Activity: Other activity types › Fellowship awarded competitively
A Theatre of Two Cities: Mapping the Relationship between Bristol Old Vic, London, the Regions and their Communities, from 1946 to the Present
The Bristol Old Vic theatre company was formed in 1946 as an offshoot of London’s Old Vic. The company has since experienced ongoing tensions between ‘local interests’ and the capital. Tracking evolving relationships between Bristol’s communities and the company from its launch to the present, this project explores how regional theatres balance national cultural policy with local identity. It studies three strands: 1) Regional Values: how a distinctly West of England identity was forged whilst adhering to London funders' requirements. 2) Heritage: how existing relationships with the historical Theatre Royal building were built upon and a sense of local 'ownership' developed. 3) Impact: how the region’s communities value and make use of the theatre today. The result will be a ‘deep map’ of Bristol Old Vic: locating the company within the building, the city, the West of England, and the UK. A significant record of how audience numbers are built and lost over time, this case study will demonstrate how theatres can reverse declining audiences by deepening regional community engagement.