201 years after its first opened, Waterloo's Old Vic theatre has marked the completion of the restoration of its front-of-house areas, including a much-anticipated doubling of toilet provision for theatregoers.
"We set out to make changes to The Old Vic that were reflective of the needs of today's audiences and our local community," said executive director Kate Varah.
"An accessible front of house, new lift, 10 auditorium wheelchair spaces, double the loo provision, an additional bar, and an ethically produced sustainable range of food and wine on offer, all feel like significant steps towards securing The Old Vic's future as an artistic powerhouse and a vital civic resource."
Guests at Tuesday's launch event included Southwark Council leader Peter John who – along with his Lambeth counterpart Jack Hopkins – has been a leading supporter of the theatre.
Together, the two councils are loaning The Old Vic £7.5 million to kickstart the £12 million project to build a new Annex for community and education work.
He said: "The Annex will play an absolutely crucial role in consolidating The Old Vic as an exciting and indispensable producing theatre at the heart of its community, and I am delighted to be extending my tenure in order to see it to fruition."
The Old Vic is also inviting charities – with a preference for those working in Lambeth and Southwark – to apply to be the recipient of this year's bucket collections from audiences at the Christmas production. Organisations can visit www.oldvictheatre.com/charity for information on application criteria.
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