The Hairy Ape at the Old Vic

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The Hairy Ape is an iconic piece of American drama by Pulitzer prize winning play-write Eugene O’Neill.

Richard Jones directs Eugene O’Neill’s timeless classic of class and identity at the Old Vic theatre. The Hairy Ape – a thought provoking, iconic piece of American drama.

The Hairy Ape plays a limited season from 17 October 2015 until 21 November 2015 at the Old Vic theatre.


A classic expressionist masterpiece by Nobel prize-winner Eugene O’Neill, The Hairy Ape tells the story of Yank, a labourer who revels in his status as the strongest stoker on a transatlantic ocean liner. But when Yank is called a ‘filthy beast’ by the overbred daughter of a steel merchant, he experiences an awakening of consciousness that leads him on a journey through the wealthy neighbourhoods and disenfranchised underbelly of New York society. Searching for a way to belong, Yank is forced to confront primal questions about his true place in the world.


Bertie Carvel is to lead the cast in the role of Yank.  The full cast includes Christopher Akrill, Adam Burton, Charlie Cameron, Okorie Chukwu, Buffy Davis, Callum Dixon, Phil Hill, Nicholas Karimi, Ben Lee, Oliver Llewellyn-Jenkins, Luke Murphy, Elan James, Steffan Rhodri and Rosie Sheehy.


Directed by Richard Jones with design by Stewart Laing, choreography by Aletta Collins, lighting by Jordan Sherin and sound by Sarah Angliss.

Richard Jones is an acclaimed, multi-award winning director. His credits include Anna Nicole (Royal Opera House), Public Enemy, The Government Inspector, Annie Get Your Gun (Young Vic), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC), Tales from the Vienna Woods (National Theatre) and Into the Woods (West End).


★★★★ “an expressionist spectacle of caged humanity” The Guardian
★★★★ “Carvel is a man of steel” The Observer
★★★★ “supple and captivating” The Telegraph
★★★★ ‘utterly extraordinary’ The Stage
“Bertie Carvel is immense as the unlikely hero” The Evening Standard

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Theatre Information

The Old Vic
Address: Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8NB
Nearest Underground: Waterloo (Jubilee line, Northern line, Bakerloo line)
Nearest Buses: 1, 68, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188, 501

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