Belarus Free Theatre will return to the Young Vic in June of 2012 with their Fringe First-winning show Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker as part of the LIFT 2012 festival.
The company’s raw examination of sexuality and human rights in their hometown of Minsk prompted The Telegraph to write, “it is easy to forget that there are still parts of the world where putting on a play represents an act of political courage.”
Responding to American writer Kathy Acker’s 1981 text N.Y.C 1979 depicting sexuality in New York, Minsk, 2011 reveals the scars of repression in Belarus where protests are brutally suppressed and underground nightclubs are routinely raided by special forces. The late Kathy Acker was among the most important postmodernist writers. A radical feminist and crucial figure in the Punk movement, her work includes Great Expectations, Blood and Guts in High School and Don Quixote.
Belarus Free Theatre was founded in 2005 under the Lukashenko dictatorship. Banned in their homecountry, they have staged underground and uncensored performances to draw attention to the problems faced in Europe’s last dictatorship. Many company members have served time in prison, lost their jobs, gone into hiding or been exiled. Despite this, Belarus Free Theatre has established a global reputation of artistic excellence and continue to develop award-winning work. Their previous credits include Eurepica. Challenge, Discover Love (for which they won an OBIE), Numbers, Being Harold Pinter and Generation Jeans. They have amassed a wealth of support from artists around the world, including abroad include Tom Stoppard, Jude Law, and playwright and former President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, who passed away yesterday.
Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker is on at the Young Vic from 12 – 23 June, 2012. Book tickets and learn more here.
Harry Potter star Katie Leung will play the character based on Jung Chang in the first ever stage version of her astonishing true story Wild Swans.
Katie rose to fame as Harry Potter’s girlfriend Cho Chang in the much-loved film series.
Katie commented ‘It is a great honour to be involved in such an extraordinary project and especially to be playing the role based on Jung Chang. I look forward to performing this truly inspirational story on stage.’
Katie joins a cast of British and American actors that includes Oliver Biles, Eric Chan, Annie Chang, Ka-Ling Cheung, Victor Chi, Celeste Den, Joanne Fong, Jon Kit Lee, Orion Lee, Jennifer Lim, Les Mau, Ron Nakahara, Zenghui Qiu and Julyana Soelistyo.
Jung Chang commented ‘This production means a lot to me. To see Wild Swans on stage – transferred into another art form – will be fantastic. It feels great to know that my book is in such good hands.’
Read the announcement news in the Evening Standard piece Why I nearly kissed goodbye to acting, by Harry Potter girl Katie Leung >>
Click here to learn more about the production and to get yourself tickets from £10. Wild Swans is part of World Stages London.
The full cast for Bingo has been announced! Matthew Marsh will join Patrick Stewart as William Shakespeare and Richard McCabe as Ben Jonson for Edward Bond’s portrayal of the Bard’s final chapter of life, opening 16 February for six weeks only.
Marsh returns to the Young Vic having appeared in eleven past productions including title roles in Hamlet and The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs. His recent theatre credits include No Naughty Bits (Hampstead Theatre), The Shawl (Arcola), Blood and Gifts (NT), Now or Later (Royal Court) and Glengarry Glen Ross (West End). Matthew is soon to be seen in the hotly anticipated film The Iron Lady.
The cast is completed by:
- Catherine Cusack (The Crucible, Lyric Theatre Belfast; The Early Bird, Finborough)
- Tom Godwin (Earthquakes in London, NT; Enron, Chichester/ Royal Court/ West End)
- Ellie Haddington (Luther, BBC; Taking Care of Baby; Hampstead/ Birmingham Rep)
- Joanne Howarth (Goodnight Mister Tom, Chichester)
- Kieron Jecchinis (Mary Broome, The Orange Tree; Coriolanus, directed by Ralph Fiennes)
- John McEnery (The Master Builder, Chichester)
- Alex Price (Elektra, Young Vic/ Gate)
- Michelle Tate (The Long Road, Soho)
Richard McCabe last performed at the Young Vic as Mestophiles opposite Jude Law in Doctor Faustus. Earlier this year he won great acclaim for his performance as the PM in Yes, Prime Minister (West End/ Tour). Richard has been an associate artist at the RSC since 1997 where his extensive credits include Twelfth Night, King John, Othello, Timon of Athens, Trolius and Cressida, The Winters Tale and White Devil.
Patrick Stewart’s recent stage work includes celebrated productions of Macbeth (Chichester/West End/ Broadway/BBC Four), Hamlet (RSC/West End) for which he won an Olivier, The Tempest (RSC), and Waiting for Godot (West End/tour). Other notable work includes Twelfth Night (Chichester), The Master Builder (West End), and his Olivier-winning one-man A Christmas Carol (world tour). He worked with Peter Brook on A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Anthony and Cleopatra (RSC) which won him his first Olivier Award. In 2010 he received a knighthood in the New Year Honours list for his services to drama.
Tickets for Bingo start at £10. Book today before it’s sold out!
Big news! We’ve announced casting and an extension for The Changeling, opening 26 January and now playing through 25 February.
Rising star Jessica Raine, who has won rave reviews for her performances in Earthquakes in London, Rocket to the Moon, Gethsemane and Harper Regan (all NT) will play Beatrice Joanna. Young Vic regular Daniel Cerqueira has been cast opposite as De Flores. Cerqueira’s other screen credits include Saving Private Ryan and television series I’m Alan Partridge (BBC) and Rome (HBO). Both Raine and Cerqueira will soon be seen in the film adaptation of The Woman in Black.
The rest of the exciting cast includes:
- Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Inbetweeners, C4/ film; Posh, Royal Court) as Tomazo/ Antonio
- Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Young Vic; Sirens, C4) as Alsemero
- Charlotte Lucas (Yes, Prime Minister, West End/Tour; Posh, Royal Court) as Diaphanta/ Isabella
- Alex Beckett (Sixty-Six Books, Bush; Much Ado About Nothing, West End) as Jasperino
The Changeling will be directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins (Young Vic’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane and The Glass Menagerie). Find out more and book your tickets for The Changeling here. Make sure you don’t miss this outstanding cast of young British talent!
Do you want to perform in an epic production at the Young Vic?
We are looking for people of Chinese and East Asian heritage to be part of the community chorus that will join our professional cast each night in our 2012 production of Wild Swans.
You do not need any experience of performing – you just need to be enthusiastic, 18 years or over and absolutely committed to the rehearsal and performance schedule. Friendly and fun workshop auditions take place on 5 & 6 January 2012. Rehearsals will then take place in January and March/April and performances will take place from 13 April – 13 May.
To find out more about Wild Swans and to book your audition place, call the Young Vic on 020 7922 2845 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope to see you at the auditions!
Hamlet has been nominated for Best Shakespearean Production for the 2012 What’s On Stage awards! Plus Kyle Soller, seen in our productions of Government Inspector and The Glass Menagerie, has been nominated for London Newcomer of the Year.
Separately, Michael Sheen and Bill Mitchell’s The Passion for the National Theatre of Wales has been nominated for Theatre Event of the Year.
Congratulations to all the nominees. We have our fingers crossed for you.
Next in our Hamlet cast series is James Clyde. You may have seen him in National Theatre’s Twelfth Night; Shakespeare’s Globe’s Macbeth; RSC’s Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night; Trafalgar Studios’ Jane Eyre; or on TV: ITV’s Croupier, Anonymous and Above Suspicion; BBC’s Between the Lines and New Tricks. He plays Claudius.
What do you like about your character in Hamlet?
If you could have a room full of any one thing, what would it be?
If 28 hour days existed, what would you do with the extra four hours?
Watching rabbits on YouTube
If you had one super power, what would it be?
Favourite midnight snack?
Day seats are available for all remaining performances of Hamlet. Tickets from £10, bought in-person on the day of the performance from 9.30am.
Did you ever notice that our restaurant/bar The Cut Bar is lit by theatre lights?
If you haven’t been to our bar before, you must come for a visit. It’s open from 9am till late and the menu often includes production-themed drinks and food, so there is always something different offered.
Plus Fiona Shaw calls it ‘the sexiest bar in London’!