Young Vic Theatre Company Archive

Scope and Content

This collection contains administrative documents, production files, prompt scripts, photographs, posters and programmes relating to the running of the Young Vic and its productions since opening at The Cut in 1970.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Young Vic Theatre Company began as an off-shoot of the Royal National Theatre in 1969, becoming a separate company in 1974. Its aims and principles developed those of the Old Vic Theatre School set up by directors George Devine, Michel St Denis and Glen Byam Shaw in 1946, to provide continuous training and development for actors and directors and to stage classic plays for audiences aged nine to fifteen in a 'Young Vic'. This first Young Vic company ceased in 1951 when its funding was withdrawn but the idea of a theatre for young people with low ticket prices was revived by Laurence Olivier and Frank Dunlop, an Associate Director and Administrative Director at the Royal National Theatre. In 1969 Dunlop became the founding director of the theatre. He was followed by Michael Bogdanov, David Thacker, co-directors Tim Supple and Julia Bardsley, and David Lan.

The theatre was built on The Cut, a bomb-site adjacent to the Old Vic, and opened in 1970 with Molière's The Cheats of Scapino starring popular TV actor Jim Dale. Unlike more traditional spaces, the Young Vic auditorium offered the directness and intimacy of in-the-round performance.The breeze block on steel frame building was designed as a temporary structure with a life expectancy of 5 years but lasted much longer and was renovated between 2004 - 2006 by architects Haworth Tompkins. The new Young Vic boasted a further two performance spaces: The Maria (named after theatre designer Maria Bjornson), and The Clare (named after theatre director Clare Venables) as well as a set of small offices for resident companies to use. Under David Lan, the theatre has become an important centre for the training of theatre directors and community work.


This collection has been arranged as follows:

THM/367/1 - Young Vic Company Management Records

THM/367/2 - Young Vic Company Artistic Management Records (arranged chronologically)

THM/367/3 - Young Vic Company Photographs (arranged chronologically)

THM/367/4 - Young Vic Company Literary Records (arranged alphabetically)

THM/367/5 - Young Vic Multimedia Records

THM/367/6 - Young Vic Company Press and Marketing

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here: .

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Given by Young Vic Theatre Company, 2010.

Posters given by the company in 2013, complementing existing poster holdings as well as for productions that took place between 2006 and 2013.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here: .


Further accruals expected.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Theatre and Performance Department for material relating to the Young Vic Theatre Company Archive including the production, building and photograph files. Other collections relating to the Young Vic Theatre Company. Material relating to Young Vic include the Arts Council of Great Britain (ACGB) and the Douglas H. Jeffery Archive.

Please contact for details.

See also the National Video Archive of Performance (NVAP) recordings for productions recorded at the Young Vic:

  • Pentecost (1995) (VIDEO 95/16/A2/1000)
  • Our Country's Good (1998) (VIDEO 98/11/A2/9000)
  • A Raisin in the Sun (VIDEO 01/09/A/9000)
  • Doctor Faustus (2002) (VIDEO 02/08/A3/9000)
  • Homebody/Kabul (2002) (VIDEO 02/12/A/9000)