Young Vic

Young Vic

Infobox Theatre
name = Young Vic

caption = Theatre entrance
address = South Bank, The Cut
city = Lambeth, London
country =
designation =
latitude = 51.503417
longitude = -0.106833
architect = Haworth Tompkins
owner =
capacity = 420 Main house 160 "Maria" (studio) 80 "Claire" (studio)
type = Non-commercial resident company
opened = 1970
yearsactive =
rebuilt = 1998 Haworth Tompkins
closed =
othernames =
production = Repertory seasons
currentuse =
website =
The Young Vic is a theatre in The Cut, located near the South Bank, in the London Borough of Lambeth. It specialises in giving opportunities to young actors and directors. The theatre is publicly subsidised and has a high artistic reputation. Playwright 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".


The Young Vic's name derives from the nearby Old Vic, one of the most celebrated of London's theatres and the first home of the National Theatre.

In the period after World War II a Young Vic Company was formed in 1946 by director George Devine ["The Theatres of George Devine" by Irving Wardle, Cape 1978 ISBN 0224014153] 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 Moliere's "The Cheats of Scapino", 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). [Frank Dunlop's CV for "Who's Who in the Theatre" 17th edition, Gale (1981) ISBN 0810302357]

Initially part of the National Theatre, the Young Vic Theatre became an independent body in 1974. ["The Oxford Companion to the Theatre", OUP (1983) ISBN 0192115464]

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.

The Young Vic Theatre

Frank Dunlop completed creation of the theatre venue in 1970, a breeze-block building in The Cut constructed out of a former butchers' 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 around 500 but this can vary depending on the configuration of the stage for 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, [,3604,1066593,00.html 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 all of the Young Vic's theatres, 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, Ian McKellen, Willard White, Clive Owen, and Jude Law.

Quintessential rock band The Who held free, weekly concerts at the Young Vic in order to rehearse what would become their masterpiece album, "Who's Next".

A memorial in the theatre's auditorium commemorates the 54 people killed in 1941 while sheltering in the cellars of the former building on the site, during The Blitz. [ [ City Themes, list of WWII memorials in London] accessed 12 July 2007]

Refurbishment 2004-2006

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 butchers' 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. The Stage review [] .

On 16 May 2007, the refurbished Young Vic won the "RIBA London Building of the Year Award". [ [ RIBA London Building of the Year Award] accessed 27 July 2007] Following this award, the Young Vic was also short-listed for the "RIBA Stirling Prize" on 27 July 2007. [ [ RIBA announcement online] . See also the [ RIBA profile] of the Young Vic accessed 27 July 2007]


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 Szechuanby "Bertolt Brecht". Translation "David Harrower"

Direction "Richard Jones". Set "Miriam Buether". Costume "Nicky Gillibrand".

June 2007 - January 2008

*Ma vie en rosebased on the film by "Alain Berliner".

Direction "Pete Harris". Music "Gary Yershon". Choreography "Ayse Tashkiran".

*The Member of the Weddingby "Carson McCullers".

Direction "Matthew Dunster". Design "Robert Innes Hopkins".

*Fragmentsby "Samuel Beckett".

Direction "Peter Brook".

*The Investigationby "Peter Weiss", adapted by Jean Beaudrillard.

Direction "Dorcy Rugamba" and "Isabelle Gyselinx". Design "Fabienne Damiean".

*The Brothers Sizeby "Tarell Alvin McCraney"part of the Brother/Sister plays

Direction "Bijan Sheibani". Design "Patrick Burnier".

*A Christmas Carolby "Charles Dickens" adapted and directed by Mark Dornford-May

*The Magic Fluteby "Mozart" adapted and directed by Mark Dornford-May

October 2006 - June 2007

*Tobias and the AngelMusic by "Jonathan Dove". Words by "David Lan".

Direction "John Fulljames". Conductor "David Charles Abell". Design "Alexander Lowde".

*Love and Moneyby "Dennis Kelly".

Direction "Matthew Dunster". Design "Anna Fleischle".

*The Enchanted PigMusic by "Jonathan Dove". Words by "Alasdair Middleton".

Directon "John Fulljames". Design "Dick Bird".

*The Soldiers Fortuneby "Thomas Otway".

Direction "David Lan". Set "Lizzie Clachan". Costumes "Joan Wadge".

*generationsby "debbie tucker green".

Direction "Sacha Wares". Design "Miriam Buether".

*A Respectable Weddingby "Bertolt Brecht".

Translation "Rory Bremner". Direction "Joe Hill-Gibbins". Design "Ultz".

*The Jewish Wifeby "Bertolt Brecht".

Translation "Martin Crimp". Direction "Katie Mitchell". Design "Hildegard Bechtler".

*Senora Carrar's Riflesby "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 Littleby "DBC Pierre".

Adaptation "Tanya Ronder". Direction "Rufus Norris". Design "Ian MacNeil". Costumes "Nicky Gillibrand".


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Myspace profile]
* [ Haworth Tompkins Architects]
* [ Jane Wernick Associates]

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