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Old Vic, London

The Cut
England SE1 8NB
Tel: 44 870 060 6628
Tube: Southwark, Waterloo, or Lambeth North's insider take:

The boards of this charming theater, a city landmark, were graced by the likes of Sir John Gielgud and Sir Laurence Olivier. Built in 1818, its exterior is classical Georgian, while the ornamental tiered auditorium is an eclectic mish-mash of styles. The National Theatre (now at the South Bank), considered one of the best schools of acting in the world, was founded here in 1963 by Olivier. Kevin Spacey took over as Artistic Director in 2004 and has appeared in some successful high-profile performances, including Richard II and Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten. While the British press has not been kind toward his stewardship, Spacey is fighting to develop the Old Vic as a leading popular theater. As well as catching a show there, it's also possible to take a backstage tour, which includes Olivier's dressing room (e-mail to score a spot). Who knows, the theater's very own ghost might make an appearance.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.