11 Questions with the cast of Ah, Wilderness! – Martin Marquez


Martin Marquez in rehearsal for Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

Martin Marquez is currently playing Nat Miller in Ah, Wilderness! at the young Vic. Here are his answers to our 11 Questions…

Can you describe your character in Ah, Wilderness! in three words?
Sensitive, Passionate, Modern.

What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
Eating a Fry’s Turkish Delight.

What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?
The Seven Streams of the River Ota by Robert Lepage

What is your favourite midnight snack?
A bowl of Crunchy Nut cornflakes.

What is your favourite word?

If you could be in a room full of any one thing, what would it be?
Salted peanuts.

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
Drove to the south of Spain where I spent 4 weeks with my family.

Favourite city and why?
Madrid – I feel like it suits my personality so I feel at home there.

What is your favourite song?
Fingersnap by Blackbirds

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
Today. I love thinking to be as modern as possible.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
To be invisible. I would use it to expose rich liars and fraudsters.

Ah, Wilderness! runs at the Young Vic from until 23 May. Book now.

The YV takes home 4 Oliviers

We are delighted and honoured to have won four Olivier Awards at this year’s ceremony.

Our hit production of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge bagged three prizes; Best Revival, Best Actor for Mark Strong and Best Director for Ivo van Hove, while Bull, a co-production with Supporting Wall, took home the award for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre.

Following sold out runs here at the Young Vic and in the West End, A View from the Bridge picked up more Olivier awards than any other play this year, adding to the two Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Actor and Best Director the show received earlier in 2015. On collecting his Olivier for Best Director Ivo van Hove said “London has been so generous to our work. It felt like coming home.”

Check out some behind the scenes snaps below.

Best Actor and Best Director winners Mark Strong and Ivo van Hove on the red carpet

Young Vic Artistic Director David Lan with Executive Director Lucy Woollatt on the red carpet and Ivo van Hove and David Lan chatting to press after collecting the award for Best Revival. 


Mark Strong accepting his award for Best Actor and three of our four Olivier awards post ceremony.


Mike Bartlett, Ben Monks, Clare Lizzimore and Sam Troughton – the Bull team with their Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre award. 


For more behind the scenes photos from the night, have a flick through the album on Facebook and to read more about the Oliviers and all of this year’s winners, click here.

A View from the Bridge was broadcast live to cinemas on 26 March by NT Live. There’s still a chance to catch it with encore screenings taking place at venues around the world for a limited time. For tickets and info, click here.



11 Questions with the cast of Ah, Wilderness! – David Annen


David Annen in rehearsal for Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

David Annen can be seen on stage at the Young Vic from 14 Apr – 23 May. Here are his answers to our 11 Questions…

Can you describe your character in Ah, Wilderness! in three words?
Three letters! E G O – Eugene Gladstone O’Neill

What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
Checking the letters, cigarettes, matches, pencils, poetry books etc. are in the right place in my pockets

What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?
King Lear (in theory), Into The West (in practice)

What is your favourite midnight snack?
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

What are you most passionate about?

If you could be in a room full of any one thing, what would it be?

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
Weyfest with my son

Favourite city and why?
Rome – culture, warmth, wine, ice cream, and history all over.

What is your favourite song?
Everything I Own by Ken Boothe

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
The next one. I’ll find out when I get there.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
Flight. I dreamed of it once and woke happy.

Ah, Wilderness! runs at the Young Vic from 14 Apr – 23 May. Book now.

LIVE STREAM 7.15pm BST | The Culture Debate

Ahead of the 2015 UK General Election, learn what the political parties have to say about the arts. In the Culture Debate each panelist will discuss their parties’ policies on the arts and creative industries in front of a live studio audience.

The Culture Debate is chaired by Martha Kearney. We will also hear from Conservative Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy Ed VaizeyLabour Shadow Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport Harriet Harman, co-chair of the Liberal Democrat Party Committee on Culture Jane Bonham-CarterUKIP culture spokesperson Peter Whittle and Green Party spokesperson for Culture, Media and Sport Martin Dobson.

Join the discussion. Use #culturedebate.
For more info visit BBC Get Creative.

A Q&A with Ah, Wilderness! Set Designer Dick Bird

shutterstock_232258486-smlWhat inspired your design for Ah, Wilderness!?Natalie and I talked a lot about the autobiographical basis of the play. Set in Monte Cristo Cottage, the beachside house where O’Neill spent his childhood holidays, Ah, Wilderness! treats the same material as Long Day’s Journey Into Night in a lighter, more optimistic tone. These two different excavations of a memory interested us greatly. As did photographs of the adult O’Neill with his own young family posed rather tensely around a picnic table on a beach.

I had been fascinated by pictures of a ghost town in Namibia called Kolmanskop. A once thriving diamond mining town, it had been abandoned since the 1950s, and sand had invaded the derelict houses. Great dunes had formed against the faded plaster walls creating surreal desert landscapes interrupted by incongruous architraves and seemingly giant doorways.

We were drawn to the idea of invading O’Neill’s location with sand, the magic dust that, sprinkled in our eyes, makes us dream of creating an uncertain, shifting, interior landscape that showed the passage of memory and time.

How do you get from the first idea to the final design?
Using a 1 to 25 scale model of the Young Vic, I began sculpting spaces in white card and paper. To begin with, wildly impractical volumes of sand creating vertiginous slopes and no playing areas whatsoever. We explored different ways of the sand entering the house, ratios of floor and slope. In a short space of time we went through five or six different models, graduating from paper to salt. The first model was very different to the last, but very informative to the process. Bernd, our production manager, brought in several tons of sand to the scene dock at the Young Vic, and we tramped around in that and then back to the drawing board. Having come to a design in white card, we had it costed, adjusted it and produced a final full colour model.

The model then goes to a workshop where it is drawn up, and discussions take place around practicalities and finishes. I work closely with the scenic artist to arrive at the final treatment, in this case peeling layers of fading paint. The Young Vic technical team work with the constructors to ensure the set’s smooth transition into the building, and then the cast’s smooth transition on to the set.8.-Kolmanskop-Namibia

Tell us about collaborating with Natalie?
To begin with we just read the play aloud to each other and talked. Natalie had compiled a vast array of material around the play, the biographical sources, and the poetry that means so much to the character of Richard and to O’Neill himself.

She came already with an archaeological approach to the text and was excited by the images of Kolmanskop, and by the coincidence that the mine had opened in 1908, around the time that the play is set, and closed in 1954, a year after O’Neill’s death.

What is it like to work at the Young Vic?
I have a very strong connection with the Young Vic.I made my first design in the old studio here in 1998 with Primitive Science, and since then I’ve designed five shows in the main house and one in the Clare.

I met my wife here in 2000, and had a job as an usher in 1985. I saw The Crucible and Romeo and Juliet at least thirty times each.

The building itself demands innovation of the people who come to work in it. The very breezeblocks seem to cry out for experiment. The temporary building put up over a bomb site in 1970 had an extraordinary spatial alchemy, and the rebuilt theatre has respected that, while making new spaces – not least the café/restaurant area which is a hub for theatrical activity in London. The Young Vic falls within a magic sector of the Venn diagram of London theatre, close enough to the edge to be edgy, close enough to the centre to be influential. It attracts wonderful people, and it’s an amazing place to work.

Ah, Wilderness! runs at the Young Vic from 14 Apr – 23 May. Book now.

Join the Young Vic Young Ambassadors

Young Vic Young Ambassadors

An opportunity for young people aged 16-25 to take part at the Young Vic. Share your views about theatre and develop communication skills through face-to-face engagement with people in the local area. As a  group of ten you will meet monthly working together  on promotions  and advertising activities and workshops targeted at young people. Young Ambassadors will also discuss how the Young Vic can be made even more relevant and exciting to young people.

The Young Ambassadors will have the opportunity to meet and work closely with professional theatre artists and the Young Vic staff. You will receive free and discounted tickets to main house and studio shows at the Young Vic, as well as attending press nights at the Young Vic. As advocates for the theatre you will be responsible for, sharing information and opportunities about theatre productions to friends and associates through social media and schools, colleges, universities.

This scheme is a fantastic opportunity for you to learn more about theatre, to share your opinions and visions with us.  We encourage applicants from different backgrounds with different experiences, skills and stories to join us and influence and develop our working practice. We at the Young Vic believe theatre should be accessible to everyone, diversity and opportunity is of upmost importance to the Young Vic, especially for young people interested in the theatre. All young people deserve the access to world class theatre productions.

Meetings will take place on the last Thursday of each month during term time. For more information on how to apply to be part of the Young Vic Young Ambassadors scheme please contact: rassinwurie@youngvic.org

To apply, please complete the form and send to:
by 5pm on Monday 20 April 2015
Young Vic Young Ambassadors Application Pack


YV Elects – a series of free events inspired by the upcoming UK General Election


YV Elects is a series of eight events which suggests new ways to engage our neighborhood with the UK General Election ahead of polling day on Thursday 7 May 2015. Inspired by the high voter turnout at 2014’s Scottish independence referendum, YV Elects hopes to inspire an increased engagement with politics – from voter registration to casting your vote.

A highlight of the series will be VoteSlaman evening of live performance inspired by the democratic process on Saturday 18 April at 7.00pm. Seven award-winning spoken word artists, comedians and musicians will showcase their talents for one night only, compered by writer Francesca Beard.

Se below for more info about about each performer. To attend the event, please email yvelects@youngvic.org with VoteSlam in the subject line.

Bridget Minamore
In 2013 she was shortlisted to be the first Young Poet Laureate for London.She became an Associate Artist with her poetry collective, Rubix, at the Roundhouse, released their debut spoken word album RED on iTunes/Roundhouse Records in 2012. She has exhibited her work at a TEDxLondon conference, performed at 10 Downing Street to the Southbank Centre and the King’s College Cambridge Women’s Dinner.

Deanna Rodger
Deanna is an international poet & facilitator, she leads on workshops in and around the UK including The Agency BAC and Slambassadors UK, she teaches the Writing Poetry for Performance module with Benjamin Zephaniah at Brunel University. She wrote and performed as a poet and actor in 2012 Olympic Team Welcome Ceremonies, Buckingham Palace, Speakers House, 10 Downing street and Honey Coated Dream and three TedX performances (Brighton, Southwark and East End). She is the youngest UK Poetry Slam Champion (2007/8). Furthermore she is the Co-founder of spoken word events: Chill Pill & Come Rhyme with Me, resident artist at Roundhouse Camden, member of prominent poetry collectives; Point Blank Poets (Biennale UK Artist International award 2011) and Keats House Poetry Forum.

Conrad Kira
Conrad is South London DJ/Rapper and Producer. He stays in ghost ridden abandoned buildings making beats that echo through the corridors. From building to building he goes performing his industrial compositions in cold kitchens. When Conrad’s not lurking in London he abides in a secret hide out in Japan where he indulges in a life of Anime, Video Games, and Cheap Sake. “I like to be socially aware in my music but I also like to dance stupid and be a geek”. Conrad spent his childhood listening to Kraftwerk, Adam Ant, Tupac and whatever else played in his Dad’s car. However his biggest influence came from the Grime and Garage pirate radio stations, these are what drove him to want to write and make music.

Mae Martin
Finalist in the Hackney New Act of the Year Awards, along with Musical Comedy Awards and the Amused Moose Laughter Awards. Mae’s appearance as the stand-up guest on Russell Howard’s Good News (BBC 3) catapulted her into the consciousness of the UK’s online teen community. Aged 16 made Canadian television debut on The Comedy Network’s Cream of Comedy, Awarded Best international Performer at the Brighton Fringe. Aged 15, Mae received her first Canadian Comedy Award nomination.

Raymond Antrobus
A poet, photographer and lead educator on the Spoken Word Education MA Programme at Goldsmiths University. Born and bred in Hackney, he is a co-curator of London poetry events Chill Pill (Soho Theatre and The Albany) and Keats House Poets. His collection – Shapes & Disfigurements Of Raymond Antrobus, published by Burning Eye Books. He has done work that has appeared on BBC Radio 4, The Big Issue and recently in The Guardian and at TedxEastEnd. Anti-Slam Champion of 2010 & Farrago International Championship Slam 2008.

Thea Gajic
Actress & writer from South London, Thea has performed live at The Jazz Cafe, Camden in 2014. She recently performed at The Old Vic in Housed a play which highlighted the knock on effects of the housing situation in London. Thea’s last piece of work Lawless was filmed on her iPhone; written, directed, acted and edited by herself.

Stuart Mackenzie
Film maker, writer and comedian from West London. A lot of Stuart’s poetry has been inspired by his activism; he was a part of the London Occupation in 2011 and works alongside Maman Charlotte (founder of ‘Mothers of Congo’) to help bring an end to the Congolese War. Stuart is also a writer/director, his short films Spin-1/2 and Twin are currently in development and will be screened this year at the BFI Southbank Cinema. He is one half of Kool Beanz Productions and has a comedy sketch show alongside Nathan Bryon entitled The Mackenzie & Bryon Show 2.0. Stuart is also a singer, who records his own music and is a member of the band Shop Floor Sessions.

Francesca Beard
Malaysian-born, London-based artist Francesca Beard is a writer, performer and workshop facilitator. She has been a writer in residence at many institutions, including the Barbican, Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, the Natural History Museum, the Metropolitan Police and the BBC.  She runs one day workshops and master classes for all ages, as well as working on longer term projects with theatres and organisations, such as the Young Vic, The National, Creative Partnerships, Arvon, Spread the Word, Eastside and Booktrust. She represents British literature all over the world with the British Council and was lead artist on ‘Speechless’, a three year programme across East Asia which culminated in emerging poets from Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan performing at the Royal Festival Hall. She has toured nationally and internationally as a solo artist, in various poetry collectives and with one woman shows Chinese Whispers. Her visits in the last year include performances and workshops in Khartoum, Kampala and Chengdu.

Other YV Elects events include political activist Peter Tatchell speaking on political activism on Tuesday 31 March at 4.00pm. Economics Editor at Channel 4 News Paul Mason sharing his thoughts in a talk entitled ‘Austerity – the basics’ on Thursday 2 April at 1.00pm.  This will be followed by a Q&A session with audience members.

On Friday 17 April at 7.00pm there will be a hustings for parliamentary candidates fighting for a seat in the Young Vic’s constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark. There will be also be three Theatre Club sessions which will provide a relaxed forum for group discussion of the policies and personalities involved in the election. The first, on 9 April, will discuss responses to the provocation ‘Why Vote?’.  On 23 April, participants are invited to debate the role of arts and culture in the election. The final Theatre Club will take place on 6 May – the eve of the election – and the focus will be thrown open to the floor, a last chance to discuss issues of personal and political significance.

On 9 April people of all ages are invited to drop in to the Young Vic from 11.00am – 5.00pm where information on the election will be available. This hub will provide material on the local and national parties; voter registration forms; information on why each vote counts; and a UK election timeline.

All events are free and will take place from 31 March – 6 May at the Young Vic theatre.
To apply for tickets for all YV Elects events, email yvelects@youngvic.org with the name of the event and date in the subject line at least 7 days before the date of the event you wish to attend.