Friday, May 11, 2007

Bristol Old Vic to close for good?

On The Guardian's Theatre blog, Lyn Gardner reports on unexpected news from the Bristol Old Vic.
Bad news this evening from Bristol Old Vic - the oldest continuously running theatre in the country - which is to close its doors at the end of July. About 60 jobs are to go and artistic director Simon Reade is to depart. The question is this: will the doors ever open again on one of the most beautiful theatres in the country? The hurried and ungainly way in which this decision has been made and announced by the Bristol Old Vic board suggests that there is every reason to be concerned.

The decision was apparently made at an emergency board meeting on Friday. In a statement justifying its action, only just released, the board say that the reason is the need for a long-overdue refurbishment. But this seems extremely odd behaviour for a theatre which has already announced the opening production of its autumn season and printed details in its brochure.

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