The Old Vic today announces the inaugural season of new Artistic Director Matthew Warchus, which features an eclectic programme ranging from a newly-adapted Ibsen classic starring Ralph Fiennes to the world premiere of a new musical, Groundhog Day, with new commissions including a stage adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, a dance production and a series of variety nights embracing The Old Vic’s history and its roots in music, dance and vaudeville.


As Artistic Director Designate, Matthew Warchus commented:

‘After 25 years of freelance directing I unexpectedly find myself running my favourite theatre in the world. Or, if you like, my two favourite theatres since The Old Vic can now transition with relative ease between London’s best in-the- round space and the traditional, magnificent end-on auditorium. During my tenure I look forward to playing seasons in both of these great configurations.

My first season demonstrates our aim to present more productions per year, of wide-ranging work, in a ‘something for everyone’ approach which reflects my own eclectic tastes and love of this unique and uplifting art form. In its dazzling history, The Old Vic has been home not only to great acting but also to dance, musical extravaganzas, vaudeville and spectacle. This diverse heritage is a big part of my inspiration going forward.

When Lilian Baylis ran The Old Vic she kept a sign over her desk which read “Dare, always dare!”. Taking my cue from her, my goal is to programme invigorating seasons which are, by turns, surprising, smart, adventurous, and fun. Come and join in.’


Productions will include:

A new play, Future Conditional, by Tamsin Oglesby, featuring 23 young performers, directed by Matthew Warchus, starring Rob Brydon

The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neill, directed by Richard Jones

The premiere of a new stage adaptation by David Greig of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax directed by Max Webster

An Ibsen classic, The Master Builder, in a new adaptation by David Hare with Ralph Fiennes in the title role, directed by Matthew Warchus

A new dance thriller, Jekyll & Hyde, created by one of the UK’s most innovative theatre choreographers, Drew McOnie

Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker, starring Timothy Spall, directed by Matthew Warchus

The world premiere of a new musical adaptation of the film Groundhog Day, book by original screenwriter Danny Rubin, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, choreography by Peter Darling and directed by Matthew Warchus

A series of Variety Nights inspired by The Old Vic’s vaudeville history featuring household names and newcomers in comedy, music, magic and variety

The Old Vic Community Company on The Old Vic stage for a week for the first time with a new commissioned work, Rise


The Old Vic announces a wide range of future work, programmes and creative opportunities for the forthcoming year and beyond:

New commissions to Richard Bean, Caroline Bird, Dennis Kelly, David Nicholls, Diana Nneka Atuona and Mark Watson, plus the creation of a ground-breaking new musical commissioning fund

The appointment of a diverse range of Associate Artists split across several disciplines including Writing, Choreography, Photography, Design, Music, Sound, Lighting, Casting and Magic

The creation of The Baylis Director for early career directors, offering a year-long residency mentored by Matthew Warchus, direction of a main stage production and funds to commission new work

A new transfer partnership with theatre producers Scott Rudin and Sonia Friedman, giving Old Vic shows a potential life in the West End and on Broadway

Coming attractions in future seasons include the first revival of Art by Yasmina Reza, the 50th anniversary production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard, and a new musical based on the film Pride written by Stephen Beresford


The Royal Bank of Canada will become The Old Vic’s new Principal Partner for the next three years, directly enabling more productions on The Old Vic stage than ever before.

The Old Vic also announces two new corporate partnerships:

 A new ticketing scheme, PwC £10 Previews, will make half of all seats at the first five previews of each production available for just £10*


Chief Executive Sally Greene commented:

‘Matthew’s first season gives us a taste of what is to come throughout his tenure – a vibrant and varied programme with a strong commitment to new writing and musicals, alongside classics and artistic adventure.

This, teamed with his commitment to opening up the theatre to anyone who wants to join in, and a real passion for supporting young directors in the way that he himself was supported, is set to make this a thrilling chapter in The Old Vic’s history.’


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