Bristol Old Vic launches new Heritage Experience

Early 19th century Bristol Old Vic courtesy of UoB Theatre Collection

The oldest continuously working theatre in the English speaking world has launched a new experience to teach visitors about the history’s 252-year history and draw new people into the theatre


Bristol Old Vic’s new heritage experience will allow visitors to enjoy new interactive activities, exhibition spaces, tours and workshops that highlight its history.

New tours at the theatre ©JonCraig

New features include an augmented reality app that will take visitors on a virtual tour of the theatre through the ages. Using their iPads, they’ll be able to step back in time to one of four periods: the 1700s, 1860s, 1910s or 1970s.

The augmented reality app ©JonCraig

For those interested in sound technology, a gallery corridor has been transformed to teach visitors all about sound at the Old Vic, from how to project your voice to how sound creates different moods in the theatre.

250 Years of Sound Technology ©JonCraig

Aardman Animations has even created a new short film for the experience that highlights the architectural transformations of the building and it’ll be shown on the original 1766 wall of the theatre.

The new heritage project is the final stage of a ten-year £26 million programme, including £2.4m from the National Lottery, to redevelop the historic landmark.

Liam Wiseman, Heritage Engagement Manager said: “For the first time we’re bringing to life our unique archives and showcasing the history of the longest continuously running theatre. True to the purpose of the organisation, our heritage experiences are theatrical and dynamic, and we can’t wait for everyone to see what we’ve been up to!”

To find out more or to book tours visit