'The Old Vic'
Former home to Kevin Spacey and the National Theatre, the Old Vic offers big, serious plays, big, serious stars and a few musicals and surprises.
One of London's most storied theatres, the Old Vic – which opened its doors in 1818 – was the first home of the National Theatre, under Laurence Olivier. More recently it was run by Hollywood star Kevin Spacey whose 11-year-stint in charge turned around the previously ailing building's fortunes. The current artistic director of the Old Vic is the heavyweight commercial director Matthew Warchus.
More eclectic and musical theatre-orientated in his programming than Spacey, Warchus nonetheless continues to make big name revivals of classic plays the bread and butter of his programming: more or less a given in the Old Vic's enormous space.
Good stalls tickets top out at West End prices, but the theatre is run with a subsidised 'ethos' and the cheap seats are very affordable, with good concessionary discounts usually available (these tend to vary from show to show depending on the expected audience).
Penny is the theatre's newly refurbished cafe, meeting and drinking space. Open all day and until 2am Thursday to Saturday, the place aims to be attractive to non-theatre goers as well as hardened thesps. You can buy local food and drink in the form of light bites and brunches as well as bar snacks, seasonal food and biodynamic wines. It should maintain its long-held status as a late night convivial haunt as even during the week it's open until 1am.
|Venue name:||Old Vic||Contact:|
103 The Cut
|Opening hours:||Bar open 6pm-midnight Mon and Tue; 1pm-midnight Wed; 6pm-2am Thu and Fri; 1pm-2am Sat|
|Transport:||Tube: Waterloo; Rail: Waterloo|
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A new musical based on the 1993 hit film proves that the Old Vic is anything but stuck in the past. The venue's new boss Matthew Warchus has brought together the team behind innovative West End hit 'Matilda': composer and lyricist Tim Minchin, choreographer...Musicals Wednesday July 27 2016 - Saturday September 17 2016Read more
It's not exactly every day you come across a Samuel Beckett premiere, partly because the avant-garde theatre legend has been dead for almost 30 years, partly because his notoriously grumpy estate keeps such a tight control of his legacy. Still, it appears...Experimental Thursday September 29 2016 - Saturday October 15 2016Read more
It's been rumoured for ages and it turns out it's true: double Academy Award-winner and erstwhile Labour MP Glenda Jackson is returning to the stage for what we assume to be one last job. At the age of 80 she'll play Shakespeare's doomed King Lear in...Shakespeare Tuesday October 25 2016 - Saturday December 3 2016Read more
As a much younger man, Old Vic boss Matthew Warchus made his name with the UK premiere of French playwright Yasmina Reza's 'Art' – the celebrated satire about three friends whose friendship is tested when one of them buys an expensive painting that's...Comedy Saturday December 10 2016 - Saturday February 18 2017Read more
Some Disney film or other has made John Boyega an A-list name in the years since he last performed on the London stage in 2009. But those who know him solely as the larksome Finn from 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' might be surprised at the heaviness...Drama Saturday May 6 2017 - Saturday June 24 2017Read more
Average User Rating
4.8 / 5
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Wonderful theatre, which with Kevin Spacey at the helm has continued to bring consistently high quality plays. Almost impossible to get a bad seat, even day seats offer a fantastic view. Highly recommend catching a show here, whether you call London home for many years or just a few days.