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Bristol Old Vic Will Offer Guaranteed Socially Distanced Shows Until The Spring

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The theatre is also recommending its audiences to continue to wear masks, respect others' space, and to not attend if they have any symptoms.

Bristol Old Vic today announced it would continue to offer audiences a selection of guaranteed socially distanced shows for each of its autumn/winter productions this season.


For all long-running shows until March 2022, the theatre will guarantee two performances each week will remain socially distanced, in order to cater for vulnerable members of the public or those who need to keep extra precautions in place. These socially distanced performances will also require mandatory mask-wearing, whatever happens to other rules in the theatre or in society at large.

Since the summer of 2020, theatres have shown themselves among the COVID-safest spaces for public to visit. The government's Events Research Programme in the spring and the latest announcements from UK Theatre show that indoor performances are safe to attend, but audiences remain cautious about a return to full capacity.

Bristol Old Vic has been operating at less than 50% capacity in its auditorium since theatres were able to begin presenting shows in May. It has also been operating strict safety measures to ensure all visitors to the 253-year-old venue are safe and comfortable.

In addition, the theatre will also continue to film and/or live broadcast of all its Signature Productions so that audiences who feel safer watching at home in Bristol and around the world can enjoy the thrill of live theatre in complete comfort and safety at home.

In addition to the socially distanced shows, here's how Bristol Old Vic will make sure theatres remain among the COVID-safest spaces you can visit:

  • Staff will continue to wear face coverings
  • Additional cleaning will stay in place
  • The theatre's ventilation remains at the highest level
  • At-table ordering via app and table service will continue to be offered
  • Staff will take lateral flow tests 3 times a week
  • No-questions-asked exchange or credit on tickets if audience members no longer feel comfortable attending

The theatre is also recommending its audiences, wherever they can, continue to wear face coverings, respect others' personal space, and to not attend if they have any symptoms of Covid-19.

Bristol Old Vic's Executive Director Charlotte Geeves said today:
"Today's announcement of the end to restrictions in England mean theatres can remove all social distancing measures and sell productions at full capacity for the first time since March 2020. However, public confidence varies widely. Some people are rushing through the doors, keen to sit side-by-side in a buzzing auditorium, while others are feeling more cautious.

This theatre belongs to everyone, so we wanted to make sure everyone has the opportunity to return to the theatre in their own time and in a way that feels right to them."

She continued: "We want to reassure everyone who visits us that as the latest information comes from Public Health England, we'll be keeping a very close eye on how things develop and will adapt accordingly. Our top priority is keeping people safe."


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