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Autumn/Winter 2018 at The Old Vic

Beverley Knight

Season preview

THE OLD Vic has announced its programme for Autumn/Winter 2018 and as well as Sylvia, a modern musical celebrating the life of Sylvia Pankhurst, and the return of Matthew Warchus’ hit production of Charles Dickens’ immortal classic A Christmas Carol, it includes the UK premiere of 17c and the world premiere of Angela Carter’s novel Wise Children.

And in 2019, Lucy Prebble’s new adaptation for the stage of Luke Harding’s A Very Expensive Poison will receive its world premiere.

It has also been announced that this year’s production of A Christmas Carol will star Stephen Tompkinson (ART, West End; Spamalot, West End; Brassed Off and Drop the Dead Donkey) as Ebenezer Scrooge.

Artistic Director of The Old Vic, Matthew Warchus commented:

“The Old Vic’s new identity aims to be more welcoming, more surprising, more entertaining, more daring and more accessible than ever before. Developing a new audience is one of the most important responsibilities of any theatre. It is also one of the greatest pleasures. A very encouraging product of our new approach to mixed programming (classics alongside new writing, musicals alongside dance pieces, art house work alongside populist entertainment) is that since 2015 our overall audience numbers have increased by nearly 10% and are still growing.

“I’m delighted to present four invigorating upcoming productions.”

The UK premiere of 17c, a multi-media dance theatre production conceived and directed by New York choreographer Annie-B Parson who brings her own very popular company, Big Dance Theater, to London for the first time, runs from Wednesday, September 26 to Saturday, September 29.

Samuel Pepys wants to tell us everything. Committed to self-improvement and serial adultery, he is a man desperate to be at the cutting edge.

17c splices music, dance, video and spoken word in a reverb-soaked romp through the tell-all diaries of the famed 17th century philanderer and his tragic wife Bess.

17c is suitable for ages 11+.

The world premiere of Angela Carter’s novel Wise Children, adapted and directed by Emma Rice, runs from Monday, October 8 to Saturday, November 10.

Let’s have all the skeletons out of the closet, today, of all days!

It’s April 23, Shakespeare’s birthday.

In Brixton, Nora and Dora Chance – twin chorus girls born and bred south of the river – are celebrating their 70th birthday. Over the river in Chelsea, their father and greatest actor of his generation Melchior Hazard turns 100 on the same day. As does his twin brother Peregrine. If, in fact, he’s still alive. And if, in truth, Melchior is their real father after all…

Described as a big, bawdy tangle of theatrical joy and heartbreak, Wise Children is a celebration of show business, family, forgiveness and hope. Expect show girls and Shakespeare, sex and scandal, music, mischief and mistaken identity – and butterflies by the thousand.

Emma Rice (Romantics Anonymous, Tristan & Yseult, The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk and Brief Encounter) brings her unique, exuberantly impish vision to Angela Carter’s great last novel, Wise Children, launching her new theatre company of the same name and its London residency at The Old Vic.

Wise Children is suitable for ages 14+.

Lucy Prebble’s new adaptation for the stage of Luke Harding’s A Very Expensive Poison receives its world premiere early in 2019.

A modern-day assassination in the heart of London. In the strange coming together of high-stakes global politics and radioactive villainy, a man pays with his life.

At this time of unnerving global crises and rumblings of a new Cold War, A Very Expensive Poison sends us careering through the shadowy world of international espionage from the townhouses of Fitzrovia to the brothels of Soho.

With dazzling inventiveness, Lucy Prebble (The Effect, ENRON) reimagines Luke Harding’s jaw-dropping exposé of the events behind the tragic death of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.

Joe Penhall’s Mood Music continues at The Old Vic until June 16. It will be followed by the acclaimed Paines Plough production of Sea Wall, performed by Andrew Scott (June 18 to June 30) and the world premiere of visionary director Sally Cookson’s powerful new adaptation of Patrick Ness’ piercing novel A Monster Calls (July 7 to August 25, 2018).

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 0844 871 7628 or visit