As one of the largest cities in southern England, Bristol is home to some of the best theatres in the area. Whether you’re in the mood for a good concert or theatre, Bristol has a venue that caters to all tastes and styles.
The Bristol Hippodrome
The Hippodrome is one of the top family-friendly theatres in Britain and stages major Broadway and West End productions. The theatre hosts a variety of productions, from musicals to concerts, opera, ballet, children’s shows and comedians.
Known as the West End theatre of Bristol, the Hippodrome opened its doors in 1912 and is a fine example of late Victorian era architecture. One of the theatre’s unique features is its dome above the stalls, which open to reveal the sky.
Several top West End productions have been shown at the Hippodrome, including Legally Blonde, Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Les Miserables, Dirty Dancing and We Will Rock You.
Along with a show, visitors can also dine and enjoy a drink at the theatre. The Piano Bar serves drinks, while the Hanover Street Bistro serves meals to guests. From burgers to sausage, pizza, cheese boards and desserts, the bistro has something for every taste.
Bristol Old Vic Theatre
Bristol Old Vic is the oldest continuously-running theatre in Britain, and after undergoing major refurbishment, is now one of the most modern. The theatre is funded publicly by the Bristol City Council and the Arts Council England.
Built with the goal of offering the best possible theatre experience, Bristol Old Vic hosts a variety of shows and is led by a talented group of artists.
Tobacco Factory Theatres
Tobacco Factory Theatres presents a wide range of shows in an intimate setting, and many of these shows tour throughout Bristol and other parts of Britain.
The theatre boasts a diverse catalog of shows, events and workshops, including children’s shows, dance, comedy, opera and even puppetry.
Within just a decade, the theatre has managed to position itself as one of the most loved, well-attended and popular theatres in England.
The Factory Theatre Bar sits just outside the auditorium, and offers refreshments before the show, during intermission and after the show. Drinks at the bar include a variety of locally-produced ale.
Along with its productions, the theatre also offers a Children and Young People programme and classes.
Nestled away in the picturesque suburb of Clifton, Redgrave Theatre is one of the most popular venues in England and hosts a wide range of productions, including comedy, operas, dance and theatre.
With just 315 seats in the auditorium, this theatre offers an intimate setting with excellent acoustics and sightlines.
The theatre was built by Clifton College in 1966, and at the time, was simply known as “Clifton College Theatre.” The theatre’s design was inspired by London’s Mermaid theatre and would become the first purpose-built theatre school in Britain.
Clifton College alumni Sir Michael Redgrave opened the theatre. He died in 1985, the theatre’s name changed to “The Redgrave Theatre.”
The theatre was initially used exclusively for college events. Today, it plays host to local amateur groups as well as professional touring companies, musicians, film societies, comedians and dance companies.
Several productions from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School are also shown here.
The Redgrave Foyer Bar opens one hour before a production starts, giving guests a chance to grab a pre-show drink The bar serves premium and house wines, spirits, ciders, beers, soft drinks and snacks. Coffee drinks are also served, including lattes, teas and cappuccinos.
St George’s Theatre
St George’s Theatre is one of the country’s finest music halls and is situated in West End. Offering a unique atmosphere and excellent acoustics, the venue attracts some of the best musicians in the world.
The theatre hosts more than 200 events year, from classical, jazz, blues, folk, world and chamber.
The underground bar serves a range of spirits, wines, soft drinks, beers, hot drinks and snacks in a relaxed atmosphere. Soups and sandwiches are served on Thursday before lunch.
With shows available throughout the year, St George’s is a must-see for music lovers.
Colston Hall is the largest concert hall in Bristol and plays host to a variety of concerts, from pop to rock, folk, jazz, classical, world and even comedy. Local orchestras and choirs also make appearances at Colston.
The grade II building that houses the hall is owned by Bristol City Council and was named after Edward Colston, a merchant who founded a school on the property in the 18th century.
Colston Hall opened in 1867 as a concert hall, and quickly became a popular venue for theatre and classical music. In the 1960s, the venue became one of the most important for rock music.
The Colston St. Bar & Kitchen is situated on the first floor of the theatre and serves ale, coffee, cake, tea and hot rolls. Beerd serves a variety of changing ales, Neapolitan-style pizzas and snacks. Several stall and terrace bars are also available to guests.
Some of music’s biggest names have performed on Colston’s stage, including: Ella Fitzgerald, Elton John, David Bowie, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Louis Armstrong and Motorhead.