The Cut, Waterloo Road, London SE1 8NB

Art Poster


Closed February 18, 2017

Director Matthew Warchus's attention to detail pays off throughout. Everything, from Gary Yershon's chilly, ringing vibraphone score, to Mark Thompson's design, is perfectly attuned to Christopher Hampton's first-rate translation: cool, elegant and delici

Original 1996 Time Out review

Why See Art?

The hit play from Yasmina Reza makes a welcome return

Matthew Warchus' staging of Yasmina Reza's blockbuster satire on modern art and critic snobbery sees it celebrate 12 years as it returns to the Old Vic this December. Having run for an astonishing eight years in the West End, it remains a record-breaking play. Three friends find that their close relationship is highly tested when one of them buys a controversial piece of art. Whilst one extolls the virtues of the piece, another friend is scornful and determined to try make his friend "see sense".

Challenging social norms

Art was originally a French-language play that premiered in 1994 in Paris. Translated into English by Christopher Hampton, it premiered in London two years later, starring stage and screen legends Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay and Ken Stott as the three divided friends and ran for eight years at the Wyndham Theatre and won a ream awards including the Moliere, Evening Standard, Olivier and Tony Awards.

Serge, Marc and Yvan are three middle-aged friends at varying stages of success in their lives. When the prosperous Serge buys a ludicrously expensive painting comprising white stripes on a white canvas, he is disappointed to learn that his friend Marc is less than impressed. Disdainful at the piece,his scorn threatens their 15-year relationship, whilst Yvan tries to play peacemaker. Unfortunately, this only serves to blow things into a bigger problem than before.

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Additional Information


Opening night: 10 December 2016


Suitable for ages 12+

And before you stop reading

Please note there are no matinee performances on 10 Dec, 14 Dec, 17 Dec, 28 Dec, 4 Jan and no evening performances on 24 & 31 Dec

Cast and Creative


Rufus Sewell as Serge
Tim Key as Yvan
Paul Ritter as Marc


Directed by Matthew Warchus
Written by Yasmina Reza
Translated by Christopher Hampton

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