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Old Vic 200th Birthday

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by Angela Lord (subscribe)
Freelance writer specialising in arts, travel and entertainment news, previews and reviews.
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Theatre hosts an Open House party for its 200th anniversary


The Old Vic is celebrating its 200th birthday this year with a free street party and Open House events. Anniversary celebrations run over the weekend of 11-13 May, with free entertainment on the Saturday.

On Friday 11 May, the theatre is hosting a free performance of Mood Music. Tickets to the event are being allocated by ballot, with the winning entrants invited to join Artistic Director Matthew Warchus for the festivities.

A marching band will lead the celebrations on Saturday 12 May, starting at 12 noon on the South Bank outside the National Theatre. A procession of revellers will make its way from there to The Old Vic, with pop-up performances along the way.

Once at the theatre, the street party kicks off at 1.30pm, with activities, performances, food stalls, a photo booth and an interactive pedal-powered sound system in the pedestrianised area of Webber Street.

Inside the theatre, there will be a packed programme of free activities including puppetry workshops, stage make-up demonstrations and The Penny Lectures a series of talks inspired by the original 19th Century lecture series. All Open House events are free but require a ticket.

On Saturday evening, the auditorium will be transformed into a cabaret space for the Bicentenary Variety Night fundraiser. Harking back to The Old Vic's days as a Music Hall in the 1880's, the evening will present a mix of new and established acts including comedy, music and dance. Tickets starting from 15 are available for Dress and Baylis Circle seating. Cabaret tickets including refreshments are priced from 70.

The weekend will end with a charity ball on Sunday, raising funds towards securing the future of the historic theatre for the next generation. Tickets to all events at the Old Vic, the Cut, London SE1, can be booked in advance, with a limited allocation of tickets available on the day.
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Why? Old Vic Theatre 200th anniversary
When: 11-13 May 2018
Where: Old Vic, the Cut, London SE1
Cost: Open House and street party free.
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