National Theatre Exhibitions: National Theatre at the Old Vic 1963-1976 - Commission for Response Artwork

Opportunity Closing Date: 
Monday, January 29, 2018 - 17:00

National Theatre Exhibitions: Commission for Response Artwork

National Theatre at the Old Vic 1963-1976, Lyttelton Lounge, NT April – June 2018

An exhibition is planned in spring 2018 to display material from the NT Archive which links with the Old Vic’s Bicentenary. The exhibition will celebrate the Bicentenary, highlighting an extraordinary and innovative period in the theatre history and in the practice of theatre making.The exhibition material has been curated by NT Associate Archivist Natasha Bonnelame.

After decades of campaigning, the National Theatre was established at the Old Vic in 1963. Led by Sir Laurence Olivier, the National Theatre Company spent its first 13 years at the Old Vic, establishing a company of young and emerging actors, playwrights, designers and movement directors. This period witnessed a number of seminal moments in British theatre history and the theatre practitioners involved would go on to have a significant impact not only on British theatre but on the development of 20th century theatre as a whole.

The exhibition will present the following ideas:

  • The opening of the National Theatre at the Old Vic
  • The innovative young company and maker space (the Nissan Huts & Old Vic Annexe where early shows were created and rehearsed)
  • Seminal plays of the 20th century staged by the NT at Old Vic during this period
  • Innovations in stage design in the NT productions during this period
  • Introduction of movement and choreography as a core part of theatre production by the NT during this period

Alongside the exhibition we offer a commission for an artist, a partnership or collective. The commission should respond to and be inspired by the exhibition or other relevant material from the NT Archive and will create a new artwork to be shown concurrently alongside the exhibition.

The artwork could be audio, photography, digital artwork or film suitable to be shown in public within the multi-use foyer in the Lyttelton Lounge at the NT.

The chosen artist/s will receive advice from the NT Archive and NT Exhibitions team to identify further suitable materials which could be inspirational for the new work. The chosen artist/s will receive guidance which will ensure that the artwork complies with NT’s FOH Health and Safety standards.

The commission will take place Feb 2018- April 2018. Commission fee, including travel and production materials (including equipment hire where required) is £2,500. Delivery schedule to be finalised on concept approval.

Please send an A4 (2 sides max) proposal for the commission. You can attach 3 images, audio or film files. Please outline your practice, process and ideas for this commission, as well as a draftplan for the budget.

Please send proposals to Roisin Devine by Monday 29 January, 5pm. Interviews will take place the week beginning Monday 5 February 2018.

For any inquiries or more information, please email