Warding off loneliness and creating memories through the arts


As part of Loneliness Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness of loneliness and reduce the stigma surrounding it, The Bristol Hippodrome has announced more dates for its Matinee Mingle meetups, providing more opportunities for older people to socialise in a relaxed and friendly environment.

The informal meetups which are supported by National Friendly and Age UK Bristol are continuing to play an active role in helping tackle loneliness and self-isolation amongst older people in the local community. The Matinee Mingles enable like-minded people to chat, laugh, share memories, and make new friends.

The launch of the new dates coincides with new government research which has revealed that there are direct links between chronic loneliness and mental health distress. As a result, there is a renewed effort to tackle loneliness as part of national recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Naomi Kilcoyne, Sales and Development Manager at The Bristol Hippodrome says,

“The Bristol Hippodrome is proud to be playing its part in combating the effects of loneliness in the community. We hope that our Matinee Mingles help those who may be feeling alone or isolated to reach out and connect through the things that matter to them, such as their love of theatre.”

Jo Stokes, Community Services Manager at Age UK Bristol says,

“The pandemic has caused an increase in loneliness amongst older people, especially those who live alone and who do not use or have access to digital technology. As we learn to manage the Covid-19 effect in the community, The Bristol Hippodrome’s Matinee Mingles are a great way to meet new people in person, while enjoying a show together. We hope that Minglers find new friends that they can continue to visit the theatre with again and again for more laughs and enjoyment”.

Graham Singleton, CEO at National Friendly says,

“We recognise that loneliness is higher than ever before, along with self-isolation and vulnerability due to the pandemic and the amount of digital interactions. Our charitable and community work has a simple objective, to make a fundamental difference to local lives, both today and tomorrow. That’s why we, National Friendly, think it’s vital to support The Matinee Mingle. The programme which was created to help ward off loneliness, has made a real difference to local lives in our wider community and gives people who would otherwise visit the theatre alone, the chance to meet new people before seeing a show.”

The Matinee Mingle is free to attend and takes place an hour before selected mid-week matinee performances in The Bristol Hippodrome’s Piano Bar. Arrival is from 1.30pm for a 2.30pm show or 1pm for a 2pm show. If you or someone you know would like to find out more and to book, call Rowan on 0117 302 3310 (option5) or email rowandodemont@theambassadors.com Rowan will reserve a place and will book your show ticket at the same time.

Dates for upcoming Matinee Mingles:

  • Bat out of Hell – Weds 10th August at 2.30pm

  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat – Thurs 1st Sept at 2.30pm

  • Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – Weds 5th October at 2.30pm

  • English National Ballet’s Raymonda – Thurs 24th November at 2pm

  • Jersey Boys – Weds 11th Jan 2023 at 2.30pm

  • Girl From The North Country – Weds 1st Feb 2023 at 2.30pm

  • Sister Act – Weds 8th March 2023 at 2.30pm