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Bristol Old Vic @ Theatre Royal, Bristol | by David McKelvey
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Bristol Old Vic @ Theatre Royal, Bristol

Bristol Old Vic is a theatre company based at the Theatre Royal, Bristol. The present company was established in 1946 as an offshoot of the Old Vic in London. The Theatre Royal, the oldest continually-operating theatre in England, was built during 1764–66 on King Street in Bristol. The Coopers' Hall, built 1743–44, was incorporated as the theatre's foyer during 1970–72. Together, they are designated a Grade I listed building by English Heritage.


The theatre is situated on King Street, a few yards from the Floating Harbour. Since 1972, the public entrance has been through the Coopers' Hall, the earliest surviving building on the site. The Coopers' Hall was built in 1744 for the Coopers' Company, the guild of coopers in Bristol, by architect William Halfpenny. It has a "debased Palladian" façade with four Corinthian columns. It only remained in the hands of the Coopers until 1785, subsequently becoming a public assembly room, a wine warehouse, a Baptist chapel and eventually a fruit and vegetable warehouse.

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Taken on March 31, 2013