Old Vic Theatre to reopen with revivals and new works

Terry Gilliam is to co-direct Into the Woods as part of the Old Vic Theatre’s new programme of revivals and new plays through to 2022

Old Vic Theatre opening

The Old Vic Theatre has revealed its line-up for June through to summer 2022, including revivals of Caryl Churchill’s A Number, Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods and Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter alongside new work.

The shows will feature actors such as Daniel Mays, David Thewlis, Noma Dumezweni, Patsy Ferran, Luke Thallon, Lennie James and Paapa Essiedu, working with directors including Terry Gilliam, Lyndsey Turner, Emma Rice, Jeremy Herrin and Leah Hausman.

The first part of the programme over the summer features both digital and in-person productions, starting on 2 June with the digital-only return of Queers – a series of solo plays by different writers, curated by Mark Gatiss.

Performed in 2017 to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, the original Queers monologues will be followed by two new commissions with stories from the wider LGBTQ+ community, available exclusively on The Old Vic’s YouTube channel from 30 June.

Also online only will be Home?, a collection of global voices, stories and experiences to mark Refugee Week, from 14 to 20 June. Featuring three new monologues created in collaboration with refugee artists, it is curated by actor and refugee-child Noma Dumezweni.

Daniel Mays and David Thewlis will star in Pinter’s darkly funny, insidiously menacing classic, The Dumb Waiter, from 7 to 10 July, directed by Jeremy Herrin. It will be performed at the London theatre on stage before a live audience but also streamed live every day.

Percy and Eleonore Adlon’s acclaimed 1987 film Bagdad Café will be brought to the stage by Emma Rice’s theatre company, Wise Children, in the company’s signature playful, visual and emotional style. It focuses on two women thrown together by chance at a remote café and motel on Route 66 and promises to be “a joyful celebration of togetherness, hope and friendship”. It will be performed for a live audience at the Old Vic from 19 July to 28 August and live streamed from 25 to 28 August.

Bess Wohl’s new play, Camp Siegfried, will receive its world premiere at the Old Vic from 7 September to 30 October, featuring Patsy Ferran and Luke Thallon. Directed by Katy Rudd, it tells a story of a boy and girl who meet at a summer camp for indoctrinating American youth of German descent with Nazi ideology, inspired by the real Camp Siegfried on New York City’s Long Island in the 1930s.

After the return of Jack Thorne’s award-winning adaptation of A Christmas Carol from 13 November to 8 January, The Old Vic will present a new production of Caryl Churchill’s modern classic, A Number, directed by Lyndsey Turner, from 24 January to 19 March. It will star Lennie James and Paapa Essiedu.

Film director and Monty Python star Terry Gilliam will co-direct a new production of Sondheim’s Into the Woods with long-time collaborator Leah Hausman. Exploring the darkness that hides behind fairy tales, it will run from 16 April to 9 July 2022.

The Old Vic has also announced four new commissions for writers Diana Nneka Atuona, Natasha Gordon, Regina Taylor and Roy Williams.

Future work in development includes an adaptation of When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr with book and lyrics by Caroline Bird and music by Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler, and The NHS Play which is in development with Atri Banerjee, Sarah Frankcom and Paul Unwin.

Its team of developing artists, Old Vic 12, continue their development of three new play commissions, which will culminate in a week of “digital celebration” in June 2021.

The Old Vic’s artistic director, Matthew Warchus, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be reopening our doors to live audiences and rebooting in person all of the other important work that The Old Vic engages in alongside its main stage productions.

“It’s particularly gratifying to be able to play our part in bringing theatre freelancers, including writers, directors, designers, choreographers, musicians and performers, back to work after an impossibly challenging period.”

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About Mark Ludmon 237 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre as well as hospitality and drinks after starting out on regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He has also been on the judging panel for the Olivier Awards. He can be found tweeting as @MarkLudmon and writing about theatre at https://markludmon.com.