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The Old Vic - tickets on sale for three new productions

Season preview

THE Old Vic has announced that tickets for three further productions, previously confirmed for Matthew Warchus’ inaugural season as artistic director, are now on priority sale and will be available to the general public from Tuesday, September 22, 2015.

The productions are David Hare’s new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder, directed by Matthew Warchus and starring Ralph Fiennes; The Caretaker, Harold Pinter’s groundbreaking classic, also directed by Matthew Warchus and starring Timothy Spall; and Jekyll & Hyde, a new dance thriller devised, directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie.

Previously Posted: The Old Vic has announced the inaugural season of new Artistic Director Matthew Warchus and the eclectic programme includes a newly-adapted Ibsen classic starring Ralph Fiennes and the world premiere of a new musical, Groundhog Day.

The season also features new commissions, including a stage adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, a dance production and a series of variety nights embracing The Old Vic’s history and its roots in music, dance and vaudeville.

As Artistic Director Designate, Matthew Warchus commented:

“After 25 years of freelance directing I unexpectedly find myself running my favourite theatre in the world. Or, if you like, my two favourite theatres since The Old Vic can now transition with relative ease between London’s best in-the-round space and the traditional, magnificent end-on auditorium. During my tenure I look forward to playing seasons in both of these great configurations.

“My first season demonstrates our aim to present more productions per year, of wide-ranging work, in a ‘something for everyone’ approach which reflects my own eclectic tastes and love of this unique and uplifting art form. In its dazzling history, The Old Vic has been home not only to great acting but also to dance, musical extravaganzas, vaudeville and spectacle. This diverse heritage is a big part of my inspiration going forward.

“When Lilian Baylis ran The Old Vic she kept a sign over her desk which read “Dare, always dare!”. Taking my cue from her, my goal is to programme invigorating seasons which are, by turns, surprising, smart, adventurous, and fun. Come and join in.”


Described as a bracingly topical and boisterously funny new play, Future Conditional by Tamsin Oglesby opens on September 10, 2015, with previews from September 1. Directed by Matthew Warchus, it stars Rob Brydon supported by 23 young performers.

Future Conditional tackles the conundrum of British schooling through a myriad of characters including parents, teachers, and Alia, a prodigiously clever young Afghan refugee and the newest member of Britain’s Education Research Board. Alia has a radical solution for Britain’s schools that could restore our place in the world education league. But is the system ready to take lessons from a schoolgirl…?

Written by acclaimed playwright Tamsin Oglesby (The Mouse and His Child, Really Old, Like 45), Future Conditional proves that when it comes to education, we’ve all got a lot to learn.

Future Conditional will be performed in the CQS space.

The Hairy Ape, Eugene O’Neill’s timeless classic of class and identity, opens on October 29, with previews from October 17.

A classic expressionist masterpiece by Nobel prize-winner Eugene O’Neill, The Hairy Ape tells the story of Yank, a labourer who revels in his status as the strongest stoker on a transatlantic ocean liner. But when Yank is called a ‘filthy beast’ by the overbred daughter of a steel merchant, he experiences an awakening of consciousness that leads him on a journey through the wealthy neighbourhoods and disenfranchised underbelly of New York society.

Searching for a way to belong, Yank is forced to confront primal questions about his true place in the world.

The Hairy Ape is directed by the acclaimed, multi-award-winning director Richard Jones, whose credits include Anna Nicole (Royal Opera House), Public Enemy, The Government Inspector and Annie Get Your Gun (Young Vic), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC), Tales from the Vienna Woods (National Theatre) and Into the Woods (West End).

Adapted by David Greig and directed by Max Webster, Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax opens on December 15, with previews from December 2.

I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees!

Inspired by Dr. Seuss’s classic tale, The Lorax tells of a moustachioed and cantankerous critter who’s on a mission to protect the earth from the greedy, tree-chopping, Thneed-knitting businessman known only as The Once-ler.

Brought to the stage by acclaimed director Max Webster (James And The Giant Peach, To Kill A Mockingbird, Twelfth Night), The Lorax blends theatrical invention, songs and zany humour in a timely and vibrant Christmas show with a message that will speak to audiences of all ages.

David Hare’s new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder is directed by Matthew Warchus and stars Ralph Fiennes.

A searing and mesmeric exploration of power, control, death and life, Ibsen’s late masterpiece comes to The Old Vic in a lively new adaptation by David Hare (multi-award-winning writer and author of 32 plays for the stage including Skylight, The Absence Of War, Amy’s View, Pravda and Stuff Happens).

Halvard Solness, a master architect, has spent his lifetime building the tallest spires in the land. But when Hilde, a radiant country girl, descends unexpectedly into his world, age is confronted by youth, and a series of revelations builds to a vertiginous climax.

The Caretaker, Harold Pinter’s groundbreaking classic, is directed by Matthew Warchus and stars Timothy Spall.

Disturbed handyman Aston has invited an irascible tramp to stay with him at his brother’s jumbled London flat. At first, it seems that the manipulative guest will take advantage of his vulnerable host. But when Aston’s brother Mick arrives, an enigmatic power struggle emerges between the three men that is in equal parts menacing, touching and darkly comic.

When it premiered in 1960, The Caretaker changed the face of modern theatre.

Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Jekyll & Hyde is a new dance thriller devised, directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie.

One of the UK’s most innovative theatre choreographers, Drew McOnie reimagines Robert Louis Stevenson’s sinister drama in an excitingly physical new dance production with music by Grant Olding.

Jekyll & Hyde has been specially commissioned by The Old Vic as part of its new dance collaboration with The McOnie Company, led by Associate Artist Drew McOnie.

For Groundhog Day, director Matthew Warchus, composer and lyricist Tim Minchin, choreographer Peter Darling and designer Rob Howell, four of the creators of the international musical sensation Matilda The Musical, have joined forces with writer Danny Rubin to create this new musical based on the 1993 hit film of the same name.

Groundhog Day is the story of Phil Connors, an arrogant Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, when sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, finds himself caught in a time loop where he is forced to repeat the same day again and again…and again.

The 1993 Columbia Pictures film, with a screenplay by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis, based on a story by Rubin, and directed by Ramis, starred Bill Murray. Now widely regarded as a contemporary classic, Groundhog Day was cited by the Writers Guild of America as one of the 101 Greatest Screenplays ever written and in 2000 was voted by readers of Total Film as one of the ten best comedies of all time.

Rise, The Old Vic Community Company Show directed by Alexander Ferris.

Two hundred Londoners will take over The Old Vic for one week to present a kaleidoscope of ideas, discussions and stories that centre around an epic new production that explores our relationship with the environment. With music, movement and bicycles, Rise will explore the impact of living in a city where the temperature is rising.

The Old Vic Variety Nights, which take place on Sundays, are a series of spectacular evenings featuring collectable performances from celebrated comedians, musicians, magicians and other variety acts from around the world.

The Variety Nights are a contemporary take on a time when The Old Vic was the Royal Coburg Theatre presenting music, magic, ‘whims and oddities’.

As well as other new commissions to Richard Bean, Caroline Bird, Dennis Kelly, David Nicholls, Diana Nneka Atuona and Mark Watson, and the creation of a ground-breaking new musical commissioning fund, The Old Vic has appointed a diverse range of Associate Artists split across several disciplines including writing, choreography, photography, design, music, sound, lighting, casting and magic.

The Baylis Director for early career directors offers a year-long residency mentored by Matthew Warchus, direction of a main stage production and funds to commission new work.

A new transfer partnership with theatre producers Scott Rudin and Sonia Friedman gives Old Vic shows a potential life in the West End and on Broadway

Coming attractions in future seasons include the first revival of Art by Yasmina Reza, the 50th anniversary production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard, and a new musical based on the film Pride written by Stephen Beresford.

In the meantime, Maria Friedman will direct High Society at The Old Vic. Based on the play The Philadelphia Story by Philip Barry and the Turner Entertainment Co. motion picture starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra, it runs from May 14 (previews from April 30) to August 22, 2015.