Season 5 at The Old Vic


The Old Vic is thrilled to announce Matthew Warchus’ Season 5 featuring an exciting and eclectic mix of thought-provoking entertainment.

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In addition, The Old Vic is also today launching two new initiatives: an online loyalty scheme called OV Extra, designed to give audiences discounts, insights, invites and surprises for just £5 a month, and Matinee Idols, a social initiative specially for those aged over 60.

Plus we are delighted to announce the appointment of Tina Alexandrou and Olivier Award-winning actress Sheila Atim to The Old Vic Theatre Trust Board of Trustees.



  • The world premiere of a new play by Old Vic Associate Artist Lucy Prebble based on Luke Harding’s book A Very Expensive Poison, directed by John Crowley.
  • Claire Foy and Matt Smith make their Old Vic debuts in Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs, directed by Matthew Warchus.
  • Old Vic Associate Artist Jack Thorne’s version of A Christmas Carol directed by Matthew Warchus returns by popular demand.
  • Alan Cumming and Daniel Radcliffe star in a double bill of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame and Rough for Theatre ll, directed by Richard Jones.
  • A musical adaptation of the hit 1983 film Local Hero directed by John Crowley. Book by Bill Forsyth and Old Vic Associate Artist David Greig with music and lyrics by Mark Knopfler.

Commissions and in development:

  • Commissions for 2019 and beyond include: Ella Hickson with a new version of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Simon Stephens with a new adaptation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People and a new play by Paul Unwin chronicling the birth of the NHS directed by Sarah Frankcom.
  • Following its work-in-progress run at The Old Vic in September 2018 SYLVIA, written (with Priya Parmar), directed and choreographed by Old Vic Associate Artist Kate Prince, is in development for a planned future life.

From The Old Vic:

  • The Olivier Award-winning family production A Monster Calls directed by Sally Cookson will play at the Kennedy Center, Washington.
  • ‘Art’ by Yasmina Reza (directed by Matthew Warchus and revived at The Old Vic in 2016) continues a UK tour.
  • The Olivier Award-winning production of Old Vic Associate Artist Conor McPherson’s Girl from the North Country opens at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto, from September 2019, after a sold-out run at The Public, New York, which began in September 2018.

One of the things I love about theatre is its almost complete disinterest in trivialities. It feeds off – and feeds back – life’s most titanic ideas and emotions. Our next batch of shows at The Old Vic is no exception and delivers five powerful stories in five contrasting genres; a world premiere play, a very topical duologue, a festive celebration, a 20th century classic and a brand new musical. First up is the extraordinary quest for an elusive truth in Lucy Prebble’s dark fantasia A Very Expensive Poison, exploring the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. After that, and hot on the heels of the Extinction Rebellion consciousness-raising demonstrations, there’s an extremely limited run of Duncan Macmillan’s dazzlingly vibrant and profound two-hander, Lungs, which sees a conflicted couple wrestle with huge contemporary dilemmas surrounding the responsibility of bringing new life into an increasingly precarious world. Then there’s the race against time to save the soul of greedy misanthrope Ebenezer Scrooge in Jack Thorne’s emotional sucker-punch adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In January we’ll plunge into the absurdist verbal sparring which comprises Samuel Beckett’s phenomenal play Endgame (playing for the first time in a double bill with his Rough for Theatre II), where human co-dependency, bathos and malevolence is laid bare in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. And, finally, a poignant (and comic) battle to save the environment in the new Scottish musical Local Hero.

These shows continue our social mission to present productions which entwine empathy, politics and entertainment for as wide an audience as possible. If you’ve never visited The Old Vic before, or if you haven’t been back for a while, come along and check out what we’re up to… you’ll be surprised how much we’ve changed

Matthew Warchus, Artistic Director

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