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|
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 Christmas Carol’ review
I didn’t see Rhys Ifans in Matthew Warchus’s production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ last year and I’m glad. He’s always a bit self-consciously ‘Rhys Ifans’, and you absolutely definitely must not doubt the sincerity of this Scrooge if this big, open-hearted...Drama Until Saturday January 19 2019
Ian McKellen: Tolkien, Shakespeare, others …and you!
Sir Ian McKellen turns eighty next year, and marks the occasion by taking a well-earned rest. ONLY JOKING. In fact the unstoppable stage and screen legend will tour a new autobiographical stage show called ‘Tolkien, Shakespeare, others …and you!’ to...Drama Friday January 25 2019 - Sunday September 15 2019
The American Clock
New York director Rachel Chavkin has been at the helm of some of the boldest, weirdest theatre hits of the past few years: like Broadway musical 'Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812', 'Hadestown', and Royal Court road trip story 'Roosevelvis'. Now...Drama Monday February 4 2019 - Saturday March 30 2019
All My Sons
The Old Vic's following up 'An American Clock' with another vintage Arthur Miller play, 'All My Sons' - Miller's tragedy about a shattered family in post-war America, and the patriarch who betrayed them. It's staged by Headlong artistic director Jeremy...Drama Monday April 15 2019 - Saturday June 8 2019
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
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I saw Ralph Fiennes in The Master Builder at the Old Vic earlier this year - brilliant play at a brilliant theatre. Great seats, sound and service.
The old vic has been running consistently good theatre for the last 10 years. I will miss Kevin Spacey as artistic director greatly, but am looking forward to seeing more of what Matthew Warchus has to offer - so far so good I say!
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.
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