The Old Vic, originally named the Royal Coburg Theatre, was designed in 1818 by Rudolph Cabanel. Its name was later changed to the Royal Victoria Theatre, then the Royal Victoria Hall, before it took on its nickname of 'The Old Vic' as its official name in 1925.
The Old Vic has housed acclaimed performances with such celebrated actors as John Gielgud’s Hamlet, Laurence Olivier’s Macbeth and Othello in 1937, and Judi Dench’s Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, which was privately performed for The Queen in 1957.
In 1963, the Old Vic became the home base of the National Theatre of Great Britain during its formation under Laurence Olivier. The theatre continued to host the National Theatre until the move to South Bank in 1976.
There are two entrances to the Old Vic: one on The Cut and the other on Waterloo Road, which is an accessible entrance. In 2019, 'Penny', an accessible basement cafe and bar was opened, offering drinks, sandwiches and snacks.
The auditorium has three levels - Stalls, Dress Circle, and the Lilian Baylis Circle.
Despite the Dress Circle overhang, this doesn’t affect the view due to pillars. There is also a staggered rake that will be noticeable from row J to allow better viewing.
The Lilian Baylis Circle is high above the ground and overhangs the Dress Circle at row C meaning row E will miss the top of the stage. There are also standing seats available at the sides of this circle.
Location: West End
Railway station: Waterloo
Bus numbers: (Waterloo Road) 1, 4, 26, 59, 68, 139, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188, 521, X68; (Mepham Street) 211, 243, 507
Night bus numbers: (Waterloo Road) 139, 176, 188, N1, N68, N171; (Mepham Street) 243
Car park: Waterloo Station (4mins)
Directions from tube: (7mins) Take Mepham Street (100 metres) down to Waterloo Road. Turn right on Waterloo Road, but keep left as the theatre is 100 metres further along on the opposite corner.