THE OLD VIC announces inaugural season from Artistic Director MATTHEW WARCHUS - includes new work from TIM MINCHIN & DREW McONIE


The Old Vic today announces the inaugural season of new Artistic Director Matthew Warchus, which features an eclectic programme ranging from a newly-adapted Ibsen classic starring Ralph Fiennes to the world premiere of a new musical, Groundhog Day with 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.’

Productions will include:

 A new play, Future Conditional, by Tamsin Oglesby, featuring 23 young performers, directed by Matthew Warchus, starring Rob Brydon

 The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neill, directed by Richard Jones

 The premiere of a new stage adaptation by David Greig of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax directed by Max Webster

 An Ibsen classic, The Master Builder, in a new adaptation by David Hare with Ralph Fiennes in the title role, directed by Matthew Warchus

 A new dance thriller, Jekyll & Hyde, created by one of the UK’s most innovative theatre
choreographers, Drew McOnie

 Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker, starring Timothy Spall, directed by Matthew Warchus

 The world premiere of a new musical adaptation of the film Groundhog Day, book by original screenwriter Danny Rubin, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, choreography by Peter Darling and directed by Matthew Warchus

 A series of Variety Nights inspired by The Old Vic's vaudeville history featuring household names and newcomers in comedy, music, magic and variety

 The Old Vic Community Company on The Old Vic stage for a week for the first time with a new commissioned work, Rise

The Old Vic announces a wide range of future work, programmes and creative opportunities for the forthcoming year and beyond:
     New commissions to Richard Bean, Caroline Bird, Dennis Kelly, David Nicholls, Diana Nneka Atuona and Mark Watson, plus the creation of a ground-breaking new musical commissioning fund

     The appointment of a diverse range of Associate Artists split across several disciplines including Writing, Choreography, Photography, Design, Music, Sound, Lighting, Casting and Magic

     The creation of The Baylis Director for early career directors, offering 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, giving 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

  • The Old Vic also announces two new corporate partnerships:

     The Royal Bank of Canada will become The Old Vic's new Principal Partner for the next three years, directly enabling more productions on The Old Vic stage than ever before

     A new ticketing scheme, PwC £10 Previews, will make half of all seats at the first five previews of each production available for just £10*

    Chief Executive Sally Greene commented:

    ‘Matthew’s first season gives us a taste of what is to come throughout his tenure – a vibrant and varied programme with a strong commitment to new writing and musicals, alongside classics and artistic adventure. This, teamed with his commitment to opening up the theatre to anyone who wants to join in, and a real passion for supporting young directors in the way that he himself was supported, is set to make this a thrilling chapter in The Old Vic’s history.’
By Tamsin Oglesby
Directed by Matthew Warchus
Starring Rob Brydon
Previews from 1 September 2015, press night 10 September

Past imperfect. Present tense.
The Old Vic presents Future Conditional, a bracingly topical and boisterously funny new play directed by Matthew
Warchus and starring 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.

By Eugene O’Neill
Directed by Richard Jones
Previews from 17 October 2015, press night 29 October

Eugene O'Neill's timeless classic of class and identity.
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.
Directed by the acclaimed, multi-award-winning director Richard Jones. Credits include Anna Nicole (Royal Opera House), Public Enemy, The Government Inspector, 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).
The Hairy Ape is an iconic piece of American drama brought to stage by a visionary of British theatre.

Dr. Seuss’s THE LORAX
Adapted by David Greig
Directed by Max Webster
Previews from 2 December 2015, press day 15 December

“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.

By Henrik Ibsen
New adaptation by David Hare Directed by Matthew Warchus Starring Ralph Fiennes

A searing and mesmeric exploration of power, control, death and life, Henrik Ibsen’s late masterpiece The Master Builder 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.

By Harold Pinter
Directed by Matthew Warchus Starring Timothy Spall

When it premiered in 1960, The Caretaker changed the face of modern theatre. Now Harold Pinter’s groundbreaking classic comes to The Old Vic in a new production directed by Matthew Warchus.
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.

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

Book by Danny Rubin
Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin Directed by Matthew Warchus Choreography by Peter Darling

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 collaborate on a new musical based on the 1993 hit film Groundhog Day.
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.

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.

It’s all happening.
Join us for Sunday nights full of excitement as The Old Vic presents 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’. 

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The Old Vic, The Cut, London SE1 8NB

Priority booking for Future Conditional, The Hairy Ape and The Lorax from Tue 21 April 10am
General public booking for
Future Conditional, The Hairy Ape and The Lorax from Tue 12 May 12 noon
Tickets for the remainder of the season will go on sale later this year. 

Tamsin Oglesby
Tue 1 Sep - Sat 3 Oct 2015
Mon - Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm

[Please note there are no matinee performances on Wed 2 Sep, Sat 5 Sep and Wed 9 Sep]
Captioned Performance: Fri 18 Sep 7.30pm
Audio Described Performance: Fri 25 Sep 7.30pm, touch tour 6pm

TICKETS: £10, £15, £20, £30, £35, £45
For information regarding Premium Seats please call the box office

Eugene O’Neill
Sat 17 Oct - Sat 21 Nov 2015
Mon - Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm

[Please note there are no matinee performances on Sat 17 Oct, Wed 21 Oct, Sat 24 Oct and Wed 28 Oct]
Captioned Performance: Thu 12 Nov 7.30pm
Audio Described Performance: Tue 10 Nov 7.30pm, touch tour 6pm

TICKETS: £12, £16, £21, £30, £45, £55
For information regarding Premium Seats please call the box office

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Dr. Seuss’s
Wed 2 Dec 2015 - Sat 16 Jan 2016
Performances at 3pm & 7pm. For full performance schedule please visit
Captioned Performance: Thu 17 Dec 7pm
Audio Described Performance: Thu 7 Jan 7pm, touch tour 5.30pm

TICKETS: £12, £16, £21, £30, £50, £60
For information regarding Premium Seats please call the box office

Concessions for Future Conditional, The Hairy Ape and The Lorax
PwC £10 Previews: Half of all seats priced at £10 for the first 5 previews of every production, released 5 weeks in advance. Excluding Jekyll & Hyde, Rise and The Old Vic Variety Nights
Senior Citizens:
Future Conditional and The Hairy Ape: Best available seats for £26 for all matinee performances only. The Lorax: Best available seats for £30 for all matinee performances only
School Groups 10+: £10 for Mon - Wed eves & Wed matinees Disabled Patrons: Top 3 prices reduced to £21 for all performances
Additional concession for The Lorax, ages 14 and under, 50% off tickets priced at £60, £50 and £30 (excluding Friday and Saturday evenings)
All concessions are limited and subject to availability. All 2015/16 ticket prices (apart from the PwC £10 Previews tickets & schools tickets) include a £1 restoration levy