NEWS: Old Vic plans feature Emma Rice adaptation of Wise Children & Litvinenko assassination play A Very Expensive Poison

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Two world premieres, a UK premiere and the return of a much-loved Christmas hit production will feature in part one of Matthew Warchus’ fourth season at The Old Vic.

Highlights include:

  • The world premiere of hip hop musical SYLVIA from ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company.
  • The UK premiere of 17c, a multi-media dance theatre production conceived and directed by New York choreographer Annie-B Parson.
  • A world premiere of Angela Carter’s novel Wise Children, adapted and directed by Emma Rice.
  • Jack Thorne’s version of A Christmas Carol directed by Matthew Warchus with Stephen Tompkinson as Ebenezer Scrooge.

Coming soon in 2019 will be:

  • The world premiere of a new adaptation for the stage by Lucy Prebble of Luke Harding’s A Very Expensive Poison about the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko.

Artistic director Matthew Warchus commented:

“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.

“Kate, Annie-B and Emma, in completely different ways, have a fantastic track record of delighting audiences with high-spirited mischief and bold theatrical energy. I am also hugely looking forward to remounting the show and transforming the auditorium again. Of all the shows I have ever directed, I think this might well be my favourite.”


3-22 September 2018 (press night is 11 September)
The world premiere of ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company’s SYLVIA has a book by Prince, Priya Parmar, Josh Cohen and DJ Walde. One hundred years after the first women in Britain were granted the vote, Prince combines dance, hip-hop, soul and funk to shed new light on a remarkable story at the heart of the Suffragette movement. SYLVIA is a modern musical celebrating the life of Sylvia Pankhurst, her pivotal role in the campaign for women’s rights and the price of the passion and politics that tore her family apart.

The cast includes Delroy Atkinson, Carly Bawden, Verity Blyth, John Dagleish, Jade Hackett, Todd Holdsworth, Izuka Hoyle, Beverley Knight, Genesis Lynea, Jaye Marshall, Tachia Newall, Maria Omakinwa, Karl Queensborough, Ross Sands, Witney White and Elliotte Williams-N’Dure.


26-29 September 2018 (press night is 27 September)
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. Conceived and directed by Annie-B Parson (Here Lies Love, Lazarus), New York City-based company Big Dance Theater makes its UK premiere at The Old Vic.

Wise Children

8 October to 10 November 2018 (press night is 17 October)
The world premiere of Angela Carter’s Wise Children is adapted and directed by Emma Rice, co-produced by the Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Oxford Playhouse and York Theatre Royal. A big, bawdy tangle of theatrical joy and heartbreak, Wise Children is a celebration of showbusiness, family, forgiveness and hope. Expect showgirls 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 vision to Carter’s great last novel, Wise Children, launching her new theatre company of the same name and its London residency at The Old Vic.

A Christmas Carol

27 November 2018 to 19 January 2019 (press night 5 December)
A Christmas Carol returns to The Old Vic, adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and directed by Matthew Warchus with Stephen Tompkinson starring as Ebenezer Scrooge.

COMING SOON IN 2019: A Very Expensive Poison

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.

Lucy Prebble (The Effect, ENRON) reimagines Luke Harding’s exposé of the events behind the tragic death of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in this world premiere.

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Press Releases on Twitter
Press Releases
MyTheatreMates publishes a selection of daily press releases sent to us by publicists of the relevant show or theatre. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies contained within these materials.

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