New Plays Season A thrilling new season of work brought online
Photo of many birds in a cloudy sky

New Plays Season

Bristol Arts Channel

Key Information
  • Dates Fri 19 Jun 2020 - Thu 02 Jul 2020
  • Location Bristol Arts Channel
  • .

    Shows will be available to stream for one week from their initial broadcast

Earlier this year, we announced our New Plays in Rep season, featuring a collection of new plays developed by Bristol Old Vic’s Writers Department, discovered through their yearly call-out to West Country writers, the Open Session.

When theatres and schools went into lockdown, we had to adapt our teaching and as such decided to bring this upcoming season online. Students and staff have risen to the challenge of crafting work for the virtual sphere and have been incredibly excited to produce plays in a way unlike anything the School has ever done before. Most importantly, audiences will be able to enjoy the performances from the safety and comfort of their own home!

In a creative collaboration with Bristol Old Vic and as part of the newly-launched city-wide Bristol Arts Channel, we will be sharing four new plays with audiences via our YouTube channel from 19th June – 2nd July. Including Owen Sheers’ play celebrating the everyday heroics of the NHS, Skot Wilson’s piece exploring what unprecedented events can teach us, Anita Karla Kelly’s play about the connections we make and Chinonyerem Odimba’s script exploring political corruption – this season is relevant, striking and has been vividly adapted to suit the online world.


Buzzing by Anita Karla Kelly will be broadcast live on Friday 19th June at 2.30pm and available to stream until Friday 26th June.

62 Sperm Whales by Skot Wilson will be broadcast live on Saturday 20th June at 7pm and Monday 22nd June at 2.30pm. It will then be available to stream until Saturday 27th June.

To Provide All People by Owen Sheers (Pink Mist, Unicorns Almost), will be presented as a recorded production from 25th June – 2nd July.

We are also developing His Name Is Ishmael by Chinonyerem Odimba (Princess and the Hustler). Full details to be announced in due course.


We’re sharing Buzzing and 62 Sperm Whales as live performances. The individuals in each company are in several locations across the country working to bring this show to life. They will connect with each other and with you the audience in an extraordinary moment of liveness. Join us as we embrace the world of online theatre, challenging ourselves in new and engaging ways to present wonderful new writing to you.

To watch, check back here on the dates of each live broadcast when links to our YouTube channel shall be added just before the house opens!


If you enjoy the season and would like to support our work, please consider donating to the Peter O’Toole Prize. This is an annual award given to two graduating actors from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School which includes a professional contract at Bristol Old Vic Theatre where Peter O’Toole launched his career.

Donate to the Peter O’Toole Prize

Bristol Old Vic Writers' Department

Bristol Old Vic’s annual call out to Writers in the West Country, the Open Session, is now open until 31 July. Plays and musicals can be submitted, with writers selected to become the ‘Open Session Five.’ Across a year, they will experience workshops to explore and showcase their script with actors and directors, often in collaboration with Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, sessions from industry experts, dramaturgical support, and further opportunities. More information about the Open Session here.

The culture at BOVTS is encouraging, respectful, welcoming and empowering; the environment and buildings are beautiful and I found Bristol to be one of the most wonderful cities in which to spend summer! Lindy Yeates, Foundation Course Student