The Old Vic theatre hosted a star-studded ‘Tomorrow Gala’ to raise vital funds in support of building a new five-storey arts and education hub, The Annex, connected to its historic theatre. The evening raised £900,000 towards the biggest expansion in the theatre’s history to further enable its social mission supporting emerging talent, the community, and young people through education, access to industry training and life skills and accessibility of theatre. Attendees supporting the cause included actors Jason Isaacs, Andrew Scott, Sheila Atim, Hugh Bonneville, Indira Varma, Jim Carter among a host of past and present Old Vic alumni. Bringing further glamour to the proceedings were entertainers Tim Minchin, Darcey Bussell, and Ronnie Wood among others.
The Old Vic’s Artistic Director and director of Matilda The Musical, Matthew Warchus said of the mission ‘by embedding this bricks and mortar commitment to community, education and artist development work into the fabric of our building, we can help ensure that this invaluable, life-changing outreach work becomes part of the bones of the Old Vic.’
Guests were treated to a moving performance by Matilda the Musical’s Alisha Weir and Tim Minchin along with the House Gospel Choir of St James’s Church of England school in Bermondsey, singing ‘Still Holding My Hand’. Groundhog Day’s Andy Karl and Tanisha Spring sang ‘If I Had My Time Again’ and the cast of Sylvia performed ‘Stand Up’, led by Sharon Rose. There were guest appearances by legendary actors Sir Ian McKellan and Sir Mark Rylance and further performances by Tim Minchin, the House Band, a DJ set by South London Soul Train’s Micky Smith as well as Magicians.
The design of the gala was by award winning set designer Rob Howell. Alongside Taittinger Champagne and three signature cocktails, Organic Bangers and Mash was served in honour of Lilian Baylis who ran the theatre between 1897–1937, who used to cook this meal before performances.
The gala’s Headline Partner was Royal Bank of Canada. Other supporters included Sacred Spirits, The Sourcing Table and Camden Brewery.