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What’s on in Bristol’s galleries, theatres and museums this new year?

While it would be impossible to cram every museum, gallery and theatre trip into the next few months, I’ve tried to give you a neat package of some of the most eye-catching events.

By Grace O'Sullivan, First Year English

In Bristol, we’re spoilt for choice, with many wonderful arts organisations churning out new experiences on our doorsteps - it can get overwhelming trying to choose which ones to add to your calendar. While it would be impossible to cram every museum, gallery and theatre trip into the next few months, I’ve tried to give you a neat package of some of the most eye-catching events.


Bristol Old Vic has a selection of exciting events - the talented students of the Acting School will perform in Shakespeare’s classic comedy As You Like It, but spun into a drastically modern setting; the acid-house music soundtrack may not be the obvious choice to accomplish the Bard, but it definitely doesn’t sound boring. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is also being revamped - if you’re an English student tackling Shakespeare, why not use this as useful procrastination?

As You Like It will run from the 9th-11th of Feb, and A Midsummer’s Dream will run from the 1st-3rd of March, both at the Malcolm X Community Centre.

Bristol Old Vic, Courtesy of Grace O'Sullivan

The Staff takes pride of place in the annual Winston Theatre slot, the biggest venue of the year in the DramSoc calendar. A new, exciting piece of student writing by the brilliant Eleanor Hall, the play follows the imagination of schoolteacher Sheena as she attempts to rewrite the story of her school, which is beginning to split at the seams. With influences from Frantic Assembly, the play hasn’t a dull moment, and deeply questions the failing systems that support state schools; dashes of humour keep audiences entertained.

Get affordable tickets via the Student Union website! The Staff runs from the 16th-18th of February at the Winston Theatre.

Courtesy of DramSoc

For some dreamy romanticism, check out the touring production of My Fair Lady, running at the Bristol Hippodrome from the 15th-25th of Feb. Starring renowned actors and singers, the production has already racked up five-star reviews.

Promising more than just theatre, the Tobacco Factory has a range of events to brighten up the chilly days ahead. The Factory hosts a Market every Sunday, where you can amble around and discover stalls selling handmade art pieces, delicious food, drink and more.

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A post shared by Tobacco Factory Sunday Market (@tobaccofactorymarket)

From the 13th of February - 25th of March, the Tobacco Factory will also put on the Dominika Wenz exhibition, a Polish-based artist who uses images of the urban landscape to create striking abstract art.

If this leaves you feeling inspired, why not attend one of the venue’s Drink'n’Draws (upcoming on 7th of March) or Life Drawing classes (upcoming on 23rd of February)?

Art Galleries

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery will be hosting Switchboard, a new LGBTQ+ History Month show by performance artist Astro-Zenica. The performance will pay tribute to the way queer people communicate and connect, drawing from The Bristol Gay and Lesbian Switchboard which was set up in 1975 as a support system for the community.

With zines to purchase after the show, book now for this Valentine’s Day.

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A gorgeous hub for art, books and coffee, the Arnolfini introduces Garry Fabian Miller: ADORE, a free exhibition running from the 18th of February - 28th of May.

Deeply connected to nature and its processes, Miller’s work is a reminder to us to be appreciative of the softness, lights and colours that we often miss as we hurtle through daily life. Subtle and delicate, the exhibition is perfect for those looking for a space to feel clear and relaxed.

If you’ve never stepped through the doors of StrangeBrew, now is the time - the venue always promises stunning decoration and quirky events.

On the 23rd of February, prepare for the unexpected as Doozy looks to subvert the traditional exhibition party. An independent Bristol arts collective, they have compiled the work of 28 artists from across the country, and will be presenting them alongside their zine launch. The event consists of a live painting jam, a film room, immersive performances, animation, sculptures, and all other kinds of chaos. Tickets begin at £8, or £11 if you fancy the afterparty.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, courtesy of Grace O'Sullivan

Looking to support smaller local galleries? Take a look at the Centrespace Studios and Gallery, located near St Nicholas Market, who are putting on a series of events that look to step back from digital art and celebrate the humble craft of lino prints.

As well as the opportunity to admire and buy work from some of Bristol’s talented creators, the calendar includes a Giant Lino Printing Event and Social on Saturday, 18th of February.

Featured Image: Courtesy of Grace O'Sullivan

What are you looking forward to from Bristol’s galleries, theatres and museums this new year?