Friday 19 October 2018

Old Vic bicentenary celebrations to include free performances and procession

The theatre will be 200 years old in May.

The Old Vic theatre (Yui Mok/PA)
The Old Vic theatre (Yui Mok/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

The Old Vic will offer a free performance of upcoming show Mood Music, starring Rhys Ifans, to celebrate the theatre’s bicentenary, it has been announced.

Audience members on May 11, the theatre’s 200th birthday, who will win tickets via a ballot, will receive a special memento and birthday cake and take part in a group photo.

Celebrations over the following weekend will also include a free street party, with a marching band processing from outside the National Theatre to the Old Vic, where there will be street performers and activities such as puppetry workshops and a stage make up presentation.

The theatre will also be transformed into a cabaret space for a variety night fundraiser with comedy from The Pin and performances from the company of upcoming hip hop musical Sylvia.

The weekend will conclude with a sold-out fundraising ball.

Matthew Warchus, artistic director of the theatre, said: “​The beloved Old Vic Theatre, named after a princess but sounding like a pub, is 200 years old.

“Situated like a beacon, right at the geographical centre of our capital, it occupies a unique place in the hearts of innumerable theatregoers and theatre-makers as London’s local theatre.

“Its special identity was established by the inimitable Lilian Baylis who ran the company from 1912 to 1937.

“Her tenacious, assertive, daring and celebratory vision pervades the bones of the building to this day.

“At this anniversary, we celebrate The Old Vic’s iconic and iconoclastic history and look forward to a long and vibrant future as an exciting, welcoming and uplifting hub of creativity.

“This is your theatre, so come along and celebrate with us.”

Mood Music, directed by Roger Michell, begins at the Old Vic on April 21 and runs until June 16, with press night on May 2.

Booking for anniversary events is available at oldvictheatre.com.

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