Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Young Vic

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The Young Vic Company


+44 20 7922 2922


Repertory seasons


Architecture firm
Haworth Tompkins

Public transit
Waterloo; Southwark Waterloo; Waterloo East

66 The Cut, Lambeth, London SE1 8LZ, UK

Type of business
Non-commercial resident company

The Old Vic, Royal National Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, Almeida Theatre, Donmar Warehouse


The roof young vic short film

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 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).

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

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

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.

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.

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


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

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.

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

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".

March 2014 – February 2015

  • Oh My Sweet Land A Young Vic / Théâtre de Vidy-Lausanne co-production. Direction Amir Nizar Zuabi.
  • A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller. Direction Ivo Van Hove.
  • Safe House An installation by Jeremy Herbert and Gabriella Sonabend.
  • Red Forest Devised and performed by Belarus Free Theatre.
  • The Valley of Astonishment Direction Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne.
  • The Events An Actors Touring Company, Young Vic, Brageteatret & Schauspielhaus Wien Co-Production. Direction Ramin Gray.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. Direction Benedict Andrews.
  • My Perfect Mind created by Told By An Idiot written by Kathryn Hunter, Paul Hunter and Edward Petherbridge. Direction Kathryn Hunter.
  • The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov. Direction Katie Mitchell.
  • A Harlem Dream by Ivan Blackstock.
  • Dusk A Fevered Sleep / Young Vic co-production. Directed and devised by David Harradine & Samantha Butler.
  • Golem created by 1927. Directed and written by Suzanne Andrade.
  • The Way Back Home An ENO and Young Vic co-production, based on the book by Oliver Jeffers. Directed by Katie Mitchell.
  • Happy Days by Samuel Beckett. Directed by Natalie Abrahami.
  • March 2012 – February 2014

  • After Miss Julie A version of Strindberg’s ‘Miss Julie’ by Patrick Marber. Direction Natalie Abrahami.
  • Minsk A Reply to Kathy Acker. Presented by Fuel, Belarus Free Theatre and LIFT 2012. Directed and adapted by Vladimir Shcherban.
  • Mad About the Boy A new play by Gbolahan Obisesan. An Iron Shoes production in association with the Unicorn. Direction Ria Parry.
  • The Suit After Can Themba, Mothobi Mutloatse & Barney Simon. Adaptation, direction & music by Peter Brook, Marie-Hélène Estienne & Franck Krawczyk.
  • Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov. A new version by Benedict Andrews. Direction Benedict Andrews.
  • Theatre Uncut 2012 Top international playwrights respond to world events.
  • The Changeling by Thomas Middleton & William Rowley. Direction Joe Hill-Gibbins.
  • The Shawl by David Mamet. Direction Ben Kidd.
  • Going Dark Written by Hattie Naylor in collaboration with Sound&Fury. Direction Mark Espiner & Dan Jones.
  • Feast Direction Rufus Norris.
  • Above Me the Wide Blue Sky Created by Fevered Sleep. Direction and Design David Harradine & Sam Butler.
  • Public Enemy By Henrik Ibsen. Direction Richard Jones.
  • Trash Cuisine Devised and performed by Belarus Free Theatre.
  • Brilliant Created by Fevered Sleep. Direction and Design David Harradine & Sam Butler.
  • A Season in the Congo by Aime Cesaire. Direction Joe Wright.
  • A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen. English language version by Simon Stephens. Direction Carrie Cracknell.
  • Sizwe Banzi is Dead Devised by Athol Fugard, John Kani & Winston Ntshona. Direction Matthew Xia.
  • Theatre Uncut 2013 Top international playwrights respond to world events.
  • The Island Devised by Athol Fugard, John Kani & Winston Ntshona. Direction Alex Brown.
  • The Events An Actors Touring Company, Young Vic, Brageteatret & Schauspielhaus Wien Co-Production. Direction Ramin Gray.
  • Beauty and the Beast ONEOFUS present Beauty and the Beast in co-production with Improbable. Direction Phelim McDermott.
  • The Scottsboro Boys Music & Lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb. Book by David Thompson. Direction & Choreography by Susan Stroman. A Catherine Schreiber & Young Vic Production.
  • Brand New Ancients Kate Tempest and Battersea Arts Centre on Tour.
  • Happy Days by Samuel Beckett. Direction Natalie Abrahami.
  • Sizwe Banzi is Dead Devised by Athol Fugard, John Kani & Winston Ntshona. Direction Matthew Xia.
  • January 2011 – February 2012

  • Vernon God Little Book by DBC Pierre. Adaptation Tanya Ronder. Direction Rufus Norris. With Luke Brady, Clare Burt, Daniel Cerqueira, Peter De Jersey, Joseph Drake, Johnnie Fiori, Lily James, Penny Layden, Nathan Osgood and Duncan Wisbey.
  • And the Rain Falls Down by Fevered Sleep. Direction Sam Butler. Direction & Design David Harradine.
  • Terminus by Mark O'Rowe. Direction Mark O'Rowe. With Declan Conlon, Olwen Fouere and Catherine Walker.
  • The Return of Ulysses by Monteverdi. An ENO/Young Vic Theatre co-production. Direction Benedict Andrews.
  • I Am the Wind by Jon Fosse. English language version by Simon Stephens. Direction Patrice Chéreau and Thierry Theiu Niang. With Tom Brooke and Jack Laskey.
  • Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol in a new version by David Harrower. Direction Richard Jones. With Julian Barratt, Doon Mackichan and Kyle Soller.
  • In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka. Adapted by Amir Nizar Zuabi. Presented by ShiberHur Theatre Company of Palestine.
  • The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh. Direction Joe Hill-Gibbins. With Rosaleen Linehan and Derbhle Crotty.
  • Disco Pigs by Enda Walsh. Direction Cathal Cleary.
  • Street Scene with The Opera Group. Music by Kurt Weill. Book by Elmer Rice. Lyrics by Langston Hughes. Music performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and Southbank Sinfonia.
  • One for the Road/Victoria Station by Harold Pinter. Direction Jeff James.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Direction Ian Rickson. The role of Hamlet performed by Michael Sheen.
  • Orpheus in the Underworld in a new translation by Rory Bremner. A Scottish Opera and Northern Ireland Opera co-production
  • Bingo by Edward Bond. Direction Angus Jackson. The role of Shakespeare performed by Patrick Stewart.
  • Wild Swans by Jung Chang and adapted by Alexandra Wood. Directed by Sacha Wares.
  • September 2010 – January 2011

  • The Human Comedy with The Opera Group. Music by Galt MacDermot. Book by William Dumaresq. From an original story by William Saroyan. Direction by John Fulljames. With Brenda Edwards.
  • On Ageing by Fevered Sleep. Direction and Design David Harradine and Sam Butler.
  • Faust adapted from Goethe by Vesturport. Direction Gisli Orn Gardarsson. Music by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis.
  • The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. Direction Joe Hill-Gibbins. Music by Dario Marianelli. With Leo Bill, Deborah Findlay, Sinéad Matthews and Kyle Soller.
  • Belarus Free Theatre: Numbers / Discover Love. Guest appearances from Adjoa Andoh, Jude Law, Ian McKellen, Sienna Miller and Samuel West.
  • My Dad's a Birdman. By David Almond. Music by Pet Shop Boys. Direction Oliver Mears.
  • October 2009 – January 2010

  • Annie Get Your Gun. Music & lyrics by Irving Berlin. Book by Herbert & Dorothy Fields. Direction Richard Jones. With Jane Horrocks and Julian Ovenden.
  • May 2009 – August 2010

  • Sweet Nothings based on Arthur Schnitzler's Liebelei from 1895, arranged by David Harrower, directed by Luc Bondy
  • Where's Ali devised by Ned Glasier.
  • Pictures from an Exhibition based on the suite by Modest Mussorgsky. Direction Daniel Kramer. Choreography Frauke Requardt.
  • Kursk by Sound&Fury, in collaboration with Bryony Lavery.
  • Been So Long Book, lyrics and direction Ché Walker. Music and lyrics Arthur Darvill.
  • Sus by Barrie Keefe. Direction Gbolahan Obisesan.
  • Brilliant by Fevered Sleep. Direction David Harradine.
  • The Container by Clare Bayley. Direction Tom Wright. Design Naomi Dawson.
  • 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane. Direction Christian Benedetti. With Anamaria Marinca.
  • The Girlfriend Experience by Alecky Blythe. Direction Joe Hill-Gibbins.
  • January 2009 – April 2009

  • King Lear by William Shakespeare. Direction Rupert Gould. With Pete Postlethwaite as King Lear.
  • The Indian Wants the Bronx by Israel Horovitz. Direction Daljinder Singh. Design Paul Wills.
  • Kafka's Monkey Based on A Report to an Academy by Franz Kafka. Adaptation Colin Teevan. Direction Walter Meierjohann. With Kathryn Hunter.
  • Bay devised by the company with writer Joel Horwood. Direction Sarah Tipple.
  • After Dido Purcell's Dido and Aeneas in a new film and theatre piece. Direction Katie Mitchell.
  • You Can See the Hills written and directed by Matthew Dunster. With William Ash.
  • July 2008 – January 2009

  • Street Scene. Music by Kurt Weill. Book by Edgar Rice. Lyrics by Langston Hughes.
  • Fragments by Samuel Beckett. Direction Peter Brook.
  • In the Red and Brown Water by Tarell Alvin McCraney (part of the Brother/Sister plays). Direction Walter Meierjohann. Design Miriam Buether.
  • The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney (part of the Brother/Sister plays). Direction Bijan Sheibani. Design Patrick Burnier.
  • You Can See the Hills by Matthew Dunster. Direction Matthew Dunster. Designer Anna Fleischle.
  • Amazônia by Colin Teevan and Paul Heritage. Direction Paul Heritage. Designer Gringo Cardia.
  • Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen, adaptation Frank McGuiness. Direction William Oldroyd.
  • January 2008 – June 2008

  • A Prayer for My Daughter (play) by Thomas Babe. Direction Dominic Hill. Design Giles Cadle. Lighting Bruno Poet.
  • The Good Soul of Szechuan by Bertolt Brecht. Translation David Harrower. Direction Richard Jones. Set Miriam Buether. Costume Nicky Gillibrand.
  • June 2007 – January 2008

  • Ma vie en rose based on the film by Alain Berliner. Direction Pete Harris. Music Gary Yershon. Choreography Ayse Tashkiran.
  • The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers. Direction Matthew Dunster. Design Robert Innes Hopkins.
  • Fragments by Samuel Beckett. Direction Peter Brook.
  • The Investigation by Peter Weiss, adapted by Jean Baudrillard. Direction Dorcy Rugamba and Isabelle Gyselinx. Design Fabienne Damiean.
  • The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney (part of the Brother/Sister plays). Direction Bijan Sheibani. Design Patrick Burnier.
  • A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, adapted and directed by Mark Dornford-May
  • The Magic Flute by Mozart, adapted and directed by Mark Dornford-May
  • October 2006 – June 2007

  • Tobias and the Angel – Music by Jonathan Dove. Words by David Lan. Direction John Fulljames. Conductor David Charles Abell. Design Alexander Lowde.
  • Love and Money – by Dennis Kelly. Direction Matthew Dunster. Design Anna Fleischle.
  • The Enchanted Pig – Music by Jonathan Dove. Words by Alasdair Middleton. Direction John Fulljames. Design Dick Bird.
  • The Soldiers Fortune – by Thomas Otway. Direction David Lan. Set Lizzie Clachan. Costumes Joan Wadge.
  • generations – by debbie tucker green. Direction Sacha Wares. Design Miriam Buether.
  • A Respectable Wedding – by Bertolt Brecht. Translation Rory Bremner. Direction Joe Hill-Gibbins. Design Ultz.
  • The Jewish Wife – by Bertolt Brecht. Translation Martin Crimp. Direction Katie Mitchell. Design Hildegard Bechtler.
  • Senora Carrar's Rifles – by Bertolt Brecht. Translation Biyi Bandele. Direction Paul Hunter. Design Robert Innes Hopkins.
  • How Much Is Your Iron? – by Bertolt Brecht. Translation Enda Walsh. Direction Orla O'Loughlin. Design Dick Bird.
  • Vernon God Little – by DBC Pierre. Adaptation Tanya Ronder. Direction Rufus Norris. Design Ian MacNeil. Costumes Nicky Gillibrand.
  • Young Vic short films

    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.

  • Epithet – 2012.
  • 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.

  • Nora – 2012.
  • Inspired by the Young Vic's production of A Doll's House. Starring Hattie Morahan, written by Nick Payne and directed by Carrie Cracknell.

  • Bed Trick – 2013.
  • Inspired by the Young Vic's production of Thomas Middleton and William Rowley's The Changeling. Starring Sinéad Matthews.

  • Connection – 2013.
  • Inspired by Belarus Free Theatre, written by Nicolai Khalezin and Laura Wade, starring Nicolai Khalezin and Jude Law and directed by Vladimir Shcherban.

  • Columbite Tantalite – 2013
  • Inspired by the Young Vic's production of A Season in the Congo. Written and directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor.

    Associate companies

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

    Digital Theatre

    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.


    Young Vic Wikipedia

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