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Jude Law backs Young Vic's fundraising appeal

Story by Jack Foley

OSCAR-nominated actor, Jude Law, has helped to launch the public fundraising campaign for the Young Vic, which he lovingly dubs his ‘local theatre’.

The Cold Mountain star took time out from the Berlin Film Festival to pledge his support for the restoration of the popular South Bank venue, which will close for around 18 to 24 months for an essential £12.5 million revamp.

Ironically, the building, which was built 34 years ago, was only supposed to have lasted for a maximum of five years.

The Young Vic has already raised £5 million itself towards the cost, thanks to public and private funding, as well as a £1 million donation from its new chairman, Patrick McKenna.

It is also expecting to secure a maximum of £5 million in National Lottery grants - but is appealing to corporate donors and private individuals to make up the £2.5 million shortfall.

Law, who will serve as chief patron of the fundraising initiative, said the Young Vic commanded a special place in his heart, as it was the venue which taught him, while growing up, ‘how enjoyable it could be to be an audience member, but also a performer’.

And he has never forgotten it, despite a hugely successful movie career, returning to appear on-stage twice, in the 1999 production of Tis Pity She’s A Whore, and the 2002 production of Doctor Faustus, which both drew considerable critical acclaim, and big audiences.

Speaking in London, he maintained that ‘anything we can do to ensure that the theatre can continue here for another 34, 64, 94 years and more is incredibly important’.

As part of the revamp, the unique auditorium will remain, with only technical improvements, but there are plans for two new studios, a workshop, expanded offices, dressing rooms and public foyers, and terrace spaces.

Capacity will also increase from a maximum of 450 to 600.

The Young Vic is expecting to hear whether it has been successful in securing Lottery funding on February 16, and is keeping its fingers firmly crossed, as according to Law and co, there is ‘no contingency plan’ should the bid prove unsuccessful.

Such an outcome would almost inevitably mean the closure of the company.

The Young Vic rebuild campaign will give potential donors the option of naming opportunities, for things such as a toilet (for £2,500), buying permanent seats in the auditorium (£1,000) and paying £1 supplements on tickets for upcoming productions.

Further details are available from the Young Vic website, which is accessible via the link to the right of this page.

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