Matthew Warchus Sets Departure From London's Old Vic | Playbill

London News Matthew Warchus Sets Departure From London's Old Vic

The Tony winner has led the company as artistic director since 2015.

Matthew Warchus at a special NYC screening of Netflix's Matilda Michaelah Reynolds

Tony winner Matthew Warchus will step down from his position as artistic director of London's The Old Vic in September 2026, ending an 11-year tenure that began in 2015.

Under Warchus' tenure, The Old Vic has given world premieres to 25 works, and transferred many productions to the West End and Broadway, including Groundhog Day and the 2019 Broadway iteration of A Christmas Carol. The latter, directed by Warchus and featuring a script by Jack Thorne, has become an annual holiday tradition at The Old Vic, which has remounted the production every year since 2017.

Warchus also notably led the company through the COVID-19 shutdown, during which The Old Vic launched a groundbreaking In Camera season that streamed several productions live from the company's stage to computer screens and TVs around the world. The season was seen by over 100,000 households across 93 countries.

"Being the artistic director of The Old Vic has been one of my life’s greatest privileges and pleasures. It is without question my favorite theatre in the world," says Warchus in a statement. "As a charity without any regular public subsidy, the survival of The Old Vic is dependent on regularly filling its 1,000 seats by engaging as wide an audience as possible with work of the highest quality. An average year of performances at The Old Vic will necessarily play to a total capacity greatly exceeding that of most of the exciting, but much smaller, producing venues in the capital—more than double the Young Vic, about three times the Almeida, Hampstead, and Royal Court, and more than four times that of the Donmar. And for the same reasons, The Old Vic’s accessible ticket scheme likely provides more affordable tickets than any other London theatre except for the National.

"This level of reach represents a great opportunity, challenge and responsibility. My aim has been to deliver ‘entertainment with a purpose’… a varied program of work with always something important to say but which doesn’t feel like medicine… and I’m proud of the many fun, uplifting, and inspiring productions we have presented throughout my tenure. The greatest joy and privilege, however, is in the huge number of first-time theatregoers we continue to welcome through our doors. This quintessential playhouse with an exhilarating spirit of adventure, The Old Vic really is the perfect place to experience theatre for the first time.

"The Old Vic board, senior management team, and entire staff is comprised of brilliant colleagues, who have provided exemplary support and expertise and, the truth is, I would happily stay for many more years, but it’s time to pass on this very prestigious baton. Meanwhile, I’m delighted to be continuing for two more seasons and look forward to announcing those upcoming shows in due course."

A search for a successor will begin this summer.

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