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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Robert Dex and Arts Correspondent

Old Vic boss Matthew Warchus leaving south London theatre - but not until 2026

The artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre, Matthew Warchus, has announced he is stepping down from the role.

Warchus, who steered the Waterloo venue through Covid and the fallout from the allegations of sexual misconduct against his predecessor Kevin Spacey, has been in charge since 2014.

He said running the historic venue had been one of his “greatest privileges and pleasures”.

Kevin Spacey was the artistic director at the Old Vic theatre in London (PA)

He added: “My aim has been to deliver ‘entertainment with a purpose’… a varied programme 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.”

Among the hit shows in his time have been the Groundhog Day musical, Glenda Jackson’s return to the stage in King Lear and the Girl from the North Country which was inspired by the music of Bob Dylan.

Warchus has also helped raised thousands for charity with an annual festive production of A Christmas Carol as well as bringing star names such as Matt Smith, Jenna Colman, Sally Field and Daniel Radcliffe to the 1,000 seat venue.The search for his replacement will begun in summer though he will not leave the role until September 2026.

The theatre is run as a charity and does not receive public subsidy.

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