Young Vic



  • A theater in Lambeth, London, near the Old Vic, thatoffers professional productions for young people at reasonable prices. Thecompany also aims to nurture the careers of young actors, directors, andtechnicians. The Young Vic was founded by Frank Dunlop under the auspicesof the National Theatre and opened in 1970 in a converted butcher'sshop. The first production was Scapino, an adaptation fromMoli√®re, which Dunlop directed in a modernized commediadell'arte style.

    In 1974 the Young Vic became independent of the National Theatreand Dunlop gave up his management role, although he continued to directfrom time to time. Michael Bogdanov served as artistic director from1978 to 1980 and David Thacker from 1984 to 1993; the current director (from1999) is David Lan. The company, which likes to maintain an informal, unstuffyatmosphere, has presented a wide variety of plays, ranging from Waiting for Godot to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoatand Ibsen's Ghosts, which transferred in 1986 to Wyndham's Theatre. Somemore recent productions include Marlowe's Dr Faustus (2001), with film star Jude Law in the title role, and Annie Get Your Gun (2009), with Jane Horrocks.

    By 1999 the Lambeth theater, which had only been designed to last fiveyears, was showing signs of serious disrepair and faced closure on healthand safety grounds. Following a major fund-raising campaign, the theaterunderwent a £12.5 million rebuild from 2004, reopening in 2006 with a production of the community opera Tobias and the Angel. As part of its education programme, the Young Vic still offers one free ticket to each school-age child in the boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark.