The Old Vic’s Grade II*-listed building had serious physical access limitations. There was no step-free access to the box office, bars, café or loos, preventing those with access requirements from having the full theatre experience, and the auditorium was only able to accommodate a maximum of two wheelchair spaces per performance. It was vital that The Old Vic addressed these issues to truly make the building open and accessible to everyone. Viridor Credits were requested to contribute towards the accessibility of the building and new toilets.
The Box Office and Penny café and bar are now wheelchair accessible for the first time in 201 years and the number of wheelchair spaces in the auditorium has increased from two to a maximum of 10. Notable features include a new accessible entrance on Waterloo Road with a lift up to the new accessible Box Office and inner foyer areas and down to Penny, which now has double the loo provision including a wheelchair accessible loo, baby changing facilities and two ‘roomier’ ambulant loos. Visitors to Penny can also enjoy the new food and drinks menu with a key focus on ethical production and sustainability, underpinned by a commitment to being 100% single-use plastic-free by early 2020. This project also saw the creation of a large outer foyer bar and increased loo provision on the Baylis Circle level. The refurbishment of the Front of House spaces completely transformed the building and welcome more people than ever before.