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Young Vic
Address South Bank, the Cut
Lambeth, London
 United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°30′12″N 0°06′27″W / 51.50323°N 0.10748°W / 51.50323; -0.10748
Owner The Young Vic Company
Type Non-commercial resident company
Capacity 420 Main house
150 Maria (studio)
70 Clare (studio)
Production Repertory seasons
Opened 1970
Rebuilt 2006 Haworth Tompkins
Architect Haworth Tompkins

The Young Vic is a theatre on the Cut, located near the South Bank, in the London Borough of Lambeth. David Lan has been the theatre's artistic director since 2000. Its philosophy is to "produce great plays for great audiences now and in the future".


In the period after World War II, a Young Vic Company was formed in 1946 by director George Devine[1] as an offshoot of the Old Vic Theatre School for the purpose of performing classic plays for audiences aged nine to fifteen.

This was discontinued in 1948 when Devine and the entire faculty resigned from the Old Vic, but in 1969 Frank Dunlop became founder-director of The Young Vic theatre with his free adaptation of Molière's The Cheats of Scapin, presented at the new venue as a National Theatre production, opening on 11 September 1970 and starring Jim Dale in the title role with designs by Carl Toms (decor) and Maria Bjornson (costumes).[2]

Initially part of the National Theatre, the Young Vic Theatre became an independent body in 1974.[3]

In the words of Laurence Olivier, then director of the National Theatre: "Here we think to develop plays for young audiences, an experimental workshop for authors, actors and producers." The aim was to create an accessible theatre which offered high quality at low cost in an informal environment. The aim was to appeal to young audiences, but this time not specifically to children.

Young Vic Theatre[edit]

Frank Dunlop completed creation of the theatre venue in 1970, a breeze-block building on The Cut constructed out of a former butcher's shop and an adjacent bomb-site. It was intended to last for five years, but has become permanent.

The auditorium, with a thrust stage, has a capacity of 420. The configuration can vary depending on the needs of each production.

In addition to the Young Vic's main house, there are now two smaller theatre spaces. The Maria, named after theatre designer Maria Bjornson, is the larger of the two with a capacity of 150. The Clare, named after the former artistic director of the Sheffield Crucible, Clare Venables, seats 70. Like the main house, both smaller theatres have flexible seating configurations which can be arranged to suit the production design. In the two smaller auditoriums seating is unreserved, with the actors performing in close proximity to the audience.[4]

The Young Vic primarily performs classic plays, but often in innovative productions. Many well-known actors have worked at the Young Vic including Ian Charleson, who made his memorable professional debut with the Young Vic 1972–74, and who played Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger and Hamlet in the first revival of Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead in 1973. Others include Vanessa Redgrave, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Timothy Dalton, Robert Lindsay, Willard White, John Malkovich, Michael Sheen and Arthur Lowe.

Quintessential rock band The Who held free, weekly concerts at the Young Vic in early 1971 in order to rehearse what would become their masterpiece album, Who's Next. One of these shows was released on the Deluxe edition of this album.

A memorial at the theatre's south-east corner commemorates the 54 people killed in 1941 while sheltering in the cellars of the former building on the site, during the Blitz.[5]

In 1982 the theatre hosted a Poetry Olympics, where comedian Pat Condell took part.[6]


2004 – Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre

2008 – Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre

2013 – The Critics' Circle Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical: The Scottsboro Boys

Refurbishment 2004–06[edit]

In 2003, the Young Vic launched a campaign to raise £12.5 million for a major reconstruction of its building and closed in 2004 for work to start.

Designed by architects Haworth Tompkins – also known for their refurbishment of the Royal Court Theatre, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, and two temporary venues for the Almeida – and with Jane Wernick Associates as the structural engineers, and consulting engineers Max Fordham LLP designing the building services, the refurbishment was completed in October 2006.

The main auditorium has been left intact, but refurbished and technically enhanced. The butcher's shop has also been retained as the main entrance to the building and also the box office.

The remainder of the 1970s structure has been rebuilt to provide new foyers, dressing rooms, two studio theatres, and workshop spaces. An award of £5 million was received from the Arts Council of England.

The Young Vic re-opened on 11 October 2006, with a production of the community opera Tobias and the Angel; with music by Jonathan Dove and a libretto by David Lan.[7]

On 16 May 2007, the refurbished Young Vic won the RIBA London Building of the Year Award.[8] Following this award, the Young Vic was also shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize on 27 July 2007.[9]

A rebranding exercise by Sense Worldwide in 2010 resulted in the abandonment of its 30-year-old "sit anywhere" policy and a new strapline, "It's a big world in here".[10]


March 2014 – February 2015[edit]

March 2012 – February 2014[edit]

January 2011 – February 2012[edit]

September 2010 – January 2011[edit]

October 2009 – January 2010[edit]

May 2009 – August 2010[edit]

January 2009 – April 2009[edit]

July 2008 – January 2009[edit]

January 2008 – June 2008[edit]

June 2007 – January 2008[edit]

October 2006 – June 2007[edit]

Young Vic short films[edit]

The Young Vic has now produced five short films in collaboration with the Guardian. Following work on stage at the Young Vic, directors, writers and actors are commissioned to make short, "bold" spin-off films of their stage productions. Each has attracted tens of thousands of views, the aim being that YV Shorts act as a fourth stage for Young Vic work (in addition to the three performance spaces in London). Each film can be found on the Young Vic's website.

Inspired by the Young Vic's production of Edward Bond's play Bingo. Starring Patrick Stewart, directed by Angus Jackson and written by Mark O'Rowe.

Inspired by the Young Vic's production of A Doll's House. Starring Hattie Morahan, written by Nick Payne and directed by Carrie Cracknell.

Inspired by the Young Vic's production of Thomas Middleton and William Rowley's The Changeling. Starring Sinéad Matthews.

Inspired by Belarus Free Theatre, written by Nicolai Khalezin and Laura Wade, starring Nicolai Khalezin and Jude Law and directed by Vladimir Shcherban.

Inspired by the Young Vic's production of A Season in the Congo. Written and directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Associate companies[edit]

The Young Vic is home to four associate companies; Fevered Sleep, Belarus Free Theatre, 1927 and the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme.

Digital Theatre[edit]

The Young Vic was one of the launch theatres for Digital Theatre, a project that makes theatre productions available in video download form. The first performances that were filmed were Kafka's Monkey and The Container.[14]


  1. ^ The Theatres of George Devine by Irving Wardle, Cape 1978 ISBN 0-224-01415-3
  2. ^ Frank Dunlop's CV for Who's Who in the Theatre 17th edition, Gale (1981). ISBN 0-8103-0235-7
  3. ^ The Oxford Companion to the Theatre, OUP (1983). ISBN 0-19-211546-4
  4. ^ "What to Expect". Young Vic. Retrieved 1 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Young Vic war memorial plaque rededicated". Bankside Press. 21 June 2007. Retrieved 1 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "Poets' marathon at Young Vic 'Olympics'". The Times. 30 November 1982. Retrieved 24 March 2009. 
  7. ^ Review in The Stage.
  8. ^ RIBA London Building of the Year Award. Retrieved 27 July 2007.
  9. ^ RIBA announcement online. See also the RIBA profile of the Young Vic. Retrieved 27 July 2007.
  10. ^ ["Market Research Agency of the Year" Marketing Magazine (8 December 2010) p. 30.]
  11. ^ Tracey Sinclair (8 February 2011). "Exeunt: Vernon God Little". Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  12. ^ WhatsOnStage announcement for Annie Get Your Gun
  13. ^ Kafka's Monkey, Guardian online review
  14. ^ "Leading theatres launch downloadable shows". Official London Theatre Guide. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Vic — Please support Wikipedia.
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10268 news items

The Independent

The Independent
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 04:22:30 -0800

It's a little over thirty years since Peter Brook – the most pioneering theatre director of the twentieth century – unveiled his 9-hour adaptation of the Mahabharata, the ancient Sanskrit epic about the war between the Pandava brothers and their ...


Sat, 06 Feb 2016 06:15:00 -0800

One of the hottest fringe shows in London at the moment is an "immersive" theatre extravaganza called You Me Bum Bum Train, in which participants are hurtled, one at a time, through a labyrinth of different scenarios and pop out at the other end ...

The Stage

Mon, 08 Feb 2016 01:56:15 -0800

On a bare stage, a carpet of burnt ochre that brings a sense of the desert into the Young Vic, four actors step into these parables. As ever with Brook, the actors' precision and purpose carries its own meaning. Carole Karemera just has to crick her ...

The Arts Desk

The Arts Desk
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:12:59 -0800

Legendary director Peter Brook makes theatre that teaches audiences to be human. Now 90 years old, he brings his latest project to London from Paris, where he has been based at the Bouffes du Nord since quitting the UK more than 40 years ago. Called ...

The Upcoming

The Upcoming
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 08:07:30 -0800

At the age of 90, legendary director Peter Brook keeps on surprising. After his career-defining big screen production of the Indian epic The Mahabharata as nine-hour spectacle, he returns to the ancient Sanskrit epic after 30 years. Battlefield ...
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 02:30:00 -0800

Image not found: http://tm.tm-cdn.com/photos/whatsonstage/v1/jane-horrocks-102307.jpg. Click for fullscreen. Rehearsal images have been released of the cast of If You Kiss Me, Kiss Me ahead of opening night at the Young Vic in March. If You Kiss Me ...


Thu, 04 Feb 2016 07:47:54 -0800

"You can't imagine what it was like," Brook says now, looking out through the café windows of the Young Vic and casting his mind back to the London theatreland of his youth in the Forties. "The entire West End consisted of a comfortable middle-class ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Tue, 12 Jan 2016 23:29:26 -0800

These memories come flooding back because Brook, along with co-director Marie-Hélène Estienne and dramatist Jean-Claude Carrière, has revisited the Mahabharata to create a new piece, Battlefield, coming to the Young Vic in London. The original ...

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