Matthew Warchus announces Season 2 at the Old Vic Theatre

Matthew Warchus, artistic director of The Old Vic, announced his second season in charge with productions that will include Glenda Jackson as King Lear, the world premiere of Samuel Beckett’s monologue No’s Knife, a revival of the West End hit Art and Woyzeck starring John Boyega.

Season 2 marks Glenda Jackson’s return to the stage following a 25-year absence; Jackson will play the title role in King Lear which will also feature Jane Horrocks, Rhys Ifans, Simon Manyonda and Harry Melling.

The season opens with the world premiere of Samuel Beckett’s monologue No’s Knife; Lisa Dwan, recognised as modern theatre’s foremost adaptor of Beckett’s work presents a new interpretation of this monologue.

Matthew directs the 20th anniversary production of Yasmina Reza’s Art, reuniting the entire original team to revisit Reza’s dazzling study of friendship, prejudice and tolerance.

Star Wars actor John Boyega is to play Georg Büchner’s murdering military barber in a new version of Woyzeck by multi award winning play-wright Jack Thorne. Büchner’s Woyzeck, unfinished on his death in 1837 and first published in 1879, is widely regarded as the first “modern” drama.  Based on the true story of a military barber who stabbed to death his mistress in a fit of jealousy and was sentenced to death in 1821, the Guardian’s Michael Billington said it was “A naturalistic tragedy, a damning social critique, a lower-class King Lear, a debate on free will and determinism.”

The season will also see the return of the critically acclaimed production of The Lorax, a 50th anniversary celebratory production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard, a world premiere adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s classic film, Fanny and Alexander, adapted by Stephen Beresford, and a new version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore.

Warchus, who succeeded Kevin Spacey at the helm last year, said: “Anyone who has visited The Old Vic in the last eight months will have felt the new wave of energy which has swept through the building.”

“There’s a completely fresh approach to how we programme our productions and events. There’s much more happening, and for a much wider range of people. For a theatre without public funding this is no mean feat. It’s an exciting shift, aimed at consolidating the Old Vic as a vibrant and indispensable part of London’s artistic scene. With my second season, we continue our mission to be a leading creative hub in the capital, and further afield, radiating an energising and unintimidating spirit, as we celebrate the best of what theatre can be.”

NO’S KNIFE
by Samuel Beckett
Performed by Lisa Dwan
29 September 2016 – 15 October 2016

KING LEAR
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Deborah Warner
Starring Glenda Jackson, with Jane Horrocks, Rhys Ifans, Simon Manyonda and Harry Melling
25 October 2016 – 3 December 2016

ART
by Yasmina Reza
Translated by Christopher Hampton
Directed by Matthew Warchus
2 December 2016 – 16 January 2017

WOYZECK
by Georg Büchner in a new version by Jack Thorne
Directed by Joe Murphy
25 February 2017 – 15 April 2017