Full disabled access, Partial disabled access, Toilets
The Young Vic produces classics, new plays, forgotten works, musicals and opera, and tours widely in the UK and internationally. It has deep roots in its neighborhood and co-producing relationships with leading theatres all over the world.
Backstage Tour at 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 3pm (Max 24 per tour)
The Young Vic is two things: an idea and a building. Established in 1970 by Sir Laurence Olivier, the Young Vic is a theatre for everyone that remains true to its founding values and objectives:
- To produce great productions for audiences of all ages and backgrounds
- To nurture the talent of younger theatre professionals
- To develop a love of theatre amongst young people
The original theatre was built on The Cut on a Second World War bomb site. It opened in September 1970 as a place where young directors, designers, actors, writers and technicians could present the great works of the world repertoire, classics and new plays, in exciting productions and at the lowest possible seat prices. The theatre building was designed by Bill Howell with a budget of just £60,000 and was intended to last for just five years.
Its ideal proportions and intimate thrust-stage theatre built cheaply with a rough light industrial feel, and its low prices for unreserved seats created the dream, in concrete, of an inclusive, class free experience.
Rebuilding the Theatre
By 2000, when previous artistic director David Lan joined the company, the fabric of the theatre was crumbling. It had to be rebuilt or close forever.
Remaining true to the aesthetic of the original building, architects Haworth Tompkins created a new building which radically improved facilities for actors, staff and audiences as well as expanding the potential for theatre-making.
The existing auditorium has been painstakingly reconstructed to satisfy new technical requirements yet retain the intimacy of the audience/performer relationship that distinguished its predecessor. We have added two smaller, flexible theatres which are in constant use for performances, rehearsals and workshops and vastly improved our bar, foyer and back stage facilities.
The first phase of the £14m rebuild took place between 2004 and 2006. The theatre reopened to great acclaim. In 2007 it was awarded the RIBA London Building of the Year and one of only two buildings in the UK to be shortlisted for the Stirling Prize. It went on to win further awards including LEAF Public Building of the Year, the British Construction Industry’s Building Award and the International Building Award for 2008 from The Chicago Athenaeum. The theatre’s architect Steve Tompkins also won an Evening Standard Special Award for his contribution to theatre design.
Even before we moved back to our beautifully rebuilt theatre we had drawn up plans for further facilities to realise the full potential and ambition of the Young Vic. The Jerwood Pod, a two storey extension and a seamless completion of the Phase I design, was completed and opened in the summer of 2008. Its function is to accommodate young associate companies and to create opportunities for them to develop and grow. In addition, it provides extra dressing room space and double-height ground floor storage. Conceptually and aesthetically, it has completed the new Young Vic.