11 Questions with the cast of The Cherry Orchard – Sarah Malin

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Sarah Malin (centre) in The Cherry Orchard at the Young Vic. Photo by Stephen Cummiskey.

Sarah Malin can be seen on stage at the Young Vic as Charlotte Ivanovna. Here are her answers to our 11 Questions…

Can you describe your character in The Cherry Orchard in three words?
Tough, independent, alone.

What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
Having a think.

What is your favourite midnight snack?
White toast with marmite and hot chocolate.

What are you most passionate about?
Feminism and my children. 

If days were 28 hours long, what would you do with the 4 extra hours?
Sleep and read. And write.

If you could be in a room full of any one thing, what would it be?
Books. And delicious apples.

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
France this summer camping. Lots of croissants and swimming in rivers.

Favourite city and why?
Paris. The bridges.

What is your favourite song?
The Moon is a Grapefruit by Tom Waits

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
20s as a (wealthy) flapper. All that dancing and music.
Basically I’d like to be Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
Sliding through walls – to escape difficult situations.

The Cherry Orchard is at the Young Vic until 29 Nov. Watch the gripping trailer here.

www.youngvic.org/whats-on/the-cherry-orchard

Casting announced for Mike Bartlett’s Bull

Casting was announced today for Mike Bartlett’s “vicious comedy” Bull, directed by Clare Lizzimore, opening at the Young Vic in January 2015. Following a hugely successful run in New York, we’re delighted to reveal that the full cast will reprise their roles for the London premiere at the Young Vic next year.  

Adam James, currently playing the Prime Minister in the West End transfer of Mike Bartlett’s critically acclaimed King Charles III, will play Tony. He also featured in Bartlett’s plays 13 (National Theatre), and My Child (Royal Court).  Other theatre credits include Rapture Blister Burn and Tiger Country (Hampstead Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (West End), Blood and Gifts and Gethsemane (National Theatre), Now or Later (Royal Court) and The Pride (Manhattan Theatre Club, New York), for which he won the Lucille Lortel Outstanding Featured Actor Award and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award.  James’ television credits include The Game, The Crimson Field, Miranda, Family Tree, Grantchester and Law and Order. His work on film includes A Little Chaos, Kilimanjaro, Last Chance Harvey, Broken Lines and Mother of Tears.

Eleanor Matsuura will play Isobel and returns to the Young Vic after appearing in The Changeling in 2012. Recent theatre credits include Danton’s Death (National Theatre), Coriolanus (RSC), Enron (West End), Stovepipe (Bush), and 24 Hour Plays: Revolution (Old Vic).  Her television credits include Da Vinci’s Demons, Money, Silk, Utopia, Hunter, The Fades, Hacks, Extras and Doctor Who. Film credits include Breaking and Entering, The Love Punch and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa as well as the forthcoming Spooks: The Greater Good (alongside Peter Firth, Kit Harrington and Jennifer Ehle), Residue and The Lady in a Van, directed by Sir Nicholas Hytner.

Neil Stuke will play Carter. Stuke returns to the Young Vic stage for the first time since American Buffalo. Other theatre credits include: Frankie & Johnny in the Clare de Lune (Chichester Festival Theatre), Season’s Greetings (National Theatre), Rookery Nook (Menier Chocolate Factory), Boeing-Boeing (Comedy Theatre), Blue/Orange (Duchess Theatre), The Bullet (Donmar Warehouse). Stuke’s numerous television credits include Silk, Death in Paradise, New Tricks, Reggie Perrin and Pie in the Sky.  His work in film includes Out on a Limb, Mother Theresa, School for Seduction, Sliding Door and Century.  Stuke produced Father’s Day, a film starring Ray Winstone, for Prostate Cancer UK.

Sam Troughton will play Thomas. Theatre credits include King Lear (National Theatre), Mint, Death Tax and The President has come to see you (Royal Court), Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar (RSC) and A Streetcar Named Desire (Liverpool Playhouse).  Television credits include The Hollow Crown, Robin Hood, The Town, Hex and Dancing on the Edge. Troughton’s work on film includes Spirit Trap, Alien vs. Predator, Vera Drake and Sylvia.

Bull opens at the Young Vic on 8 January 2015. Tickets are available from £10, including Ringside Standing tickets that’ll get you even closer to the action. Click here to book now and find out more about Bull in this interview with Mike Bartlett.

Two new shows announced for 2015!

Today we’re thrilled to announce two new shows for 2015!

Man: Three plays by Tennessee Williams

Man: Three plays by Tennessee Williams
11 – 21 Feb 2015

Three riveting stories of misplaced identity and sexual repression reveal the tragic consequences of isolation.

Don’t miss these rarely performed Tennessee Williams one-act plays: Summer at the Lake, Auto-de-Fe and The Strangest Kind of Romance, directed by 2015 Genesis Future Directors Award winner Finn Beames.

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A Number by Caryl Churchill
3 Jul – 8 Aug 2015

Bernard thought he was an only child. At the age of 35 he learns the shocking truth: he is just one of a number of clones. He and his father both confront epic questions of identity, intimacy and belonging.

Caryl Churchill pushes the boundaries of science and ethics with an astonishing twist on the dynamics of the father/son relationship. Played by real-life father and son John and Lex Shrapnel, A Number is directed by Michael Longhurst with design by Tom Scutt.

To book now or to find out more, click here.

Young Vic nominated for 4 Evening Standard Awards

2014 Evening Standard Award nominees, clockwise from top left: Mark Strong, Gillian Anderson, the cast of Ivo van Hove's A View from the Bridge and The Scottsboro Boys

2014 Evening Standard Award nominees, clockwise from top left: Mark Strong, Gillian Anderson, the cast of Ivo van Hove’s A View from the Bridge and The Scottsboro Boys

The Evening Standard Awards shortlist was announced today and we’re delighted to have been nominated for 4 categories! Congratulations to all the nominees; read the full shortlist here.

Tickets are available for A View from the Bridge and The Scottsboro Boys in the West End; book online at youngvic.org.

BEST ACTOR
Mark Strong, A View From The Bridge, Young Vic

NATASHA RICHARDSON AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS
Gillian Anderson, A Streetcar Named Desire, Young Vic

MILTON SHULMAN AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR
Ivo van Hove, A View From The Bridge, Young Vic

NED SHERRIN AWARD FOR BEST MUSICAL
The Scottsboro Boys, Young Vic and Garrick

A View from the Bridge heads to the West End

A View From The Bridge - West End

Mark Strong as Eddie Carbone in A View from the Bridge.

We are pleased to announce the West End transfer of A View from the Bridge  with an incredible cast led by Mark Strong. Running for 8 weeks only, don’t miss this “magnetic, electrifying, astonishingly bold” production which sold out before it even opened at the Young Vic last spring.

Arthur Miller confronts the American dream in this dark and passionate tale. In Brooklyn, longshoreman Eddie Carbone welcomes his Sicilian cousins to the land of freedom. But when one of them falls for his beautiful niece, they discover that freedom comes at a price. Eddie’s jealous mistrust exposes a deep, unspeakable secret – one that drives him to commit the ultimate betrayal.
Take a look at the gripping trailer below:

Take a look at the stunning reviews A View from the Bridge received earlier this year during its run at the Young Vic.

★★★★★
“Magnetic, electrifying, astonishingly bold”
Evening Standard – read the full review here.

★★★★★
“One of the most powerful Miller productions I have ever seen.”
The Telegraph – read the full review here.

★★★★★
“Unforgettable”
The Independent – read the full review here.

★★★★★
“Mark Strong is astonishingly good”
Time Out – read the full review here.

★★★★
“A visceral, vital reinterpretation of a classic play”
The Observer – read the full review here.

★★★★
“A forceful production of visual brilliance”
The Guardian – read the full review here.

★★★★★
“Not to be missed”
The Times

A View from the Bridge runs at the Wyndham’s Theatre from 11 Feb – 11 Apr 15. 
Priority booking now available for Friends. Public booking opens 10am Monday 17 November.
Direct Debit Friends Membership is available by phone only during Box Office hours, Monday – Saturday 10am to 6pm.

4 Stars for The Cherry Orchard at the Young Vic

The reviews are in for The Cherry Orchard. Read below to find out what the critics think and click here to see the amazing audience response so far.

★★★★
“Swift, invigorating and outspoken”
The Observer – read the full review here

★★★★
“Kate Duchêne is brilliantly volatile and Dominic Rowan is superb”
The Independent – read the full review here

★★★★
“Excellent… teems with life”
The Times – read the full review here

★★★★
Katie Mitchell, “crafting a series of ever more avant-garde works”
TimeOut – read the full review here

★★★★
“A production that burns with an intensity and clarity of emotions”
The Stage – read the full review here

The Cherry Orchard runs at the Young Vic until Nov 29. Book now.

The Cherry Orchard Parallel Production – written by Anthony Lau in Taking Part’s community show

The Cherry Orchard parallel production at the Young Vic

The Cherry Orchard parallel production at the Young Vic.

Written towards the end of Chekhov’s life and first performed in 1904 at the Moscow Arts Theatre, much has been made of The Cherry Orchard by all sorts of academics, directors, historians, actors, writers, teachers, students and even politicians. The list could go on, as could the roll call of eminent directors, designers and actors who have variously worked on this great play in some way, shape or form. These include Peter Brook, Peter Hall, Trevor Nunn, Sam Mendes, Howard Davies, Peggy Ashcroft, Judi Dench, Ian Holm, Meryl Streep, Ben Kingsley, Timothy Spall, Diana Rigg, Simon Russell-Beale and now Katie Mitchell and company!

It was the play that Stanislavski and Chekhov famously fell out over. Chekhov believed his play to be a comedy yet Stanislavski insisted on directing it as a tragedy. So which is it? A farcical comedy or a heartbreaking tragedy? The truth is that it’s probably a bit of both and this duality is certainly something that we had to deal with as a company. Interestingly, in the introduction to his version for the National Theatre, David Lan made the assertion that genre had always been very important to European writers and that, “In a ‘tragedy’ the hero achieves self knowledge through suffering. In a ‘comedy’ the heroes suffer but learn nothing.” As the unmistakeable and overwhelming sound of a chainsaw floods the theatre at the end of our production and the proverbial curtain fell, the characters in our Cherry Orchard most certainly had not learnt from their mistakes so perhaps in this way has David Lan well expounded it!

Another question constantly asked is how much of the play is autobiographical? Chekhov spent many summers as a child at a family friend’s cherry orchard before it was cut down through industrialisation whilst he himself planted and owned a cherry orchard outside of Moscow before that in turn was cut down by the Estate’s new owners. As a child, his family home in Taganrog was sold to pay off the mortgage whilst his mother was also cheated of her home by an ex lodger who paid off her debts by buying their house. No doubt all of these isolated incidents had combined together to partially form the seeds of this play but it is often all too easy to attribute the narrative arc of a play to biographical incidents. Whilst the parallels remain clear, perhaps it is less useful to consider the merits of the play as an insight into Chekhov’s personal history and psyche and more interesting to assess Chekhov’s opinions of these characters and why he has told us the story that he has. Invariably, this leads onto further questions, did Chekhov identify with one character more than the others? How did Chekhov really feel about the shifts in Russian society and politics? To these, I leave to you to make your own minds up… part of the joy and challenge of working on The Cherry Orchard has been to decipher meaning and to make sense of this multifaceted play ourselves- we would hate to deprive you of this same journey and puzzle!

As such, what concerned me most, when the Young Vic offered me the opportunity to direct this great play was how we, as a young company, would collectively answer these questions and engage with this famously complex and adult play. It turns out that I need not have worried. The company has been brilliant at approaching this play from day one, questioning and analysing it- and in doing so helping me see the play again for the first time. These young actors have offered a fresh perspective, constantly challenging the established notions and preconceptions of The Cherry Orchard- they have brought themselves to their parts and in that way reshaped the play and provided subtle shifts and nuances so different from other productions.

I like to think that our Anya is so much stronger and the relationship with her mother more complicated and realistic. Our Peter has found a revolutionary zeal that is perhaps less faithful to the fallibility of the original text, but brings a new dynamic through his ethnicity. In his mouth, the words surrounding slavery take on a whole new dimension- especially in that isolated scene with Anya. As for our Firs, well he has taken on a metaphysical and metatextual agenda- increasing the stakes between himself and Ranevskaya as well as connecting with us as an audience. This is perhaps not the most faithful rendition of The Cherry Orchard ever created but in tackling their parts and this play, these young actors have never once being cowed by the reputation of the play, writer or characters within it and as a result, what we have is an entirely unique version of The Cherry Orchard. It has been driven forward by the imagination, personality and conviction of this young company as much as the creatives working alongside them. They have embraced the relationships, found new stories and niches within the text and perhaps most importantly, recognised and directly engaged with the themes and questions surrounding social change. The identity of this production is unquestionably theirs and they have been the beating heart of our reimagining and response to Chekhov’s original. I hope we have succeeded in not only capturing the essence of The Cherry Orchard, but also posed some new questions in our interpretation- to those of you who managed to catch it, we hope you enjoyed it!

The Cherry Orchard Parallel Production was directed by Anthony Lau.

11 Questions with the cast of The Cherry Orchard – Paul Hilton

The Cherry Orchard at the Young Vic

Paul Hilton in The Cherry Orchard at the Young Vic. Photo by Stephen Cummiskey.

Paul Hilton can be seen on stage at the Young Vic as Peter Trofimov. Here are his answers to our 11 Questions…

Can you describe your character in The Cherry Orchard in three words?
Stinky, depressed, idealist.

What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
Lying on my back and breathing.

What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?
As You Like It - Shakespeare. (I met my wife while working together on this.)

What is your favourite midnight snack?
Hot buttered toast or crumpets.

What is your favourite word?
Petrichor – the smell of earth after rain.

What are you most passionate about?
Equality.

If you could be in a room full of any one thing, what would it be?
My family (& my dog Arthur.)

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
Lleyn Peninsula (North Wales.) Every year for 30 years.

What is your favourite song?
Where I End and You Begin and anything else by Radiohead.

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
I’ll stick with 1970.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
I wish I could fly. Who doesn’t?!

The Cherry Orchard is at the Young Vic until 29 Nov. Book now.

11 Questions with the cast of The Cherry Orchard – Angus Wright

Angus Wright in The Cherry Orchard at the Young Vic.

Centre: Angus Wright in rehearsals for The Cherry Orchard at the Young Vic.
Photo by Stephen Cummiskey.

Angus Wright can be seen on stage at the Young Vic as Leonid Gaev. Here are his answers to our 11 Questions…

Can you describe your character in The Cherry Orchard in three words?
Obsessive, solitary, entitled.

What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
Preparing the immediate circumstances before the start of the play.

What is your favorite play (seen, read or worked on)?
Measure for Measure or Cat in the Hat.

What is your favorite word?
Pinkelpause. Its the German word for a toilet break. Literally, a pee-pause.

If days were 28 hours long, what would you do with the 4 extra hours?
Learn Arabic.

If you could be in a room full of any one thing, what would it be?
A combination of Nitrogen, Oxygen and Carbon-Dioxide.

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
Thailand.

Favourite city and why?
New York. New York.

What is your favorite song?
Heaven by Talking Heads.

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
The Stone Age. No commuting. No Facebook.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
Time travel. So I could re-write some of these answers.

The Cherry Orchard is at the Young Vic until 29 Nov. Book now.

The Scottsboro Boys reviews

The Scottsboro Boys Company at the Garrick Theatre.

The Scottsboro Boys Company at the Garrick Theatre.
Photo by Johan Persson

Reviews for The Scottsboro Boys at the Garrick theatre are rolling in and here are some of the critics thoughts. Let us know what you think of the show on Twitter using #ScottsboroBoys.

★★★★★
“Brave, brilliant and unmissable. I urge you to buy a ticket.”
Sam Marlowe, The Times

★★★★★
“Unmissable. A shocking, gripping, superbly staged, fabulously well-performed show.”
Mail on Sunday

★★★★★
“Audacious. Elating and shocking. Finger-snapping, toe-tapping. Tremendous.”
Sarah Hemming, Financial Times

★★★★★
“The Scottsboro Boys is brilliant: it shakes, stirs and takes you for an unforgettable ride. Out of this world.”
The Observer - read the full review here.

★★★★★
“Fantastic. Not to be missed.”
Neil Norman, Daily Express – read the full review here.

★★★★★
“Intoxicating”
Patrick Marmion, Daily Mail – read the full review here.

★★★★
“Beautifully performed. A triumph.”
Laura Barnett, Time Out – read the full review here.

★★★★★
Powerful and provocative theatre.”
The Metro – read the full review here.

★★★★
“A radical musical. Daring. Electrifying. Brilliant.”
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian – read the full review here.

★★★★
“The music is magnificent. A triumph.”
Evening Standard – read the full review here.

The Scottsboro Boys is at the Garrick until 21 Feb 2015.