Young Vic Commits to Urgent Rebuild by 2005Date: 18 July 2001
The Young Vic has launched a "capital campaign" to raise the necessary finance for an urgent rebuilding of its architecturally renowned by rapidly architecturally renowned but rapidly disintegrating theatre near London's Waterloo. Work is scheduled to begin on the project within the next two years, with an intended completion date by 2005.
In a statement released by the Young Vic, artistic director David Lan admitted the Arts Council’s recent rejection of the theatre's £2.5 million application had been a major "blow" to the renovation plans. However, a special Arts Council award of £250,000 and a 57% increase in funding from the London Arts Board has helped to kickstart the theatre's fundraising efforts.
Lan emphasised that the renovation of the 30-year-old "temporary" structure was a necessity rather than a luxury. "We have no option but to rebuild," he said. "Within three years, the building will cost almost as much to repair as to rebuild. If we do nothing, in 2004 we will have to spend £400,000 simply to keep the building open. This is the equivalent of one year's work on our main stage."
The new building will replace the existing structure while retaining the proportions and "actor/audience dynamic" of the current auditorium. As for the aesthetic of the new theatre, it is intended to be "low-cost, light-industrial, innovative, provisional, green and exciting".
While architectural concerns continue to plague the Young Vic, in terms of programming, the theatre has moved from strength to strength. Its recent revival of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun is expected to transfer to the West End later this year and, next month, it will host the only UK dates for Peter Brook's acclaimed production of The Tragedy of Hamlet, starring Adrian Lester. The theatre has also embarked on numerous new co-producing partnerships with the likes of the Royal National Theatre Studio, the Ambassadors Theatre Group and the Natural Nylon Theatre Company, headed by film stars Ewan McGregor and Jude Law.