By Mark Shenton
10 Oct 2013
According to press materials, the project is being undertaken "in order to sustain the 195 year old London landmark for the next generation of theatre-goers, creative talent, local community and the general public."
Bennetts Associates have been appointed to devise the restoration scheme, which includes an overhaul of the backstage and front-of-house areas and a new home for the theatre's community, education and talent development program.
There are plans to bring the building to life throughout the day for everyone to enjoy – whether theatregoers or not. This includes a new outside terrace to create more open space for audiences, an all-day café and space for community groups to use. Urgent repairs will be made to the roof, and a new building adjacent to The Old Vic will become a dedicated performance studio for educating school children and students, nurturing new and emerging talent and offering innovative ways for the community to engage with the theatre.
The theatre's front-of-house will be transformed to make it fully accessible for the first time in the venue's history, including eight new wheelchair spaces in the auditorium and an access ramp in the foyer. Increased front-of-house areas will allow double the number of ladies lavatories, and upgraded bars.
Backstage plans include the installation of new mechanical and electrical systems (making it one of the most energy efficient theatres of its age in the U.K.), increased dressing rooms and a green room for actors, and space to bring the entire organization under one (repaired) roof.