Art at Old Vic Theatre tickets
Art at Old Vic Theatre tickets

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About the show

Three friends and a painting. It may be a simple premise, but it is the basis of one of the most highly acclaimed plays in recent years.

Art returned to London for a run at the Old Vic, directed by Matthew Warchus, during his 2016/2017 season as Artistic Director.

Art premiered in London in 1996 and soon became a phenomenon, winning a huge range of awards, including the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, the Moliere Award for Best Commercial Production, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play, the Tony Award for Best Play and the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy.

Matthew Warchus reunited the entire original creative team behind the original West End production from twenty years ago, helping Art at the Old Vic to become as brilliant as the original.

Art is a play by Yasmina Reza that was originally written in French and first premiered on 28th October 1994 at Comedie des Champs-Elysees in Paris. This was soon followed by an English-language translation which was adapted by Christopher Hampton in October 1996 and starred three West End greats – Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay and Ken Stott, as well as being produced by David Pugh and Sean Connery.

The original production was met with such acclaim, that it ran for eight years, as well as playing for over a year on Broadway during a 600 performance run and featuring Alan Alda, Victor Garber and Alfred Molina.

Set in Paris, the play follows three long-time friends, Serge, Marc and Yvan. After Serge spends a large sum of money on a piece of modern art, which is essentially a completely white painting, his relationship with Marc come under strain under their different opinions of what constitutes art. With Yvan stuck in the middle of the argument with the problem of his own impending marriage, trying to placate his two friends is his only option, however the friendship of the three is put under great strain.

Tim Key took the leading role as Yvan. Key is an Edinburgh Comedy Award winner, in recognition of his unique blend of stand up and poetry, but also has seen great success in the world of radio and theatre. Paul Ritter, best known for his roles in The Audience as John Major and Coram Boy as Otis Gardiner, the latter of which was recognised with a nomination at the Olivier Awards, co-starred as Marc. The trio is completed by Rufus Sewell playing Serge. Sewell is a well known face on both stage and screen, best known for his Olivier Award-winning performance in Rock N' roll, as well as having most recently performed in Closer at the Donmar Warehouse, and also currently appearing in the ITV drama Victoria.

With an ingenious script that contains some of the finest writing of recent years, Matthew Warchus’ new production was one of the highlights of his 2016/2017 season at the Old Vic. Performances of Art at the Old Vic began on 10th December 2016 and ran until 18th February 2017.

Recommended for

Fans of Matthew Warchus’ previous work should not miss the chance to see the brilliant British director at the helm of a play at the Old Vic. Known for recently directing Ghost – The Musical and Matilda – The Musical, Warchus also directed the smash hit British film Pride as well as also previously directing the Yasmina Reza play God Of Carnage.

After the recent success of Jessie Eisenberg’s The Spoils in London’s West End, fans of that production may find similarities to the dry humour between friends in Yasmina Reza’s play.

Age Recommendations: May not be suitable for very young children

Dates and times

Running time: 90 minutes with no interval
Opened: 10 Dec 2016
Press night: 03 Jan 2017
Booking from: 18 Feb 2017
Booking until: 18 Feb 2017

Seating plan

For detailed seating information for Art, please check out our interactive Old Vic Theatre seating plan with 1553 seat reviews and 3 photos of views from seat.

Location and map

Old Vic Theatre
103 The Cut
London, SE1 8NB

36 Reviews Add review

kissmypegs 5'5", 20 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Loved the show and the venue. The show was really interesting although I went into this with no clue what it was about! I wanted to... More

fifilou 5"7, 175 reviews, 6 helpful votes

This was a really good performance and the 90 minutes of ‘Art’ just flew by. Tim Key in particular was an absolute highlight and had... More

joc78 5"4, 435 reviews, 7 helpful votes

A sharp script with zingy dialogue and strong performances make this highly enjoyable and compelling viewing. I liked the simplicity... More

LondonLass 5"1, 248 reviews, 14 helpful votes

An enjoyable 3-hander that showed the relationship between three friends and their relationship with art.

helenkeegan 5' 3", 38 reviews, 0 helpful votes

simondowling 6"2, 136 reviews, 3 helpful votes

simondowling 6"2, 136 reviews, 3 helpful votes

sayers500 178cm, 87 reviews, 2 helpful votes

For all that it's a somewhat weak play, the acting was superb and provided a very enjoyable overall experience.

londontheatrefan 5'4", 204 reviews, 5 helpful votes