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Bristol Old Vic Unveils a Family Resource Hub

Costume design for Cinderella (1961), by Graham Barlow

Costume design for Cinderella (1961) by Garaham Barlow, one of the images available in the family resources packs University of Bristol Theatre Collection

28 May 2020

The Bristol Old Vic have launched a Family Resources Hub as part of their Bristol Old Vic at home project.

The resources, which include acting workshops, arts and crafts ‘how to’ guides, drama games, soundtracks, heritage-based lessons, recommended play reading lists and competitions are illustrated and complemented by digitised materials from the Bristol Old Vic Company Archive , held at the University of Bristol Theatre Collection. These resources are suitable for engaging family members of all ages with the theatre but are designed specifically from Early Years to Key Stage 4.

We have pulled out links to take you directly to the various pages and there is further information about accessing the heritage of the theatre and its civic life from your own home further down the page.

Family Arts Hub Homepage:

Story time: The Silver Coin

Through a series of videos, join Alison as she tells you the story of a very special coin and takes you on a magical journey to find its owner. She might need your help along the way…

Craft: Colour in King Street

In 2018 local artist Bex Glover created a mural in the theatre’s pit passage to celebrate the unique story of King Street in true Bristolian street art style. Whilst the theatre is closed you can experience the mural up close by downloading any of the six available colouring-in sheets.  

You can read about the mural illustrator Bex’s experience of working on the project here:

Craft: Hold Your Head Up

Martha the Giraffe is a very special puppet first seen in the My Great Giraffe stage show in 2019. She fits into a backpack, and visits hospitals and events with her creator Brook. Now you can make your own Martha at home and hang her out of the window during the claps for the NHS each Thursday.

Craft: Making a Scene

View examples of set designs from the Bristol Old Vic Company Archive held at the Theatre Collection to gain inspiration in making your own out of whatever materials you have at hand, from cardboard to newspaper to an old sheet. You can share your designs and creations with the theatre and us via social media!

Game: Make a Monster

Access an equipment list and instructions for how to build your own monster and view images of monsters on the stage from the collections at the Theatre Collection.

Competition: Unleash Your Inner Costume Designer

Bristol Old Vic are offering the opportunity to become their latest costume designer! They are asking anyone 16 and under to submit a design via the webpage for one of four characters including Toad of Toad Hall and Long John Silver, the pirate villain of Treasure Island. On the page are ideas to get you started, helpful character descriptions and costume designs and production images from the Bristol Old Vic Company Archive.

Further information

The Bristol Old Vic Company Archive, held at the Theatre Collection, includes the administrative and production records, from its inception in 1946, and for the Little Theatre between 1963-1980. They include production photographs, programmes, posters, press cuttings books, prompt books and administrative records. All pre-1945 Theatre Royal archives are housed at Bristol Archives (formerly Bristol Record Office).

This collection was repackaged, conserved and catalogued as part of Bristol Old Vic's "Protecting and Sharing the Heritage of Britain's Oldest Theatre" project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Several other collections related to the Bristol Old Vic are held at the University of Bristol's Theatre Collection and Bristol Archives. They have also been catalogued as part of the project between 2017 and 2020.

The online catalogue for the extent of the collection that has been catalogued so far can be viewed here:
BOV - Bristol Theatre Royal / Bristol Old Vic Archive.

You can visit the dedicated collections home page here:

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