Vivien Leigh and The Old Vic


‘When I come into the theatre I get a sense of security. I love an audience. I love people, and I act because I like trying to give pleasure to people.’ Vivien Leigh

Vivien Leigh performed with The Old Vic Company 12 times, and was always close to the theatre.

She first performed with The Old Vic Company in June 1937 as Ophelia opposite Olivier’s Hamlet in a production staged at Elsinore, Denmark. She performed on The Old Vic stage in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the role of Titania, and on 12 January 1938, the cast met a young Princess Elizabeth during the interval. According to director Tyrone Guthrie, as Vivien and Robert Helpman bowed and curtsied, their fairy king and queen wire head dresses became entangled and it was down to the Queen and the two young Princesses to detangle them before the second act.

Vivien Leigh at The Old Vic

1937 – The Old Vic Company at Kronberg Castle, Denmark

Ophelia in Hamlet | by William Shakespeare | Directed by Tyrone Guthrie

1937 – The Old Vic, London

Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream | by William Shakespeare | Directed by Tyrone Guthrie | Costumes by Oliver Messel

1943 – North Africa

Various parts in The Spring Party, a revue put on by members of The Old Vic to entertain troops

1948 – The Old Vic Tour of Australia and New Zealand

Lady Anne in Richard III, Lady Teazle in The School for Scandal, and Sabina in The Skin of Our Teeth, all opposite Laurence Olivier, who also directed

1949 – New Theatre, London, for the Old Vic repertory season

Lady Teazle in The School for Scandal

Lady Anne in Richard III

Antigone in Antigone | by Sophocles

1961 – Old Vic Company tour of Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South America

Viola in Twelfth Night | by William Shakespeare

Paola in Duel of Angels | by Jean Giraudoux

Maguerite Gautier in Lady of the Camellias | by Alexandre Dumas| Directed by Robert Helpmann

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