Come this way. – Follow us up to the rehearsal room.
– Yeah. – And here’s the rehearsal room.
– This is the rehearsal room. It’s been the rehearsal room,
I’m pretty sure, for the entire time this theatre has been here. There’s a lot of history here and a lot of pictures in the green room, with Olivier in here… – And Gielgud.
– Yeah, it’s got a lot of history. So this is where we started our rehearsals and for six weeks, really,
this was our home. Yeah, and it was very, very good fun. It was slightly, I think, intimidating
for the first couple of weeks because we had to get over the existential
crisis of performing Tom Stoppard’s words in front of Tom Stoppard! – Tom Stoppard would sit here.
– Yeah. – If you can imagine that.
– Yeah. With some sweets. – He loves sweets, so we got on!
– Yeah! What’s great about rehearsing here is that you’re rehearsing in the theatre,
which isn’t always the case. You get to know everyone here,
so you become part of the team, really. The Old Vic, I guess, where it’s situated,
it’s kind of… It’s unmissable, so I’ve always kind of
eyed it with a certain amount of, er… salivation, if you like, as a place
I’d love to work in. It’s so seeped in history, so seeped in quality and so seeped in
a kind of mischief as well, which really appeals to me. It’s done 200 years of, basically,
being one of the best theatres in London. That is an incredible run
and the perfect counterpoint to that is that it’s so “now”, it’s so contemporary. Every bit of work
that goes on here has some kind of resonance with what is going on today. Whether that’s literal
or metaphorical, it’s always there. There can’t be many spaces in this country that have such a diverse ambition. Working under that roof with people
in every corridor, cupboard, office, going full-throttle to be able to create
energetic, diverse and exciting work is absolutely exhilarating. – OK, here we are!
– This is backstage. This is backstage at the Old Vic. – These are the very large wings.
– They, normally, I suppose… – Before you.
– Oh, thanks. Normally, I suppose,
this would all be backstage as well. Except, for our show,
they let us take up all of that space, so that we two already little people
look even littler in this enormous space! They’ve also pushed the stage
past the proscenium as well, over here. It would normally stop here
at this lovely proscenium arch and where our iron is up there,
but they pushed it out into the auditorium and taken some seats out as well,
to allow that to happen. – That’s a ladder.
– (LAUGHS) – That is also in the show.
– I think we, in a way, get the best view. Hopefully, they enjoy watching this as well. – But we get to see this.
– Yeah. I think, sitting up there,
you get a sense of the scale of it. But here,
I think it feels pretty intimate, right? Yeah, absolutely. DREW: The Old Vic provided me
an extraordinary opportunity to develop my first
full-length dance piece. The very fact that
somewhere like the Old Vic programmed a full-length,
two-act, essentially ballet, was utterly thrilling
and really bold and really daring. That kind of aspiration,
ambition from the theatre was seen through
right till opening night. Nothing was said no to –
it was all about going further, being bolder, being braver
and continuing to be daring. I think the programming
at the Vic has been very eclectic. The reason for that
is to encourage new audiences
to come through. So, musicals might not be your thing, but you might like the traditional, old revivals or you might like… a dance number or whatever,
so there’s something for everyone. I got involved in the Old Vic in 2013. That was with the Old Vic Community Company. They help out residents from all boroughs, just to do with performing, backstage work,
community shows. There’s also the Frontline Scheme,
which I took part in as well. That’s to help 16 to 20-year-olds
in work experience, getting to know how front of house works,
how the bar works, how a duty manager operates
and a supervisor. Once I did come into the Old Vic,
my life did change and I haven’t left since. So, obviously, it’s been a brilliant
pleasure to be a part of it. Now we’re going into front of house. This is where everyone will be arriving
shortly to watch us do our play. – This play, specifically.
– Yeah. Or any play. – We might do a different one, who knows?
– Yeah. So, this is the box office area. And, er… There’s the neon above
the entrance – “Dare, always dare”, which, I believe, was Lilian Baylis
and is kind of the motto of the place. It’s just one of those essential London
theatres that exists to do interesting work and champion that, you know. I feel that comes across in the ethos
of everybody that works here. They’re of that mindset, which is very
exciting to be in the middle of. Human nature is immutable. I think the Vic
has a reputation which is equally immutable. Not only because of its past,
but what it’s done in the recent past and now in the future. That idea of attracting to it people who would not automatically think
of going to the theatre is vital. Because there isn’t going to be any theatre
in the future, if we don’t create that wanting to go and letting people see that it can be a unique experience. I mean, it is extraordinary, is it not, that a group of strangers comes in
quite by chance, sits down in the dark and another group of strangers to them
come on in the light. And somehow, there is an energy
that goes from the light to the dark and that is reinforced and is sent back. And during an evening, hopefully,
that kind of perfect circle is created. There’s nowhere else like it in the world.