Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

1-3 Downside Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2XF

Tel: +44 (0)117 973 3535

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Man on dimmed stage - Bristol Old Vic Theatre School


Bristol Old Vic Theatre School celebrated its 75th year anniversary in 2021. The School trains students in acting, design, costume, technical skills, writing and directing. It operates across three sites in Bristol: the main Downside Rd site in Clifton, the centre for Film, TV and Audio production at Christchurch Studios, and the scenic workshops in south Bristol.

Adults Courses

From one-off masterclasses to week-long workshops, and from taster sessions in acting to introductory courses in directing and design, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School's short courses programme encompasses a whole lot of drama! Whether you are just starting out, looking for ways to enhance your skills, or network with like-minded people, there’s something to suit everyone.

Youth Courses

On Sundays during term time, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School are open to young people from across the South West. Catering for children aged 4-18, where they  offer weekly classes in performance and production skills taught by our students at the height of their professional training. 


Despite what you may think Bristol Old Vic Theatre School doesn’t have its own theatre. Instead, the drama school students can take advantage of gaining crucial industry experience by working and performing in the city’s leading arts venues such as Bristol Old Vic, Tobacco Factory Theatres, The Wardrobe Theatre and more. Each year we present a huge variety of professional-standard events for the public;  ranging from contemporary theatre, family musicals at Christmastime, graduate showcases and exhibitions of work by the costume, design and technical students.

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School Alumni

Oscar-winning alumni include Sir Daniel Day-Lewis (Best Actor in 1990, 2008 and 2013), Jeremy Irons (Best Actor, 1991) and Olivia Colman (Best Actress, 2019). The accolade of three Best Actor/Actress Oscar winners amongst the graduates of a single drama school is, to our knowledge, unmatched at any higher education institution globally. Both the Artistic Director and Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company are BOVTS alumni (Gregory Doran and Erica Whyman, respectively) as is the intimacy coordinator Ita O’Brien, who has been recognised for her pioneering work on award-winning dramas such as Normal People, I May Destroy You and Gentleman Jack for the BBC, and Sex Education for Netflix.

The success of BOVTS graduates and the quality of the School’s training is reflected in fierce competition for places. In the 2021-entry admissions cycle, the School received 2,329 applications for the 28 places on its BA (Hons) Professional Acting course, a 70% increase on the number received just a decade before. All applicants are guaranteed to be seen at a preliminary audition. On average over the past three admissions rounds, just 1.8% of applicants to this course have been made an offer of a place. Student productions take place across the City including Bristol Old Vic, Tobacco Factory theatres, Circomedia in St Pauls, the Redgrave Theatre in Clifton, and The Wardrobe Theatre in Old Market.

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Opening Times

Open (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)

Further Information


  • Assistance Dogs
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
  • Ramp/Level Access
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors

Establishment Features

  • Dog Friendly
  • Dogs-Accepted

Parking & Transport

  • On Bus Route
  • On site parking


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Tuesday, 9th January 2024 - Monday, 18th March 2024

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