One of the world's most outward-looking and influential theatre
Founded back in the mists of time (well, 1970) as a sort of youth-orientated adjunct to the National Theatre (then located at the Old Vic), the Young Vic has grown in stature to the point of now being one of the most influential theatre in London, if not the world.
Long-term artistic director David Lan's programming is eclectic, with the two smaller studio spaces (the Clare and the Maria) often hosting new writing and experimental performances. But the heart of the Young Vic programming lies in leftfield productions of great classics, bringing auteur directors from across the globe in and pairing them with the cream of British acting talent. The Young Vic is arguably the closest Britain has to a 'directors' theatre' in a European mould, with the added bonus of big name actors eager to perform on its stage.
Tickets are very reasonably priced and there is a terrific outreach programme that offers free and subsidised tickets to schools and the local community: it's perhaps the only major theatre in London to boast a genuinely young and diverse audience.
It's also got extensive bar facilities on two levels, plus a menu centred on that ubiquitous London staple the burger. It's a lunchtime hub for workers in the Waterloo area, many of whom are only vaguely aware that they're dining in one of the greatest theatres in the world.