About the Old Vic Theatre
The Old Vic Theatre dates back to 1818, when it was first used as a playhouse and underwent several renames and refurbishments before settling in its current state in 1912 when Lillian Baylis took over management of the theatre. Baylis focused on producing Shakespeare at the venue and between 1914-1923 staged the Bard’s entire First Folio – the first theatre in the world to do so.
The Old Vic was badly damaged during World War II, suffering multiple bomb explosions during the Blitz. In 1963, the National Theatre Company was formed at the theatre, led by legendary actor and director Laurence Olivier. The company remained at the Old Vic until 1976 when they moved their permanent premises on the South Bank. Many of the world’s best actors performed on the Old Vic stage during this time, including Maggie Smith, Peter O’Toole, Judi Dench and Derek Jacobi.
The Old Vic celebrated its 200th birthday in 2018 with a major bicentenary season, which included starry revivals of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, Noël Coward’s Present Laughter and an acclaimed adaptation of A Christmas Carol, which returns to the theatre every year for the festive season.