The Vic-Wells was formed when both the Old Vic Theatre and the Sadler’s Wells Theatre were jointly under the management of Lilian Baylis.
Its primary objective at that time was to support the activities of both theatres, and this is still the case, despite the fact that the two theatres have been managed independently for many decades. The Association is to the two theatres what a supporter’s club is to a football team.
The constitution of the Association defines the objectives as: “The promotion of opera, drama and ballet as carried on at the two theatres known as ‘The Old Vic’ and ‘Sadler’s Wells’, or any other theatres taken over by the Vic-Wells governors, and for the general development of the work begun there by Lilian Baylis. Though the Vic-Wells governors no longer exist, and each theatre has its own governing board, the policies of Lilian Baylis continue, with the provision of a high standard of opera, ballet, and drama at prices which may be reasonably afforded by the population in the immediate vicinity of the theatres. Of course, many in the audience come from further away than Waterloo or Islington these days. The Vic Wells Association also manages The Lilian Baylis Trust and the Ninette de Valois Trust, which make occasional donations in support of activities appropriate to the objectives of the Association, from the starry performances of international dancers such as Darcy Bussell and Igor Zelensky.