£1m shortfall for Young Vic rebuild

Jeremy Austin

Young Vic fundraisers are still almost £1 million short of the total needed to rebuild the soon to be demolished venue, artistic director David Lan has admitted.

Speaking at a breaking the ground ceremony at the venue in The Cut, south London – which featured one-time usher and youth theatre member Joseph Fiennes – Lan said £11.5 million has now been raised for the redevelopment. With a deadline not until next March, however, he believes the final £1 million will be gathered in time.

“We have got a way to go. We have started building. It will all be down in ten day’s time but we have still got just under £1 million to find by March next year,” he said.

While the fundraising campaign was launched by Jude Law, Fiennes worked with David Calder’s artistic group and helped gather money from industry figures. That effort raised £500,000 and Fiennes said the value of the Young Vic, particularly in attracting young people into the industry, was greatly appreciated by the established professionals who were approached.

“I had the opportunity to watch – as I was an usher – Bob Peck, Helen Mirren and Trevor Nunn. I can’t tell you how important that was,” he said.

“I can speak for many people who are writers or directors, performers or stage crew and it all started here. For me it is a wonderful opportunity to join David and his team in realising the new future for the Young Vic.”

“I think it is really important to have a flagship theatre like the Young Vic and one that reflects the dynamic and refreshing work that is going on inside.”

The redesign is by award-winning and internationally renowned architectural firm Haworth Tompkins and design team Studio Todd Lecat. Verry Construction was selected after a competitive tender to carry out the building work, which will be completed by autumn 2006.

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