Cast gathers to buy Old Vic
Sunday 07 June 1998
Canadians Ed and David Mirvish, owners of The Old Vic, have set a deadline of 1 July for bids for the historic theatre, made famous by Lilian Baylis before becoming the first home of The National Theatre under Sir Laurence Olivier in the Sixties.
It is understood that on 1 July an announcement will be made of a lottery application for funds to keep the building in London's Waterloo district as a theatre.
Sir Peter Hall, who ran an acclaimed repertory season at The Old Vic last year, is understood to be one of those involved in the plan, which could see him returning to the theatre to mount further seasons. Other names understood to be crucial to the plan include Stephen Daldry, director of The Royal Court theatre and producer Sally Greene, head of Criterion Productions.
No one involved would comment last week, but a source confirmed that a plan was afoot to raise Lottery money and buy the theatre, and it was hoped to bring Sir Peter Hall back to The Old Vic. He is currently running a season at the Piccadilly Theatre.
Chris Smith, the Culture Secretary, is thought to have been kept abreast of developments and is likely to lend his support. In February he surprised the audience at the Olivier Awards by publicly begging the Mirvishes not to rush into a quick sale.
"Please don't rush into a disposal of the Old Vic and give all the rest of us a chance to come forward with good high-quality proposals for it to run as a theatre, with a vital role to play in London's life," Mr Smith said.
David Mirvish and his father, who acquired The Old Vic in 1982 for pounds 550,000, spent millions renovating it, and are looking for bids of about pounds 7.5m for the Grade II listed building. Mr Mirvish says he wants the building to remain a theatre.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...