Old Vic. Familiar name for S. London th. properly the Royal Victoria Hall, Waterloo Road. Built 1818 as Royal Coburg Hall, being renamed 1833 and becoming mus.-hall. Bought in 1880 by Emma Cons, a social reformer, who renamed it Royal Victoria Coffee Hall and staged operatic excerpts. In 1898 her niece Lilian Baylis took over and, with courageous single-mindedness, developed the th. as a home for cheap-seat Shakespeare and opera, the latter being given twice a week and on alternate Saturday matinées. In 1931 the opera was transferred to new SW Th. and eventually to Coliseum as English National Opera.
Old Vic London theatre. Built in 1818 as the Royal Coburg Theatre, it was renamed the Royal Victoria in 1833, and soon became known as the Old Vic. Under the management of Lilian Baylis from 1898, it gained a reputation for its Shakespearean productions. From 1963 to 1976, it was the home of the National Theatre of Great Britain. The Young Vic opened in 1970.
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