Old Vic Theater

Old Vic Theater

 

the largest drama theater in London.

The history of the Old Vic is divided into two periods. The first period dates from the theater’s opening on May 11, 1818, until 1898. Originally called The Royal Coburg, in 1833 it was renamed The Victoria and became popularly known as the Old Vic. During the second period of its history (1898–1976), the Old Vic was transformed from a third-rate music hall into England’s foremost theater. Condemning the policy of commercial theaters, the Old Vic primarily staged plays by classical English and foreign dramatists. The Old Vic is often called the home of Shakespeare.

Among the theater’s directors were L. Bayliss (1898–1937), T. Guthrie, L. Olivier (with R. Richardson and J. Burrell), H. Hunt, M. Benthal, and M. Elliott. Among the well-known English actors who have performed at the theater are J. Gielgud, L. Olivier, A. Guinness, C. Laughton, R. Richardson, M. Redgrave, S. Thorndike, D. Wolfit, and P. Ashcroft.

The Old Vic toured many countries, including the USSR (1960). From 1963 to 1976 the National Theater of Great Britain played at the Old Vic Theatre.

REFERENCE

Williamson, A. Old Vic Drama, vols. 1–2. London, 1948–57.

F. M. KRYMKO

References in periodicals archive ?
Spacey was artistic director of London's Old Vic theater for 11 years until 2015.
Spacey has strong connections to Britain, where he served as artistic director of the Old Vic theater for 11 years.
First--and most important--is his two-hander "Groupie," skedded for a February start at Kevin Spacey's Old Vic Theater as part of a continuing effort to find critical appeal to equal popular allure at the South Bank venue.
(OLD VIC THEATER; 1,006 SEATS; 35.50 [pounds sterling] ($69) TOP)
LONDON An Old Vic Theater presentation of a pantomime in two acts in a new version by Bille Brown, with additional material by Ian Brown and James Hendrie, music by Gareth Valentine.
When director Trevor Nunn opened his recent Old Vic Theater "Hamlet" in April, cheers went up for an unknown 23-year-old, Ben Whishaw, in the title role.
A starry revival of "The Philadelphia Story" and a Christmas pantomime with Ian McKellen will highlight Kevin Spacey's first season as artistic director of London's Old Vic Theater.
And though Old Vic theater owner Sally Greene said Spacey was contracted for five years, the actor sounded reluctant to put a time period on his tenure: "Sally's just making (the figure) up.
Exchange." The ambitious scheme, pioneered by Cambridge grad Kate Pakenham under the auspices of London's Old Vic Theater, is intended to widen awareness of British playwrights in America and the same in reverse.
Kevin Spacey will appear in two plays a year as artistic director of a new production company at London's Old Vic Theater, the thesp announced last week.
Musician Elton John, chairman of the Old Vic Theater Trust, which owns the venue, said he's delighted at Spacey's involvement: "Kevin's talent is exceptional, but what has truly inspired me is his passion for, and commitment to, this theater."