Mumford has been working in theatre for over 40 years. He is a two-time Olivier Award winner, with work in the West End including Top Hat, Much Ado About Nothing, An Ideal Husband, The Lion in Winter and Absent Friends. He has recently worked with Chichester, Sheffield Crucible, Royal Court, Almeida and the Peter Hall Company.

Sound Designer John Leonard ran the sound department at Bristol Old Vic from 1970 to 1976. He went on to join the Royal Shakespeare Company and in 1984 he was made the company’s first head of sound and an associate artist of the company. He works regularly for the Almeida Theatre in London, for whom he is Sound Associate, as well as the National Theatre and in the West End.

LISTINGS
LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT
by Eugene O’Neill
Director Richard Eyre
Designer Rob Howell
Lighting Design Peter Mumford
Sound Design John Leonard
Wyndham’s Theatre
Charing Cross Rd,
London WC2H 0DA

27 January – 8 April 2018
Opening night – 6 February

There will be no matinee performance on Saturday 27 January

Tuesday to Saturday evening performances at 7.30pm
Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2pm
Wyndham’s Theatre Box Office: 0844 482 5120
www.LongDaysThePlay.com
Tickets from £12.50
Facebook: LongDaysThePlay
Twitter: @LongDaysThePlay

A year away from revealing the new foyer and studio: Bristol Old Vic Autumn season announced, new Associate Artists announced + booking fees scrapped

Bristol Old Vic
Bristol Old Vic

Bristol Old Vic

September marks the 12-month countdown to the completion of Bristol Old Vic’s redeveloped front of house and Studio theatre. While builders focus on creating a welcoming space for the whole of Bristol to enjoy in 2018, the theatre is also preparing a warm onstage welcome. This autumn sees a flagship revival of a Pinter Classic, four Christmas productions to blow the socks off your festive season and a fanfare welcome to some of the Associate Artists whose work you will be able to see at Bristol Old Vic over the next five years.

Flagship production of The Caretaker

The autumn season is kicked off to a flying start with the award-wining director Christopher Haydon’s The Caretaker, his first major production since his celebrated tenure as Artistic Director of London’s Gate Theatre. This blistering new interpretation will star great RSC actor Patrice Naiambana as ‘Davies’, currently wowing audiences and critics alike at the National Theatre in Barber Shop Chronicles.

Christmas for everyone

Adding to the welcome, Bristol Old Vic has made sure there is a Christmas treat for everyone…and we mean everyone. You’re never too young with Bristol Old Vic’s first babe-in-arms show Ice Ice Baby, giving the smallest babes and toddlers a gentle introduction to the sights and sounds of theatre magic at The Lantern at Colston Hall. For 3 to 7 year olds, the legendary Kid Carpet will be creating Christmas chaos (again at The Lantern) with Snow GlobeFor adults and brave children alike, the exquisite The Little Matchgirl and other Happier Tales comes to Bristol Old Vic Theatre following its smash-hit premiere at Shakespeare’s Globe. Full of music, magic, puppetry and laughter, this truly remarkable theatrical experience is directed by the visionary Emma Rice (countless Kneehigh hits and Artistic Director of the best-ever-selling season at Shakespeare’s Globe). And for those who may need a Christmas antidote, Blah Humbugreturns with punk poet, Thick Richard.

Associate Artists showcase their work in Bristol

Autumn also allows Bristol Old Vic to showcase the talents of its Associate Artists: Headlong, who recently collaborated with Bristol Old Vic to create the Bristol musical Junkyard, return with People, Places & Thingstheir smash hit from the National Theatre, the West End, and now Broadway.

Out of Joint, the brainchild of the legendary director Max Stafford-Clark, returns with the classic 80s comedy Rita, Sue and Bob TooMax directed the original production of Andrea Dunbar’s semi-autobiographical play, and revisits this coming of age story for a major UK tour.

Acclaimed director Emma Rice is setting up her new company Wise Children here in Bristol and we’re delighted to include them in our growing family of Associates. Emma’s hit production from Shakespeare’s Globe The Little Matchgirl… will be her Christmas gift to Bristol to launch her special relationship with the city.

Kneehigh – where Emma Rice discovered her voice and where the visionary Mike Shepherd (Dead Dog in a Suitcase) continues to create jaw-dropping theatre – bring their new show Tin Drum to Bristol Old Vic in November. Part opera, part psychedelic white-out, part epic poem, Tin Drum is a story of love, war and fizz-powder for our troubled times.

Inspiring Visitors and Studio Walkabout continues

Other highlights through the autumn include the return of English Touring Theatre with Conor McPherson’s Olivier Award-winning The Weir. This chilling modern classic embarks on its first ever UK tour this autumn to mark its 20th Anniversary.  Former Made in Bristol company, The Wardrobe Ensemble, return to Bristol Old Vic with their love letter to the schools of the 90s, Education, Education, EducationUsing their trademark inventive theatricality and irreverent humour, they ask the big questions about a country in special measures, exploring the stories that have shaped our recent history.

The Studio Walkabout season continues with an array of events taking place across Bristol, enriching our Studio-scale work for the opening of the new studio in 2018. St Brendan’s Sixth Form College Theatre hosts T***k You, the latest work from Bristol Old Vic’s award-winning Young Company which looks at the relationship between youth and power. BlahBlahBlah continues its sell-out monthly spoken word events at The Wardrobe Theatre with headliners including Adam Kammerling, Laurie Bolger and Selena Godden. And back by popular demand, Bristol Old Vic and SS Great Britain’s fright-fest The Spooky Ship takes place for Halloween on board the historic ship, bringing its history to life in ghoulish Bristol fashion.

As a final autumn gift, Bristol Old Vic today announced that the theatre will be scrapping its booking fees from 17 July, to simplify the process of buying tickets.

Chief Executive Emma Stenning said: “Our aim is always to provide a wide range of ticket prices for each of our productions, particularly a significant number at our lowest prices. By scrapping the booking fees, we hope our audiences will find the process of buying tickets clearer and more transparent at the point of purchase. From this week, the price you see is the price you pay”.

Bristol Old Vic’s season of work from September- January 2018 will go on sale to priority bookers from 18 July and on general sale from 20 July.

Following a blistering sold out first week at Arnolfini, Ferment Fortnight heads home to showcase exciting new work in the Theatre


This week, scratch performances at Arnolfini have played to sold out crowds as now legendary work-in-progress festival Ferment Fortnight welcomes some of the South West’s finest artists to a process which helps them light the spark of an idea.

With powerful work from Sharon ClarkGive It A NameUnchartered CollectiveAgnieszka Blonska and Betrand Lesca & Nasi Voutsas already shared with an eager audience, the Arnolfini bar has been packed post-show as immediate feedback is shared directly with the artists over a drink or two.

Next week (18-20 July), Ferment Fortnight returns with a bang as it makes Bristol Old Vic Theatre its home for the second week of exhilarating work. The mini festival will showcase new and original work from Verity StandenMotherlode TheatreWorklight TheatreSleepdogs and Dom Coyote, with the aim that Bristol Old Vic Ferment can support these works to an explosion of a production, whilst offering keen theatre-goers an opportunity to gain unprecedented access to this vital part of the creative development process.

Ferment Producer Emma Bettridge said: “It is an absolute joy to see these exciting works by brilliant artists find their feet in front of a Bristol audience. As ever, this dialogue between creator and the audience member is an incredibly thrilling opportunity – for both parties. The feedback offers the chance to make changes, to re-route, to find the moments that work, but also, when do we as punters ever get to stick our heads in a rehearsal room and influence a final production? For a fiver, you quite literally can next week!

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Ferment is the artist development department of Bristol Old Vic. A year round quest to find, support and nurture local talent, Ferment provides South West artists with an opportunity to explore their theatrical ideas in an ongoing dialogue with audiences. By inviting artists whose work spans genre and form to experiment, play and make the theatre of tomorrow, Ferment continues to develop these vital local voices by offering tailored advice to creatives both emerging and established, and works closely with them through the development process.

Southmead residents take to the streets to perform in live soap opera as the culmination of a major Bristol Old Vic Engagement project

Simon Callow lends his support to Bristol Old Vic’s Studio Seat Appeal

Simon Callow, and Simon in Titus Andronicus in the ‘New Vic’ Studio, 1978
Simon Callow, and Simon in Titus Andronicus in the ‘New Vic’ Studio, 1978

Simon Callow, and Simon in Titus Andronicus in the ‘New Vic’ Studio, 1978 (Photo: Derek Balmer, courtesy University of Bristol Theatre Collection).

Renowned Shakespearean actor and movie star, Simon Callow visited Bristol Old Vic today to see first-hand how the theatre’s multi-million pound redevelopment work was coming on and to launch the Sponsor a Seat campaign, part of the final phase of fundraising for the brand-new Studio theatre.

Simon Callow played the title role in Titus Andronicus in Bristol’s original “New Vic” Studio in 1978, performing alongside relative newcomer Pete Postlethwaite and directed by Adrian Noble, who went on to run the RSC.

Speaking today, Simon Callow said:

“It is vital that every regional theatre has a successful Studio and that’s why I’m delighted to launch this appeal. That’s why I’m asking you to sponsor a seat in the new Studio. It will be an investment down the years, down the decades. It will be sowing the seeds to turn into mighty oaks.”

Sponsoring a Studio seat provides an opportunity to directly support the development of new writing, performers and artists – many of whom will begin their careers in this space from 2018 onwards. The seats can be sponsored for £500 and £1000 and would include an engraved plaque.

The original Studio theatre opened its doors on 30 May 1970 and over its 46 year life became an engine for theatre in Bristol, helping to establish the careers of many of Bristol and the region’s playwrights, artists and technicians. It has also been the home to many Young Company productions, some of the most cutting-edge new work from inspiring artists from the UK and beyond, and for the last 7 years Bristol Ferment, Bristol Old Vic’s much-imitated artist development programme.

In 2018, the spirit of the original Studio will be carried through to a new 188 seat Studio to be housed in the ground floor and basement of the beautiful Coopers Hall, allowing a new welcoming front of house areas to be constructed in the Studio’s original location.

You can sponsor a seat by visiting out website bristololdvic.org.uk/seat or pledge your support to Sarah Watts on 0117 317 8654 or by emailing [email protected]uk

First Look: Julius Caesar at Bristol Old Vic

Ferment Fortnight and Blahblahblah; Young Company and Made in Bristol announce summer show details

Ferment Fortnight
Ferment Fortnight

Ferment Fortnight

Bristol Old Vic today announced the line-up for popular new writing festival Ferment Fortnight and monthly spoken word night Blahblahblah, on sale to the general public on Tuesday 6 June at 10am.
Work-in-progress from the South West’s finest during Ferment Fortnight
Bristol Old Vic Ferment, Bristol Old Vic’s artist development factory, presents Ferment Fortnight; a mini-festival showcasing work in development from exciting South West artists. The Fortnight exists as the first public stage of a vital creative process for these emerging works; a space to see what ideas look like on their feet, and where audience feedback is encouraged as the artists involved invite those watching to become a crucial part of the development process.

Bristol Old Vic’s Studio Walkabout season allows the Studio work to continue at alternative venues until Bristol Old Vic completes its redevelopment in September 2018. The first week of July’s Ferment Fortnight will be hosted by Arnolfini, with new pieces by Raucous’ Sharon Clark, Give it a Name, Unchartered Collective, Agnieszka Blonkska and Betrand Lesca & Nasi Voutas.

Returning to Bristol Old Vic for the second week, the Theatre will transform into an intimate on-stage studio space, presenting work-in-progress performances from Verity Standen, Motherlode Theatre, Worklight Theatre, Sleepdogs and Dom Coyote.

The hottest spoken word talent at Blahblahblah
Also part of the Studio Walkabout season, the Wardrobe Theatre will continue to host Bristol Old Vic, Tangent Books and Anna Freeman’s monthly spoken word events, Blahblahblah; a guaranteed sell-out each month.
The new season kicks off in September with Adam Kammerling’s Shall We Take This Outside. October’s guests will include London Laureate Laurie Bolger, multi slam champion Raymond Antrobus and self-confessed social carrier pigeon Debris Stevenson. November welcomes back poet, performer and author Salena Godden, Molly Naylor – creator of Sky One sitcom After Hours, and Roundhouse and BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Words First finalist Isiah Hull.

December will see Christmas tradition Blah Humbug return as Thick Richard takes to the stage with Swear School in the annual anti-Christmas special.

ALSO: Young Company and Made in Bristol announce full details of summer shows
Bristol Old Vic’s award-winning Young Company present T***K YOU – a devised show about patriarchy, power, and protest exploring the relationship between youth and power, presented in collaboration with St. Brendan’s Sixth Form College Performing Arts Academy.

Made in Bristol’s new company INKBLOC ensemble present their debut show Lego® Beach, inspired by the true story of a freak storm that exposed a containership at sea, causing nearly five million pieces of Lego® to be lost to the power of the tide. Through live music, ensemble storytelling and movement, Lego® Beach tells the story of a community whose lives are broken and built with the snap of a Lego® block.

Bristol Old Vic announces post-show panellists for women-only night of Medea.

(LtoR: Philippa Lowthorpe, Chino Odimba, Dr Naomi Paxton, Cllr Estella Tincknell)
(LtoR: Philippa Lowthorpe, Chino Odimba, Dr Naomi Paxton, Cllr Estella Tincknell)

(LtoR: Philippa Lowthorpe, Chino Odimba, Dr Naomi Paxton, Cllr Estella Tincknell)

On Friday 26 May, Bristol Old Vic is taking the radical step of hosting a performance of its politically charged production, Medea, to an exclusively female audience. Directly after the show, there will be a panel discussion hosted by Bristol Women’s Voice about the issues raised in the production; of what it is to be a woman and a mother today, resisting the loss of identity, and the struggles some women undertake to find retribution in a system that is often unfair.

Bristol Old Vic today announced the panellists who will be taking part in the discussion: film and television director Philippa Lowthorpe, whose recent three part drama “Three Girls” looked at the true stories of victims of grooming and sexual abuse in Rochdale; Bristol-based playwright and writer of Medea Chino Odimba; researcher, writer and performer Dr Naomi Paxton and Bristol Councillor Estella Tincknell. The panel will be chaired by Jane Duffus, trustee of the charity Bristol Women’s Voice since 2015.

BAFTA-winning film and television director Philippa Lowthorpe directed the three-part BBC drama Three Girls which aired on 16-18 May and told the story of three of the children who were victims in the 2012 grooming and sex trafficking case in Rochdale. Her previous credits include Jamaica Inn, Call the Midwife, Five Daughters (2010), Beau Brummell: This Charming Man (2006), and The Other Boleyn Girl (2003). In 2013, Philippa became the first woman to be awarded a BAFTA for Best Director: Fiction. She directed the feature film Swallows and Amazons in 2016.

Writer Chino Odimba was born in Nigeria, raised in London and now lives in Bristol. She is the writer of Medea. Past work includes Women Embrace Two (Bristol Old Vic), An Ode to Adam (The Ustinov Theatre) and The Bird Woman of Lewisham (Story Project at Arcola Theatre). She has written for Clean Break and had work performed at the RSC and the National Theatre.  She is a winner of the Channel 4 Playwright Scheme and was a finalist for the Alfred Fagon Award (2014) and the Bruntwood Playwrights Award (2015) for her play Wild is De Wind. Chino is currently under commission for Eclipse Theatre’s Revolution Mix project (Bristol Old Vic), and as the Channel 4 Playwright at Talawa Theatre. She is also working on a modern retelling of Oliver Twist for Theatre Centre London (touring Autumn 2017), and has recently written a new short film Scotch Bonnet for BBC iPlayer. Chino was also writer-on-attachment at Bristol Old Vic in 2014.

Dr Naomi Paxton is a researcher, writer and performer. Her particular research interests include the performative propaganda of the suffrage movement, and the networks and cultural histories of political feminist theatre in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She is also an Associate Artist of the feminist production hub Scary Little Girls. Naomi produced Knickerbocker Glories, a triple bill of Suffrage plays that ran at the Union Theatre in London in June 2010, and co-produced Stage Rights! A Living Literature Walk in  2013 and 2016, and A Particular Theatre: Shakespeare, Suffragists and Soldiers in 2016 with Scary Little Girls. She is one of the BBC Radio 3/AHRC New Generation Thinkers, and is currently working at Parliament on the Vote 100 project ‘What Difference Did the War Make? World War One and Votes for Women’.

Estella Tincknell is Labour councillor for Lockleaze with special responsibility for Equalities, Culture and Events. She is also Associate Professor in Film and Culture at UWE with particular focus on gender and identity in music, cinema and media, and has published widely in both these areas. She is a member of the Women, Ageing, Media network of researchers, and her evidence contributed to the House of Lords Report on Women in Broadcasting published in 2014.  Until recently she also co-edited The Soundtrack, a journal of film and music.

Jane Duffus is the founder of the all-female brand What The Frock! Comedy, which launched in 2012 to champion women in both comedy and the arts more widely. She has almost two decades of experience as a national newsstand journalist and is particularly interested in the areas of supporting women in the arts.

Chair of Bristol Women’s Voice, Penny Gane said: “There is still a real need for spaces where women are able to come together to share and support one another, especially regarding the kinds of sensitive subjects that are addressed in a performance like Medea. It is very empowering to have this rare opportunity for a woman-only audience to look at the hidden experiences of women such as Medea/Maddy, who are mothers and homemakers and whose stories are so often unheard. This is why it is so important that Bristol Old Vic has agreed to offer this unique evening to the women of Bristol and we are very excited to be a part of this.”

Executive Producer of Bristol Old Vic, Chloe Elwood said: “When we spoke to Bristol Women’s Voice at the Medea press night, they talked to us about the relevance of the play and the value there would be on having one night held exclusively for an audience of women. This supported many of the comments we’d already had from audiences during the previews. It felt important enough to take a leap of faith and provide a place where issues of justice, social balance and voice are shared. Bristol Old Vic created Medea not as a historic Greek tragedy, but as a comment on the world we live in today. Theatre is not merely a place to be entertained with powerful stories. When it gets things right, it is also a place to encourage debate and even instigate change.”

Bristol Old Vic hosts women-only night for politically charged Medea

Medea
Medea

Medea © Jack Offord

Bristol Old Vic has announced it will present a performance of its politically charged Medea to an exclusively female audience on Friday 26 May. Responding directly to the reaction from audiences through the preview period and press night, this unique evening will also include a panel discussion looking at the issues raised; of what it is to be a woman and a mother today, resisting the loss of identity, and the struggles some women undertake to find retribution in a system that is often unfair.

The evening will be in partnership with Bristol charity Bristol Women’s Voice who will also host the panel event directly after the show. Panellists, to be announced later, will include some of the leading female thinkers in arts and politics in Bristol.

Chair of Bristol Women’s Voice , Penny Gane said: “There is still a real need for spaces where women are able to come together to share and support one another, especially regarding the kinds of sensitive subjects that are addressed in a performance like Medea. It is very empowering to have this rare opportunity for a woman-only audience to look at the hidden experiences of women such as Medea/Maddy, who are mothers and homemakers and whose stories are so often unheard. This is why it is so important that Bristol Old Vic has agreed to offer this unique evening to the women of Bristol and we are very excited to be a part of this.”

Executive Producer of Bristol Old Vic, Chloe Elwood said: “When we spoke to Bristol Women’s Voice at the Medea press night, they talked to us about the relevance of the play and the value there would be on having one night held exclusively for an audience of women. This supported many of the comments we’d already had from audiences during the previews. It felt important enough to take a leap of faith and provide a place where issues of justice, social balance and voice are shared. Bristol Old Vic created Medea not as a historic Greek tragedy, but as a comment on the world we live in today. Theatre is not merely a place to be entertained with powerful stories. When it gets things right, it is also a place to encourage debate and even instigate change.”

Bristol Old Vic’s Artistic Director Tom Morris said: “We are known for the experiments we take in collaboration with our artists but in the end all theatre is about the imaginative response of the audience who experience it. So this week we are experimenting in collaboration with audiences who have requested the opportunity to experience this show in an all-female environment. We look forward with excitement to what those audiences and the artists who will perform to them discover on that night.”

Bristol Old Vic is committed to being a theatre which welcomes everyone, male or female, but sometimes we also need to recognise the needs and vulnerabilities of groups affected by the stories we share. We hope to welcome all of Bristol to this production and, for those women who value the unique experience of being the only voices in the room, we hope you will join Bristol Old Vic and Bristol Women’s Voice on Friday 26 May.

Medea runs at Bristol Old Vic until the 27 May
www.bristololdvic.org.uk / 0117 987 7877

Medea

Medea