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The Old Vic Announces This Year's Old Vic 12

The Old Vic 12 is a group of developing artists ready to take  the next step in their careers.

Today, The Old Vic and Shoreditch Town Hall announce this year's Old Vic 12 - a group of writers, producers, directors and creatives who, since March, have been working together digitally and in person, in line with social distancing, to create three new pieces of work.

The Old Vic 12 are: Penny Babakhani, Milli Bhatia, Nicola Chang, Poppy Corbett, Tim Foley, Chi-San Howard, Hannah Joss, Nassy Konan, Cindy Lin, Reece McMahon, Madelaine Moore and Nessah Muthy.

Introduced by Artistic Director Matthew Warchus in 2015, The Old Vic 12 is a group of developing artists ready to take the next step in their careers. The scheme provides access and insights into top-level theatre-making, mentoring from industry experts, opportunities to deliver masterclasses to emerging artists and paid opportunities to collaborate with each other to create brand new work.

This year, for the first time, the scheme will go beyond The Old Vic in a collaboration with Shoreditch Town Hall where, following the year-long attachment, the plays will be presented in spring 2021. This year's chosen plays are: Gobble Gobble Gobble Gobble Goblin by Tim Foley, Fake Melania by Poppy Corbett and Jineolojî by Nessah Muthy.

The Old Vic is London's independent theatre in receipt of no regular public subsidy; every penny needed to produce the work on and off stage has to be raised through ticket sales and donations. Yet, despite this, initiatives to nurture, encourage and inspire creative, local and theatre-going communities remain at the centre of its social mission. The theatre is able to achieve this through the generosity of many individuals, corporate supporters and Trusts & Foundations. We are grateful recipients of the Culture Recovery Fund which provides significant funding through to March 2021 to assist with The Old Vic's reopening and futureproofing.

In addition, The Old Vic's Principal Partner, Royal Bank of Canada, has enhanced its support to become Principal Partner of The Old Vic's Emerging Talent Programme, enabling The Old Vic 12, the Baylis Director and Baylis Assistant Director Programmes, and the Connect Network.

This hugely generous additional donation from the RBC Foundation marks the exciting expansion of the RBC Emerging Artists Project to Europe, of which The Old Vic are proud to be a part. The launch of this programme reflects RBC's long standing commitment to supporting emerging artists, with its Canadian programme flourishing for more than a decade.

RBC recognises the important role artists play in building vibrant communities and strong economies. Without such well established and industry renowned programmes, which offer paid development opportunities to young talent, the industry risks falling drastically behind in its attempt to diversify the talent pool, or worse still, losing an entire generation of theatre-makers at a time when culture is more critical than ever to our economic and social survival.

The enhancement of RBC's support of The Old Vic at this vital time demonstrates its profound recognition of the unique value of the cultural industries in building vibrant communities and strong economies, and its passionate promotion of

diversity, social mobility and accessibility within the arts and society. As Principal Partner of The Old Vic's Emerging Talent Programme, RBC is helping to sustain the lifeblood of the creative industries when it is needed most, and we are indebted to its generosity and vision.

CEO RBC Europe Ltd, Dave Thomas, commented: 'At RBC, our commitment to the arts enables diverse artists to bridge the gap from 'emerging' to 'established', which is why we are delighted to expand our partnership with The Old Vic as part of RBC's Emerging Artists Project. The joy that The Old Vic brings to the community is incomparable and something that RBC is committed to supporting through unlocking the potential of these artists during this uncertain time'

Artistic Director, Matthew Warchus, and Executive Director, Kate Varah, commented 'We are thrilled to be working more closely with our visionary Principal Partner, Royal Bank of Canada, to ensure their funding will nurture the next generation of talent within the industry we all care so much about. RBC have once again shown their steadfast commitment to the arts, to employability, to the value they as an institution place on the importance of community and levelling the playing field'

Nick Hern Books, the UK's leading specialist theatre publisher, is also announced as the official Publisher Partner for The Old Vic 12. They will be publishing all three plays alongside the productions, and subsequently licensing the plays for amateur performance.

The Old Vic 12 is generously supported for 2019-2021 by: Claire Bullus, Nathalie & Nicolas Giauque, The Victoria Wood Foundation, The Noël Coward Foundation, The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, The Garrick Charitable Trust, The Leche Trust and The Old Vic Impact Fund.

Shoreditch Town Hall's commissioning and artist development programme in 2019-21 is generously supported by: Cockayne - Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation.

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