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Copyright: September 10, 2017
By: Laura Deni
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THE OLD VIC IN LONDON RECEIVES OFFICIAL ROYAL SUPPORT
The Old Vic is a 1,067 seat, Georgian architecture style theatre in London which
has an official American Association.
All performance arts spaces appreciate and need support. But, when that support is both official and royal
then it becomes bust your buttons celebration time.
That is what is taking place in London at the The Old Vic which was "thrilled to announce that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has become the Royal Patron of The Old Vic to mark our bicentenary year in 2018."
In a letter introducing The Old Vic's bicentenary year, Prince Charles said: 'As The Old Vic celebrates this remarkable milestone, I can only congratulate its staff and supporters on all that has been achieved so far and I wish this great national institution every possible success for the next two hundred years.'
To mark the appointment and the institution’s 200th birthday, a new partnership with The Prince’s Trust was
announced to provide work placements for youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds.
American Kevin Spacey headed up The Old Vic for a decade and was knighted by Prince Charles. Photo: Clarence House
In June 2015 Prince Charles represented his mother bestowed upon two time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey
the title of Knight Commander, the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, which was conferred upon the
House of Cards actor for his services to theatre, arts and international culture at Clarence House, London.
"I feel like an adopted son" said Spacey as he was knighted. "Theatre is alive and well, people love it."
Spacey can now officially place the letters KBE behind his name.
Referring to the support of Prince Charles, the Old Vic stated: "His patronage maintains a royal connection with the
theatre dating to its establishment in 1818. The foundation stone for the theatre, originally named the Royal Coburg,
was laid by Princess Charlotte of Wales. It was renamed the Old Vic in honor of Queen Victoria,
who first visited in 1833 aged 14. Its centenary gala in 1918 was presided over by Queen Mary, Charles’
great-grandmother. Then in 1929, his grandmother Elizabeth - later the Queen Mother - unveiled a plaque
on the front in honor of its benefactress Emma Cons, which will be restored in the coming year. As part of
Charles’s association, the Old Vic will provide four work placements a year for those who attend The Prince’s Trust’s Get
Hired projects, which help thousands of disadvantaged young people."
Claudia Jolly (Katherine Draper) and Sam Reid (Gene Laine) in Girl From The North Country
at The Old Vic. Photo by Manuel Harlan
Currently on stage is Girl From The North Country written and directed by Conor McPherson with music and lyrics by
Bob Dyland which continues through October 7 with persistent reports that the musical will transfer to Broadway.
The Old Vic is encouraging American participation in the Old Vic.
A well kept secret is that for several years there has been The American Associates of The Old Vic,
comprised of a group of theater-lovers who support theater in New York and London and, in particular,
the work of The Old Vic. The group "puts strong emphasis on showcasing American artists; in NY, we run a unique
mentoring program for the best young actors, directors, writers and producers; we also partner with BAM and Neal
Street Productions in the Bridge Project."
Old Vic in London is now trying harder to get the word out.
Their website states: "Did you know that if you are an American tax payer, wherever in the world you live,
you could be part of The American Associates of The Old Vic which is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization?
The American Associates of The Old Vic (AAOV) play an important part in forging the transatlantic
partnerships and associations that make such cultural exchanges possible."
Girl From The North Country is a recipient of 2016 Edgerton New Play Award and was supported
by the American Associates of The Old Vic.
Vivien Leigh, 1941, by Cecil Beaton.