Tuesday, 30 April 2019

The Old Vic announce Matthew Warchus’ Season 5


The Old Vic is delighted to announce Matthew Warchus’ Season 5 featuring an exciting and eclectic mix of thought- provoking entertainment.

In addition, The Old Vic is also today launching two new initiatives: an online loyalty scheme called OV Extra, designed to give audiences discounts, insights, invites and surprises for just £5 a month, and Matinee Idols, a social initiative specially for those aged over 60.

They are also delighted to announce the appointment of Tina Alexandrou and Olivier Award-winning actress Sheila Atim to The Old Vic Theatre Trust Board of Trustees.

The world premiere of a new play by Old Vic Associate Artist Lucy Prebble based on Luke Harding’s bookA Very Expensive Poison, directed by John Crowley.

Claire Foy and Matt Smith make their Old Vic debuts in Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs, directed by Matthew Warchus.

Old Vic Associate Artist Jack Thorne’s version of A Christmas Carol directed by Matthew Warchusreturns by popular demand.

Alan Cumming and Daniel Radcliffe star in a double bill of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame and Rough for Theatre ll, directed by Richard Jones.

A musical adaptation of the hit 1983 film Local Hero directed by John Crowley. Book by Bill Forsyth and Old Vic Associate Artist David Greig with music and lyrics by Mark Knopfler.

Commissions for 2019 and beyond include: Ella Hickson with a new version of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Simon Stephens with a new adaptation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People and a new play by Paul Unwin chronicling the birth of the NHS directed by Sarah Frankcom.

Following its work-in-progress run at The Old Vic in September 2018 SYLVIA, written (with Priya Parmar), directed and choreographed by Old Vic Associate Artist Kate Prince, is in development for a planned future life.

The Olivier Award-winning family production A Monster Calls directed by Sally Cookson will play at the Kennedy Center, Washington.

‘Art’ by Yasmina Reza (directed by Matthew Warchus and revived at The Old Vic in 2016) continues a UK tour.

The Olivier Award-winning production of Old Vic Associate Artist Conor McPherson’s Girl from the North Country opens at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto, from September 2019, after a sold-out run at The Public, New York, which began in September 2018.

On Season 5, Artistic Director Matthew Warchus commented:
‘One of the things I love about theatre is its almost complete disinterest in trivialities. It feeds off - and feeds back -life’s most titanic ideas and emotions. Our next batch of shows at The Old Vic is no exception and delivers five powerful stories in five contrasting genres; a world premiere play, a very topical duologue, a festive celebration, a 20th century classic and a brand new musical. First up is the extraordinary quest for an elusive truth in Lucy Prebble’s dark fantasia A Very Expensive Poison, exploring the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. After that, and hot on the heels of the Extinction Rebellion consciousness-raising demonstrations, there’s an extremely limited run of Duncan Macmillan’s dazzlingly vibrant and profound two-hander, Lungs, which sees a conflicted
couple wrestle with huge contemporary dilemmas surrounding the responsibility of bringing new life into an increasingly precarious world. Then there’s the race against time to save the soul of greedy misanthrope Ebenezer Scrooge in Jack Thorne’s emotional sucker-punch adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In January we’ll plungeinto the absurdist verbal sparring which comprises Samuel Beckett’s phenomenal play Endgame (playing for the first time in a double bill with his Rough for Theatre II), where human co-dependency, bathos and malevolence is laid bare in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. And, finally, a poignant (and comic) battle to save the environment in the new Scottish musical Local Hero.

These shows continue our social mission to present productions which entwine empathy, politics and entertainmentfor as wide an audience as possible. If you’ve never visited The Old Vic before, or if you haven’t been back for a while, come along and check out what we’re up to... you’ll be surprised how much we’ve changed’

The Old Vic is unique. An independent, risk-taking, creative producing theatre operating without subsidy that has been reinventing itself for 200 years. At the heart of its local and creative community since its inception in 1818, the theatre has always played a vital part in shaping the theatrical and social landscape of London and beyond.

2019 will see some of the biggest changes the theatre has made, with works already underway to upgrade the building. From the autumn, for the first time ever, all visitors no matter what their access needs will be able to enter the theatre through a new entrance to a new Box Office and foyer space, as well as visit the Penny bar and café on the lower ground floor via a newly-installed lift. Wheelchair spaces in the auditorium will be increased from one to up to 10 and the ladies’ loos provision (the biggest customer complaint) will be doubled to address the long-time issue of queues and overcrowding.

The focus is on the positive societal impact The Old Vic can have on the next generation and how it can respond to the needs of people today. The theatre’s undeniable commitment to cultural education, social mobility and employability continues this year with the 10th anniversary of Schools Club which has, to date, benefitted over 10,000 young people, the expansion of the landmark employability programme Front Line, and the launch of a free employability programme, Take the Lead, for students aged 16–18.

With an auditorium of 1,000 seats and a (soon-to-be) accessible building, The Old Vic’s aim is to be full for the 18 hours a day that it is open. Whether it be to see a show, enjoy a drink with a friend, join a debate or see behind the scenes, we want all people to feel like they can experience something new at The Old Vic. This Season will see the launch of OV Extra, designed to surprise and engage new and existing audiences. For just £5 a month anyone will be able to gain exclusive access to discounted and free tickets, discounts on food, drink and merchandise and a monthly surprise that could range from ticket offers or backstage tours to party invites or meet and greets.oldvictheatre.com/ovextra

Inspired by recent studies reporting growing numbers of older people feeling lonely or isolated, and The Old Vic’sbelief in the restorative power of the arts, we are excited to launch Matinee Idols, a new scheme for people over 60. Open to individuals and groups, the scheme is free and offers the opportunity to attend a matinee at low cost and take part in a social event either pre or post show. This could involve a workshop led by one of the production’screative team, a Q&A with someone from the show, a talk with Old Vic staff or a look backstage – all with plenty of opportunities to chat and make new friends.

A VERY EXPENSIVE POISON

A play by Lucy Prebble
Based on the book by Luke Harding Directed by John Crowley

An Old Vic production WORLD PREMIERE

Previews from 19 Aug 2019, press night 05 Sep 2019

A shocking assassination in the heart of London. In a bizarre mix of high-stakes global politics and radioactive villainy, a man pays with his life.

At this time of global crises and a looming new Cold War, A Very Expensive Poison sends us careering through the shadowy world of international espionage from Moscow to Mayfair.

John Crowley (Brooklyn, The Goldfinch) directs Lucy Prebble’s (The Effect, ENRON) reimagining of Luke Harding’s jaw-dropping exposé of the events behind the notorious death of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.

Suitable for ages 12+.

LUNGS

By Duncan Macmillan
Directed by Matthew Warchus Starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith

An Old Vic production

Dates to be announced

‘I could fly to New York and back every day for seven years and still not leave a carbon footprint as big as if I have a child. Ten thousand tonnes of CO2. That’s the weight of the Eiffel Tower. I’d be giving birth to the Eiffel Tower’

The ice caps are melting, there’s overpopulation, political unrest; everything’s going to hell in a handcart – why on earth would someone bring a baby into this world?

Our partnership with Royal Bank of Canada as The Old Vic’s Principal Partner goes from strength to strength. Their seminal support enables us to honour the theatre’s heritage as an adventurous hub of creativity with a strong socialmission. They support all our main stage productions and have broadened the partnership to become PrincipalPartner of The Old Vic’s flagship employability programme, Take the Lead.

Directed by Matthew Warchus, Claire Foy and Matt Smith make their Old Vic debuts in Duncan Macmillan’shilarious emotional rollercoaster of a play, as a couple wrestle with our planet’s biggest dilemmas.

Suitable for ages 14+.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

A version by Jack Thorne Directed by Matthew Warchus

An Old Vic production
Previews from 23 Nov 2019, press night 04 Dec 2019

Matthew Warchus’ big-hearted, smash hit production of Charles Dickens’ immortal classic returns to The Old Vic,joyously adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child).

The Old Vic’s A Christmas Carol fills the auditorium to the brim with mince pies, music and merriment. A unique staging immerses the audience in this uplifting story.

Suitable for ages 8+.

ENDGAME (in a double bill with ROUGH FOR THEATRE II)

By Samuel Beckett
Directed by Richard Jones
Starring Alan Cumming and Daniel Radcliffe

An Old Vic production
Previews from 27 Jan 2020, press night 04 Feb 2020

‘Go and get two bicycle-wheels.’
‘There are no more bicycle-wheels.’ ‘What have you done with your bicycle?’ ‘I never had a bicycle.’


Nothing stirs outside. In a bare room, Hamm, an old, blind tyrant confined to a wheelchair, is locked in a stalematewith his servant Clov. Interrupted only by the nostalgic musings of Hamm’s ancient parents, this bleakly funny doubleact cling stubbornly to their routine of casual savagery and mutual dependence.

Richard Jones (The Hairy Ape, Into the Woods) directs Beckett’s macabre comedy in which hope and cruelty arethe last things to die.

Endgame will be presented in a double bill with Samuel Beckett’s rarely seen short play Rough for Theatre II, performed by members of the company.

Suitable for ages 14+.

LOCAL HERO

Book by Bill Forsyth and David Greig Music and lyrics by Mark Knopfler Directed by John Crowley
Based on the Bill Forsyth film

A Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh & Old Vic production LONDON PREMIERE
Previews from 18 Jun, press night 30 Jun 2020
‘Knox Oil will consider any price.’

‘I tell you what, Mister Mac, how about this: a dollar for every grain of sand in my hand?’

Ambitious Texan oil executive Mac MacIntyre arrives in Scotland on a mission to buy a small seaside village andreplace it with a refinery. It’s the deal of a lifetime, but Mac soon finds that putting a price on this beautiful spot is more complicated than he bargained for. Before the locals get rich, they must decide what their home is worth.

The hit comedy film Local Hero takes to the stage as John Crowley directs a new musical adaptation by Bill Forsyth and David Greig (Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax) with music and songs by the legendary Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits).

This production is presented by special arrangement with Neal Street Productions and Patrick Daly. Suitable for ages 11+.
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