The Old Vic 12

Introduced by Artistic Director Matthew Warchus in 2015, The Old Vic 12 is a group of developing artists ready to take the next step in their careers. The scheme provides access and insights into top-level theatre-making, mentoring from industry experts, opportunities to deliver masterclasses to emerging artists and paid opportunities to collaborate with each other to create brand new work.

This year’s chosen plays are: Gobble Gobble Gobble Gobble Goblin by Tim Foley, Fake Melania by Poppy Corbett and Jineolojî by Nessah Muthy.

We are delighted to be hosting the fifth year of the scheme and participants are:
Composer and Sound Designer: Nicola Chang
Set and Costume Designer: Cindy Lin
Directors: Milli Bhatia, Hannah Joss and Madelaine Moore
Movement Director: Chi-San Howard
Producers: Penny Babakhani and Reece McMahon
Writers: Poppy Corbett, Tim Foley and Nessah Muthy

COVID-19 Update

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the previously announced Old Vic 12 season at Shoreditch Town Hall will no longer be able to go ahead as planned. The Old Vic, with continued support from Shoreditch Town Hall, remain committed to these extraordinary artists and their exciting projects which will now culminate in more development time, the creation of a digital content pack to help facilitate each play’s next steps and digital rehearsed readings for an invited audience.


Gobble Gobble Gobble Gobble Goblin

by Tim Foley
Directed by Madelaine Moore

If you need to get away, sometimes the edge of the universe is the only option

Nick’s mum is sick. When he returns home in the midst of his own crisis, instead of finding solace he finds a meddling neighbour, a freeloading brother, overdue PIP forms… and a goblin at the bottom of the garden. Over the ensuing days, months and years, Nick must face the might of the local council, the entire Goblin Kingdom, and worst of all, his own conscience.

Gobble Gobble Gobble Gobble Goblin is a dark and fantastical domestic comedy about mental illness, duty of care, and creatures that lurk beneath the surface…

Fake Melania

by Poppy Corbett
Directed by Hannah Joss
Produced by Reece McMahon

You cannot change a person’ Melania Trump.

Donald Trump won that second term, and he’s planning a third…

Meanwhile, Abby, an ambitious New York actor, aces an audition only to discover she’s cast as ‘Melania Trump’ – but not on stage. Abby must keep her new role secret from everyone, including her husband Daniel, a celebrated documentary-maker working on a Trump exposé.

Bundled on to Air Force One to accompany Donny on his second state visit to the UK, when she arrives at the hotel, she discovers she has more than perfecting Slovenian vowel sounds to keep her busy. As White House staffers control Abby’s every move, increasingly agitated protestors gather outside.

Fake Melania is a contemporary political farce set in a post-truth world, uncovering the consequences of deception on personal, political, and global levels. Can Abby convince the world she’s the real First Lady? Is she contractually obliged to hold the President’s hand? And how can she even start to plan that ‘Christmas stuff’ when she’s hiding in a cupboard?


by Nessah Muthy
Directed by Milli Bhatia
Produced by Penny Babakhani

Somebody let the brown women take charge!’

Jineolojî is about: Equality. Revolution. Freedom. It’s a revolution that not only attempts to rip away patriarchal and oppressive systems but calls for a whole new world order – tearing down traditional western notions of feminism, freedom and ecology.

Inspired by the Kurdish women’s movement, this is a new story, a new offer, a living essay that puts women at the centre and demands a radical rethinking of… everything.


This year we are thrilled that The Old Vic 12 will be mentored by Mark Ravenhill, Suzanne Bell, James Graham, Marianne Elliott, Lyndsey Turner, Ivo Van Hove, Tarek Iskander, Lucy Davies, Stella Kanu, Max Ringham, Ben Ringham, Imogen Knight, Bunny Christie, Soutra Gilmour and Misty Buckley.


In partnership with Shoreditch Town Hall.


The Old Vic’s Principal Partner Royal Bank of Canada have enhanced their support to become Principal Partner of The Old Vic’s Emerging Talent Programme, enabling The Old Vic 12, the Baylis Director and Baylis Assistant Director programmes, and the Connect Network. As Principal Partner, RBC is helping to sustain the lifeblood of the creative industries when it is needed most, and we are indebted to their generosity and vision.

The Old Vic 12 is generously supported for 2019–2021 by: The Eranda Rothschild Foundation, Claire Bullus, Nathalie & Nicolas Giauque, The Victoria Wood Foundation, The Noël Coward Foundation, The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, The Garrick Charitable Trust, The Leche Trust and The Old Vic Impact Fund.

Shoreditch Town Hall’s commissioning and artist development programme in 2019-21 is generously supported by Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation.

Support The Old Vic 12 by making a donation to the Impact Fund.