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‘A Monster Calls’ is coming to The Old Vic for its 200th anniversary

Andrzej Lukowski

Next year the former Royal Coburg Theatre – now better known as The Old Vic – will celebrate its 200th birthday. Initially banned from showing serious drama (stuff was weird in the nineteenth century), two centuries and three name changes later (it’s also been the Royal Victoria Theatre and the Royal Victoria Hall) The Old Vic brings us an eclectic anniversary season.

Two shows had been announced previously and are already on sale: ‘A Christmas Carol’, starring Rhys Ifans, and Alan Ayckbourn’s epic dystopia ‘The Divide’.

They’ll be joined by ‘Fanny and Alexander’, a stage version of the Ingmar Bergman classic about two siblings whose lives are turned upside down when their mother marries the local bishop (Feb 21-Apr 14); ‘Mood Music’ by Joe Penhall, a drama about two successful songwriters struggling to make a record (Apr 21-Jun 30); and in what's clearly going to be the big draw in the season, Sally Cookson – who created ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Peter Pan’ for the National Theatre – will devise a stage version of Patrick Ness’s smash magical realist novel ‘A Monster Calls’ (Jul 7-Aug 25). There will also be a dance show from Kate Prince’s ZooNation: ‘Sylvia’ (Sep 1-22), based upon the life of suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst. 

The Old Vic will also be producing a revival of Emma Rice’s production of ‘Brief Encounter’, which will play in the Empire Cinema, Haymarket, from March, while the titular first show from Rice’s new theatre company Wise Children is due at some point later in the season.

Buy tickets for ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘The Divide’ hereTickets for the other new shows will go on sale November 15.

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