Happy Birthday Lilian Baylis


Just two days before we celebrate our own, we are also celebrating the great Lilian Baylis’ birthday.

Music-lover, impresario, producer, fundraiser, honorary degree-holder, frugal, devout, dog-lover; Lilian was many things, and without her, the arts landscape would look very different to how it looks today.

Under her management and tireless spirit, The Old Vic thrived and Sadler’s Wells returned from dereliction. After her death the roots from her work began to spread and the National Theatre, the Royal Ballet, the Bristol Old Vic, the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the English National Opera were born.

Lilian, having no children of her own, was mother to a great legacy of music, dance and theatre. She was loved by some, ruffled the feathers of many more.

She served The Old Vic for 39 years, ensuring its survival against the odds.

She was often rude, frequently obstinate, but always driven, endlessly tenacious and a constant inspiration to us all.