There are three major social events in the calendar of the Vic-Wells Association and these are held either at the Old Vic or at Sadler’s Wells.
12th Night Party
On the Saturday closest to January 5th, the Twelfth Night party is the first major event of the Vic-Wells Calendar. Members and their guests gather at the Old Vic theatre during the late afternoon. The cast of the current production in the theatre is invited although not always able to attend. A member of that cast or a specially invited guest is asked to give a short address and to cut the traditional cake. The latter is often decorated to represent the theatre's current show.
Recent guests have been 2011 Freddie Fox; 2012 Janie Dee; 2013 Clive Rowe; 2014 Dame Beryl Grey; 2015 Marguerite Porter; 2016 Fenella Fielding; 2017 Rufus Sewell; 2018 Dame Beryl Grey and in 2019 Stephen Tompkinson.
Shakespeare's Birthday Party
Another event with its origins in the days of Lilian Baylis is the annual party on the Saturday nearest to April 23rd, the assumed date of Shakespeare's birth in 1564. This party also takes place at the Old Vic and, as a symbol of remembrance, sprigs of rosemary are worn by the party-goers. Again the cast of the current Old Vic production are invited and one of them or another personality proposes the toast to The Bard.
The toast has been proposed recently by Simon Chandler (2011); Nickolas Grace (2012); Henry Goodman & Charlie Rowe (2013); Sinéad Cusack (2014); Maria Friedman & Jamie Parker (2015); Dame Eileen Atkins with Dame Joan Plowright (2016); Julian Glover (2017); Claire Bloom (2018).
Annual General Meeting
This meeting is held at Sadler's Wells. Although, of course, the AGM is a formal event in the calendar of any Association, that of the Vic-Wells Association is enlivened by being followed by a talk or interview with someone with a stage or ballet career. It is usually not possible to know in advance who will be available on the evening of the AGM so there can be a pleasant surprise.
In recent years members have been delighted to welcome; Isla Blair (Actor); Susan Bullock CBE (classical soprano in opera and concert soloist); Dame Gillian Lynne (dancer, choreographer, ballerina, and theatre/television director); Donald MacLeary (past Principal Dancer and Repetiteur of the Royal Ballet); Terence Stamp (Actor); Valentino Zuchetti (Choreographer, with dancers to illustrate his work).
Outings are occasionally arranged to theatres and other places of interest. Small groups of members went to the Diaghilev exhibition at the V&A, "Shakespeare: staging the world" at the British Museum; The Royal Ballet School; The Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. Members may also be able to attend rehearsals of some of the productions shown at Sadler’s Wells.