Theatre News

The Old Vic announces birthday weekend celebrations

The venue will celebrate its 200th birthday

The Old Vic
The Old Vic
© The Old Vic

The Old Vic has announced plans for its birthday weekend, which will occur in May.

Over the course of three days, the theatre will try and see as many people as possible come through its doors and celebrate its bicentennial year.

On Friday 11 May (the Old Vic's actual birthday), there will be a free performance of Mood Music in the venue, with a memento given to audience members who attend the show and a special birthday cake provided by My Fair Cakery.

The next day, celebrations begin with a free street party, beginning with a marching band at 12pm on the South Bank, which will lead revellers from the National to the Old Vic. The theatre has pedestrianised Webber Street, and will also hold a number of special free activities including sing-alongs, puppetry workshops, make-up presentations and a comedy club inside the space. Though free, the events will be limited in capacity so advance booking is necessary.

Saturday evening there will be a one-night-only Bicentenary variety night fundraiser. Performers on the night include BBC Radio 4 sketch comedy duo The Pin, musical performances from the company of upcoming hip-hop musical Sylvia, dance from The McOnie Company, an exclusive performance written by Dennis Kelly as well as a brand new musical venture from 2018 WhatsOnStage Award and Olivier Award nominee Sheila Atim (Girl from the North Country). Further acts are to be announced.

On Sunday the venue will host a fundraising ball to raise funds for the future of the Old Vic.

Arstistic director Matthew Warchus 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…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."