Auditions for the Feast parallel production at the Young Vic took place last weekend and almost 150 turned up to take part. Amelia Sears, our esteemed director, led groups of young people and adults in a task-based process which saw them producing short improvised scenes using sounds, movement and the odd umbrella. Imagination and bravery were not in short supply and we were treated to tribal dancing and a Cockney knees up, several boat journeys, a multitude of tube carriages, and one birth. (Thankfully, it seemed both short and pain free!).
With participants ranging from 14 to 70, covering the diversity of ethnicities and backgrounds to be found in Lambeth and Southwark, the groups were as different as they were energetic, as serious as they were joyful. In fact, joy was the over-riding feeling in the busy rehearsal room, as heart-wrenching stories of escape and rejection turned into solace and acceptance. It was an absolute privilege to see the briefest sliver of everyone’s lives, creating the uneven jigsaw puzzle of London that we now have the task of re-arranging in rehearsals. We really were blown away by all of the people who auditioned for us, but sadly we could not take them all. Our final cast, now painfully whittled down to 24, are all superb and our first evening sessions are this week. We can’t wait to get started.
To learn more about our Taking Part department’s parallel productions, click here.
A few times a year, Young Vic’s Taking Part department produces parallel productions for and with young people in Lambeth and Southwark. These parallel productions are productions inspired by what is playing in our Main House, The Maria and The Clare theatres. For more information on Taking Part please see http://www.youngvic.org/taking-part
I am currently a postgraduate student at The Central School of Speech in Drama getting my MA in Applied Theatre and I had the opportunity to work with the Young Vic as a Project Assistant on the 2011 Parallel Project. How do I even sum up my month working on the project? For three weeks I spent every Monday and Thursday evening working in a studio with fourteen adolescents culminating with a weeklong of intensive all-day rehearsals before the show was performed. I would leave each night smiling ear to ear, skipping to the Southwark station, too hyped to sit still on the journey home. For a whole month, I got the opportunity to witness fourteen immensely talented young actors rehearsing for The Government Inspector. Each night at rehearsal I would sit there thinking to myself, ‘This is exactly where I am meant to be and this is exactly what I am going to do with my life.’ I watched as these young actors honed their skills and cut their teeth on a giant, comedic Russian classic. The cast owned that play and it was a joy to see them as they progressed. Each night I thought, “what a great opportunity these youth are getting and I may or may not be slightly green with envy”. However, the Young Vic gave me an opportunity as well. I am not as young as my students, but I am also at the beginning of my career. What exactly my career is to be, or what it will look like, is still to be ironed out as my course moves on. What I know for sure is that my career will be creating theatre with young people. I knew that before going into this project, but this experience solidified it for me. The Young Vic stayed true to their mission by not only providing a creative outlet for these youth working on The Government Inspector, but also for me as a ‘young’ postgrad student. I look forward to jumping full steam into my career when I graduate this fall and know that I will look back fondly on my month at the Young Vic as a solid stepping stone in what I know will be an incredible ride.
Student, Master of Applied Theatre