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It’s an honour to welcome you to our first season at The Old Vic, one of the great theatres of the world.
I was first brought here as a boy by my theatre-going parents and it’s had a hold on my imagination ever since. When I appeared in London in The Iceman Cometh at the Almeida in 1998 and I got to produce the show in the West End, I knew as soon as I stood on the stage that this was the theatre for me. The Old Vic had worked its magic again.
I am often asked what will the new Old Vic Theatre Company be? What will define it and make it distinctive from other companies? The honest answer is that I don’t yet know. A company doesn’t just spring into existence fully formed. It evolves. The work you do begins to define it, the people you choose to work with certainly define it and, of course, the taste and instincts of the artistic director play a large part.
What we do know at this historic moment of launching our first season is that we intend to put on great shows that you will want to see; we want to invest in emerging talent through our Old Vic New Voices programme; we want to invest in young audiences through making available 100 seats a night at £12 a ticket for 25 year olds and under, and we want to play a full part in the Waterloo community.
This is a tall order without a penny of subsidy. So all of us at The Old Vic feel indebted to Morgan Stanley, for having the generosity and the imagination to support us in our first season. And I personally am also grateful to Sally Greene, the chief executive of The Old Vic Theatre Trust and an investor in The Old Vic Theatre Company; Sir Elton John, the Chairman of the Trust; David Liddiment, my producer; the unbelievably small staff at The Old Vic who have worked so hard to make this season a success; and those other professionals not on the staff who have been generous with their time, their talent and their skills so that we might flourish.
Finally, I want to give a particular thank you to members of The Old Vic Club and the Friends of The Old Vic who are our most frequent ticket buyers and who have generously supported us through their membership. This financial support is truly vital to us in helping us to achieve what we have set out to do. May I urge you to read about membership on page 63 and support us if you can.
And thank you all most sincerely for joining us tonight on the first step of what I hope will be an incredible journey. Have a great evening and come back to see us again soon.
Kevin Spacey Artistic Director
Directors Letter, Old Vic Magazine