The LAST WORD: Charlotte Geeves, executive director, Bristol Old Vic

July 22, 2022

Each week Bristol Business News gives a prominent member of the city’s business community the last word on its weekly e-bulletin. This week Charlotte Geeves, executive director of Bristol Old Vic, answers our 10 questions.

What was the LAST: 

Film you watched? Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, with my eight-year-old son. We loved it, although I must admit to liking the first one more.

Book you read? Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, a mystery novel by Man Booker International Prize-winner Olga Tokarczuk. It is being turned into a theatre play by Complicite – an absolutely brilliant company – and the world premiere will be with us at the start of next year. The book is set in a remote Polish village and the female protagonist, Janina, spends her winter days studying astrology, translating the poetry of William Blake, and taking care of the summer homes of wealthy Warsaw residents. She is quite the recluse and prefers the company of animals. Loved it!

Music you bought/downloaded? Bastille’s latest album Give Me The Future. It’s a concept album with an elaborate backstory involving a fictitious company called Future Inc, whose products allow users to escape into virtual worlds limited only by their own imaginations. My favourite song is Shut Off The Lights.

Concert or play you went to? The Meaning of Zong (the filmed version). The Meaning of Zong is Giles Terera’s debut play and came to Bristol Old Vic on 2 April to 7 May this year and included a recording of the production for BSWN’s digital museum project. The Guardian gave it a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ review – “Profoundly moving. A masterful meditation on the legacy of slavery”.

Sporting event you attended? My son’s last cricket match. The Dynamos Cricket Programme, which is part of the ECB scheme, gives the next generation of cricketers the new opportunity to get involved in the game.

Holiday you went on? Disneyland Paris with my son, partner and mum in April. My mum treated us as a family after my dad passed away last year. We took the Eurostar, which was the perfect way to travel, and stayed in a hotel just outside the resort with bouncy castles and a swimming pool. When we got there on the first morning my mum and I commented how strange it was to see so many adults wearing Mickey Mouse ears. Needless to say, by the time lunchtime hit, my mum, my son and I all had a set of ears and wore them for the two full days in the park!

Restaurant you ate in? BFI Riverfront – Benugo, on London’s South Bank. I had a burger which was delicious. Dylan (Bristol Old Vic marketing director), Lucy Hunt (engagement director) and I were meeting our new artistic director Nancy Medina for dinner.

Thing that annoyed you? My son using our lounge like it was a parkour space – our lounge is pretty small and he is reasonably tall and fast!

Thing that made you laugh out loud? I can’t remember a specific thing but I do spend quite a lot of my time laughing out loud. Things at work generally make me laugh, particularly stories told by Dave Harraway (production & operations director) and Lucy Hunt (engagement director). I think because we spend so much time together and sometimes the days can be quite long, we end up having very silly conversations when we are all a bit overtired, which invariably end up with a lot of laughter.

Piece of good advice you were given? Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Charlotte Geeves joined the Bristol Old Vic as CEO in 2019 from the annual Henley Festival, where she was chief executive officer. She is an experienced CEO with a deep knowledge of producing theatre and a passion for the cultural strength of Bristol. She began her career in stage management, rising to the role of company manager for both The Young Vic under David Lan and Shakespeare’s Globe under Dominic Dromgoole. From there she developed her producing skills working as project manager for Alistair Spalding at Sadler’s Wells and then as general manager at Salisbury International Arts Festival before working as festivals manager for Wildscreen here in Bristol.

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