After 18 years, today is David Lan’s final day as Artistic Director at the Young Vic. We couldn’t let him “slip away” (as he would have it), so we checked in with a few notable alumni to share with us just how much of an impact he has had on them and the industry during his tenure…
(Thanks to Noma Dumezweni, Sinead Matthews, Nathaniel Martello-White, Jude Law, Natalie Abrahami, Natalie Dormer, Hugh Skinner, Sir Ian McKellen, Rory Kinnear, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith and Marcello Magni.)
Over the 18 years of his artistic leadership, the Young Vic’s ambitious and adventurous work has reached millions of people on The Cut and around the world.
David spearheaded the 2006 redevelopment of the building you know today featuring our three spaces, the Main House, the Maria and the Clare. Designed by architects Haworth Tompkins, we were named RIBA London Building of the Year, were shortlisted for the Sterling Prize and won many design and industry awards.
The last decade has been the most successful in our company’s history. David has consistently produced pioneering shows, nurtured the careers of younger theatremakers and won acclaim from critics and audiences across the globe. Through David’s vision the scope of Young Vic productions has widened to include opera, music theatre, dance and short films.
Here, in a 2009 interview about Young Vic collaborations with the English National Opera, David touches on his passion for welcoming in and working with the local community and the reflection of this in his artistic work through to the design of the Young Vic building itself:
Many Young Vic productions have gone on to great success in the West End, on Broadway and in other theatres round the world. Since winning an Olivier Award for the entire 2003 season, the Young Vic has won every major London and New York theatre award, several many times over.
The importance David places on the audience experience has always been evident, “Everything we do is about the moment at which you bring the show and the audience together and that’s the only thing that matters” he says in this interview at the Young Vic in 2001:
(Credit: Victoria and Albert Museum)
Tweets and tributes have been flooding in since David announced his stepping down in 2017. A few below, and many more here.
And finally, we love this 2016 inspirational interview with David on the subject of creativity – “A human being is a whole, and if one part of them is stimulated, encouraged, then the whole person is allowed to grow and develop and achieve its potential.”