London SE1 website team

Old Vic theatre plans major restoration project

The Old Vic has announced plans for a major restoration of the 195-year-old theatre building in The Cut.

The Old Vic
The Old Vic. Photo: Max Humphrey

The Old Vic has appointed Bennetts Associates to devise a restoration scheme with a planning application due to be submitted to Lambeth Council last month.

The theatre's artistic director Kevin Spacey has often talked about the poor state of the building's roof and urgent repairs form a crucial part of the plan.

New proposals include an new outside terrace to create more open space for audiences, an all-day cafe and space for community groups to use.

A new building adjacent to The Old Vic will house a dedicated performance studio for educating school children and students, nurturing new and emerging talent and offering innovative ways for the community to engage with the theatre.

Front of house will be transformed to make it fully accessible for the first time in The Old Vic's history, including eight new wheelchair spaces in the auditorium and an access ramp in the foyer.

The number of ladies' lavatories will be doubled and the bars will be upgraded.

Backstage plans include installing new energy-efficient mechanical and electrical systems, better dressing rooms and a green room for actors.

As The Old Vic is a charity that is entirely dependent on box office revenue and voluntary income, it will be asking individuals, companies, trusts and foundations to enable the completion of the restoration project.

• Local residents can learn more about the plans at the South Bank Forum on Thursday 24 October.

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