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The Old Vic, London

4.3
#78 of 1,204 in Nightlife in London




The Old Vic is a 1,000-seat, not-for-profit producing theatre, located just south-east of Waterloo station on the corner of the Cut and Waterloo Road in Lambeth, London, England. Established in 1818 as the Royal Coburg Theatre, and renamed in 1833 the Royal Victoria Theatre, in 1871 it was rebuilt and reopened as the Royal Victoria Palace. It was taken over by Emma Cons in 1880 and formally named the Royal Victoria Hall, although by that time it was already known as the "Old Vic". In 1898, a niece of Cons', Lilian Baylis, assumed management and began a series of Shakespeare productions in 1914. The building was damaged in 1940 during air raids and it became a Grade II* listed building in 1951 after it reopened.
The Old Vic is the crucible of many of the performing arts companies and theatres in London today. It was the name of a repertory company that was based at the theatre and formed (along with the Chichester Festival Theatre) the core of the National Theatre of Great Britain on its formation in 1963, under Laurence Olivier. The National Theatre remained at the Old Vic until new premises were constructed on the South Bank, opening in 1976. The Old Vic then became the home of Prospect Theatre Company, at that time a highly successful touring company which staged such acclaimed productions as Derek Jacobi's Hamlet. However, with the withdrawal of funding for the company by the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1980 for breaching its touring obligations, Prospect disbanded in 1981. The theatre underwent complete refurbishment in 1985. In 2003, Kevin Spacey was appointed artistic director, which received considerable media attention. Spacey served as artistic director until 2015; two years after he stepped down, he was accused of sexually harassing and assaulting several students. In 2015, Matthew Warchus succeeded Spacey as artistic director.
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The Old Vic Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
728 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Creaky old seats which bounce around the moment anyone moves on your row - even the expensive stalls section. Matinee days are utter chaos. If you are old, get to your seat half an hour before the.....  more »
  • Great space and now with the renovations decent toilets and bars . Comfortable seating , good views all round and great lighting . Will definitely come back , team friendly and helpful  more »
Google
  • What a beautiful theater. Warm and inviting with the grandeur you expect from a period theater venue. All of the seats have good line of sight and we could hear every word. They sold soda, wine and water that could be consumed during the play. This was a highlite of our trip to London.
  • Lovely independent theatre which always has outstanding performances. Situated in close proximity it's little sister The Young Vic Theatre. Staff are welcoming, enthusiastic, and informative. Once renovation is complete and the toilets are up and running properly again I am sure it will be even better. Nearest stations are Waterloo East and Waterloo. Scenic walk from either Lambeth or Westminster.
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