The Lantern lights up Colston Hall

What is now Hall 2 at the Colston Hall has been many things in its time.

It was once Bristol’s Little Theatre, a producing house with a resident company called the Rapier Players whose first production was in 1923.

In the 1980s, it became a bar for the main hall, before becoming Hall 2 after the recent foyer redevelopment.

Hall 2 will soon become The Lantern, named after the ornate Victorian glass ceiling in the roof of the original foyer.

The Lantern Colston Hall Bristol

The space will be “rebranded and reimagined”, continuing to host jazz, world, folk and acoustic music – but becoming almost like a venue within a venue.

In the autumn, The Lantern will see acts such as Alexei Sayle, Ballake Sissoko, Shappi Khorsandi, Tunng and the Magic Numbers among others.

The culmination of its inaugural season will be its role within the big New Year’s Eve party, during which The Lantern will be transformed into Mayfest’s Blind Tiger speakeasy, featuring musical delights and more while Bellowhead, Spiro and Brassroots do their business elsewhere in the building.

Then in 2014, Colston Hall will be introducing a series of mini theatre residencies in The Lantern, bringing the history of the auditorium back full circle.

It might even have its own grand entrance:

Colston Hall original entrance

Photo by Bristol Film Office

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