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

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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.

A Note on the Visual Imagery of Happy Days by Beckett Biographer Jim Knowlson

Author’s note: The material here is presented in the form of a personal investigation rather than as a formal scholarly article in order to concentrate as much on the emergence of the evidence and its plausibility as on any claim itself, leaving it to the reader to decide how convincing that evidence is.

I was recently invited to contribute a ‘text revisited’ chapter to a Festschrift for a friend and proposed an essay entitled ‘Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days revisited’. This essay, due to appear in January 2012, published by Peter Lang, considers the role of music, song and poetry in the play (e.g. Yellen and Alger’s 1929 song, Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies and the unlikely medley of W. B. Yeats and Jerome Kern), its links with the visual arts and with philosophy and psychoanalysis, especially in the light of Beckett’s various 1930s notes. I also drew on certain of Beckett’s life experiences at that time, uncovered while researching my biography and suggested other literary sources of inspiration found in letters, some of which have only recently become accessible.

NPG P917; Frances Day (Frances Victoria Schenk) by Angus McBean

Photograph of Frances Day for The Fleet’s Lit Up by Angus McBean (1938).

Looking at Happy Days again (after, in my case, a gap of almost thirty years), led me to focus attention on the startling visual images of Winnie, buried first up to her waist, then up her neck in the mound, and of her companion Willie, first seen in his boater with a club ribbon, then in a top hat and morning suit. Was there anything new to be discovered about the potential sources of inspiration for these images?

Let me first recapitulate what we already know about the play visually – or at least what we think we know. First, Dante: the Divina Commedia was, of course, one of Beckett’s favourite books in the whole of European literature and, in his magnificent illustrations to the Inferno, Gustave Doré memorably depicted Dante’s Damned with their heads or lower limbs protruding from the frozen lake or the ‘livid stone’. There are indications within the play that such a highly graphic, visual evocation of Hell may well have played a part in Beckett’s initial inspiration. But evidence has also come to light of Beckett’s interest in and close knowledge of modern movements in painting like German Expressionism and Surrealism, although he was much keener on the first than he was on the second. I therefore explored some affinities with modern painting in the light of Beckett’s German diaries. In addition, I noted that the closing frames of Buñuel and Dalí’s 1929 film Un chien andalou, with its image of two women buried up to their waists on the beach, had often been cited by scholars (including myself) as a potential source for Winnie’s progressive burial in the earth.

From my biography of Beckett, I included as a further possible source the photograph by Angus McBean taken to advertise the 1938 review The Fleet’s Lit Up of the actress Frances Day, buried in sand in a basket and, like Winnie, holding a lock of hair in her hand (with another unseen person holding up a mirror in his or her hand). The resemblances are striking. What has not been pointed out, however, is that Angus McBean used the same ‘half-buried in the earth’ motif in two other photographs: one of the British actress Flora Robson (also taken in 1938), with her bust again apparently bursting out of the earth, and one of gamine film-star Audrey Hepburn, photographed yet again, but in 1951, emerging from the sand, flanked by two classical pillars. So far, one might say, a moderately interesting ‘addition to company’ but nothing to get too excited about.

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Max Ernst Projet Pour un Monument à W. C. Fields

But recently an additional possible source of visual inspiration has emerged that I mentioned in the ‘Happy Days revisited’ essay only in two brief sentences and without any of the supporting evidence. In Charlotte, North Carolina (where two of our three children live with their families), the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, designed by Mario Botta, the architect of the MoMA in San Francisco, was built especially in 2009 to house the fine 20th century art collection of the Zurich industrialist Hans C. Bechtler (1904-1998) and his wife Bessie. It was gifted to the city of Charlotte by their son Andreas Bechtler and was opened to the public on 2 January 2010.

Shortly after the museum opened, I visited it twice. Walking round the gallery for the first time, I was astonished to see a remarkable, vividly coloured, kaleidoscopic oil painting by Max Ernst entitled Projet pour un monument à W. C. Fields, which appeared to bear striking resemblances to Samuel Beckett’s play Happy Days. In the centre of the painting is a female figure, painted as a rotund, buxom torso in red, wearing an ornate hat and holding aloft an unfurled, multi-coloured parasol. The woman, as the accompanying audio guide explained, is based on the celebrated film actress Mae West. The right foreground is almost dominated by the large head of a male figure, wearing a top hat and reaching out his hand. The male head, the audio guide went on, is that of the comic actor W. C. Fields and the painting had apparently been inspired by the (unique) collaboration of Fields and Mae West on a 1940 Universal Studios’ film called My Little Chickadee. In English, the painting is known, in fact, as ‘Homage to W. C. Fields and his Little Chickadee’, although, for reasons that will become clear, it has been reproduced in relatively few books on Ernst.

Intrigued by the unusual light-filled setting of Happy Days and its internal preoccupation with the element of fire, it was the brightness of the colours of the painting, especially its fiery reds that also struck me forcibly. One aspect of the painting, dissimilar, it might appear, to Beckett’s play, was the presence of a small face looking on quizzically from the far left and echoing in its colours the large hatted head on the right. Was this a surrogate for the painter himself or for the observing spectator? Even here one is reminded though of the presence within Beckett’s text of the Shower and Cooker visitors, who, as Beckett himself commented very precisely, represented the spectator (SB, letter to Jacoba van Velde, 28 Feb. 1962), as well as the constant repetition of the motif of an observing eye: ‘Someone is looking at me still . . . Eyes on my eyes.’  Yet, in recognising various parallels between Ernst’s painting and Beckett’s play, I was concerned that I might be seeing what I wanted to see, the victim perhaps of what could be termed professional deformation.

Was there any connection between the play and the painting? And which came first, painting or play? The second of these questions was quickly answered, since the date of 1957 is inscribed with the artist’s signature on the canvas itself, printed on its gallery description and on a reproduction that I promptly purchased from the gallery shop. And we know, of course, that Beckett’s play was written in 1960-61. But when did Hans Bechtler purchase the picture for his private collection? And might Beckett have seen it in Paris before or even after it was purchased? In a general way, there were a sufficient number of personal links between Beckett and Ernst for Beckett not only to have been aware of Ernst as a powerful Surrealist presence (he refers to him, for instance, along with Hans Arp in 1937 in the fourth of his German diaries) but also to have taken an interest in his work. The German painter had after all briefly been married to Peggy Guggenheim, with whom Beckett had had a passionate sexual affair in late 1937 and early 1938, and, following a meeting between them in 1967 arranged by Werner Spies, a good friend of Max Ernst and a specialist on his work, Ernst went on to illustrate a trilingual edition of Beckett’s From an abandoned work. (See my note in The Beckett Circle, Spring 2008, vol. 31, no. 1)

An e-mail query next to the Bechtler Museum elicited the helpful information that Hans Bechtler had in fact purchased the painting in 1958. This was a little discouraging at first since it made it more difficult for Beckett to have seen the picture, since it had been held in a private collection from 1958 until 2010. But then, later the same day, a key piece of the jigsaw came in the form of a postscript from Hallie Ringle, a young researcher at the Bechtler Mueum who was looking into my queries, saying that the picture in question was reproduced in Patrick Waldberg’s 450 page biography of Max Ernst.

Now it is at a moment like this that a scholar’s antennae begin to twitch uncontrollably! For since I happened to know that Patrick Waldberg was a personal friend of Beckett, dining and playing billiards with him on many occasions, this was exciting news indeed. I also happen to possess copies of some of Beckett’s letters to Waldberg, which are preserved in the Bibliothèque Jacques Doucet in Paris.

A few days spent searching through these and other correspondences established that Beckett was indeed seeing Waldberg at the time he was writing his Max Ernst biography, meeting him either alone or with his second wife Liane for dinner early in 1958 and seeing him once in the company of Marcel Duchamp, probably on 26 June 1958. (SB, letter to Patrick Waldberg 13 June 1958). About that time Beckett also read several of Waldberg’s other books and it is clear that the art critic sent him complimentary copies of them, one being his Promenoir à Paris which Beckett read in only one session at the beginning of October 1960 (SB, letter to Waldberg , 5 Oct. 1960), just as he was starting to write Happy Days. Another was Waldberg’s 1961 book Mains et merveilles. Peintres et sculpteurs de notre temps which Beckett read in February 1962, before sending it on as a gift to Kay Boyle (SB, letter to Kay Boyle, 22 Jan. 1962).

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Patrick Waldberg and Max Ernst c. 1955

The link (if indeed there is such a link) would appear then to be with Waldberg’s biography of Max Ernst, which was published by Jean-Jacques Pauvert in December 1958. There, indeed, the ‘W. C. Fields’ painting is printed, but in black and white not colour, in the sixth and final section of the book, entitled ‘Suite sans Fin’, perhaps as a tribute to Beckett’s post-war story ‘La Fin’, first called and printed in Les Temps modernes as ‘Suite’!  In view of my previous comments on the intense, fiery nature of the colours of the original painting, the black and white character of the reproduction was initially disappointing. Yet the outlines of the two figures are much more sharply delineated in black and white than they are in the more kaleidoscopic painting. Interestingly too, in the same section there is another painting of the top-hatted head of W. C. Fields alone (pace Willie) also painted in 1957, which was owned by Patrick Waldberg. We cannot be certain that Beckett had his own copy of Waldberg’s handsome first biography of Max Ernst. There was no such copy in his library when he died. But then neither were there other books by Waldberg that we know for certain from the correspondence that Beckett both owned and read. He gave away hundreds of books, especially towards the end of his life.

However, I also learned from Werner Spies’ Max Ernst A Retrospective that to celebrate the publication of Waldberg’s biography of Ernst an exhibition of the painter’s work had been arranged at La Hune bookshop on the Boulevard Saint-Germain. I have not yet been able to establish whether the W. C. Fields painting was indeed exhibited there. But, even if Beckett had not been able to see it at an exhibition, it would have been surprising if Waldberg had not discussed the most recent of Ernst’s pictures with Beckett or shown him some of the illustrations from his biography of the painter during their multiple meetings in 1958. And we can almost guarantee that Beckett would have called at La Hune and have studied the book there.

So, even if he did not possess his own copy – which, in view of Waldberg’s habit of giving him copies, I still find highly likely – the odds are surely very high that he would have been acquainted with this particular painting, either through an exhibition or in the biography itself. Although the evidence remains circumstantial, it seems to me to be sufficiently convincing to establish at least a possible visual influence on Beckett as he came to imagine the appearance of the two figures in Happy Days.*

- Jim Knowlson

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* I am most grateful to Werner Spies, Anne Arikha and Shannon White and Hallie Ringle of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art for answering my queries and to John Pilling, Matthew Feldman and David Addyman for reading early versions of this note.

Happy Days runs at the Young Vic until 21 Mar. Click here to book now.

11 Questions with the cast of Lippy – David Heap

David Heap (The Lip Reader) in Lippy at the Young Vic. Photo by Ellie Kurttz.

David Heap (The Lip Reader) in Lippy at the Young Vic. Photo by Ellie Kurttz.

David Heap can be seen on stage at the Young Vic until 14 Mar. Here are his answers to our 11 Questions…

Can you describe your character in Lippy in three words?
Warm, bemused, sad.

What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
Running through my lines.

What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?
Much Ado About Nothing 

What is your favourite midnight snack?
Red wine.

What is your favourite word?
Fun.

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

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

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
Egypt – Western Desert.

Favourite city and why?
New York. So many reasons.

What is your favourite song?
Summertime.

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
When I was. 1949. Uphill till then, downhill since.

Lippy is at the Young Vic until 14 Mar and tickets are now sold out. Call on the day of the performance for returns on 020 7922 2922.

We’ve been nominated for 11 Olivier Awards!

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We are absolutely delighted to have been nominated for a staggering 11 Olivier Awards, the highest number of nominations for a single venue. A View from the Bridge, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Scottsboro Boys and Bull have all been recognised in this year’s nominations – congrats to all involved! Read below for the full list.

We’re keeping our fingers crossed for the ceremony on Sunday 12 April when the winners will be announced!

Best Revival

A View from the Bridge 

A Streetcar Named Desire 

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Phoebe Fox for A View from the Bridge 

White Light Award for Best Lighting Design

Jan Versweyveld for A View from the Bridge 

Best Sound Design

Tom Gibbons for A View from the Bridge 

XL Video Award for Best Set Design

Jan Versweyveld for A View from the Bridge 

Best Actor

Mark Strong for A View From The Bridge 

Best Actress

Gillian Anderson for A Streetcar Named Desire 

Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre

Bull 

Best Director

Ivo Van Hove for A View from the Bridge

Best Actor in a Musical

Brandon Victor Dixon for The Scottsboro Boys

A View from the Bridge: Benefit Performance

6 Mark Strong, Nicola Walker, Phoebe Fox, Luke Norris in A View from the Bridge-1-©-Jan-Versweyveld

On Thursday 9 April a special benefit performance of our five star production of A View from the Bridge will take place at the Wyndham’s Theatre in the West End.

Each year we give away 10% of our tickets away to people of all ages in Lambeth and Southwark who would not otherwise think of theatre as for them. In addition, we find ways to encourage many vulnerable groups and individuals to engage with us through theatre.  This has resulted in the Young Vic audience being the youngest and most diverse audience in London.  Thank you for your valuable support.

All tickets in the Stalls and Royal Circle are £200. Included in the price of the ticket:

• A programme

• A glass of Champagne or soft drink at the Wyndham’s

• A post show party at Century Club on Shaftesbury Avenue with members of the cast

• A drink and canapés at the party

The A View from the Bridge Benefit Performance will be on Thursday 9 April at 7.45pm. Tickets are only available via the Young Vic, click here to book now.

Casting announced for Ah, Wilderness!

Natalie Abrahami directs Eugene O’Neill’s warm portrait of a Connecticut childhood, complete with moonlit beaches, firecrackers, booze and a powerfully dark undertow. Take a look at the cast of Ah, Wilderness! in all their glory.

David Annen

David Annen plays David McComber / George. He has also appeared at the Young Vic in Fireface, My Dad’s A Birdman and Demons & Dybbuks. Other theatre includes Macbeth (MIF/Park Avenue Armory); The Master and Margarita, (Complicite); The Cement Garden (Vault Festival); Measure For Measure (Almeida); Henry VIII (Holy Trinity, Stratford); Chains of Dew (Orange Tree); Guantanamo (Tricycle Theatre) and Into The West (New Victory, New York). Film includes Absolutely Anything and The West Wittering Affair. Television includes Coalition, An Adventure in Space and Time, Call the Midwife and Midsomer Murders.

Georgia Bourke

Georgia Bourke plays Muriel, making her professional stage debut. Her film credits include Jane Eyre, GirlLikeMe and Reign of the General. Georgia’s television work includes Silent Witness and Hollyoaks (regular character Lacey Kane).

Janie Dee

Janie Dee plays Essie, making her Young Vic debut. Her other theatre credits include 84 Charing Cross Road (Salisbury Playhouse); A Little Night Music (Palace Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Globe Tour); Blithe Spirit (Gielgud); Putting it Together (St. James); Hello Dolly (Curve, Leicester – UK Theatre Award); NSFW (Royal Court – Olivier nomination); Noises Off (Old Vic/Novello); A Month in the Country (Chichester); Woman in Mind (Stephen Joseph/ Vaudeville); Shadowlands (Wyndhams and tour); My One and Only (Chichester/ Picadilly – Olivier nomination); Comic Potential (Lyric/ Manhattan Theatre Club – Olivier Award, Evening Standard Award, Critics Circle Award, Obie) and Carousel (National – Olivier Award). Television includes A Tribute to Harold Pinter, Celebration, The Murder Room, Death in Holy Orders and House of Cards. Film includes The Trouble With Dot and Harry, Dare to be Wild and Me and Orson Welles. Radio includes That Obscure Hurt, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Skios and From Russia With Love.

George MacKay

George MacKay plays Richard. He makes his Young Vic debut in Ah, Wilderness! following his first professional stage role in The Cement Garden at VAULT Festival 2014.  Nominated as one of the EE BAFTA Rising Stars in 2014, George’s recent film credits include PRIDE, Sunshine on Leith, How I Live Now and For Those in Peril. For his lead role in the latter, MacKay was awarded the Scottish BAFTA for Best Actor and won in the same category at the Stockholm Film Festival. Forthcoming credits include Captain Fantastic with Viggo Mortenson, Duane Hopkin’s Bypass and BBC One television drama The Outcast.

Martin Marquez

Martin Marquez plays Nat. Making his Young Vic debut in Ah, Wilderness!, his previous theatre credits include Blasted (Sheffield Theatres); The Crucible (West Yorkshire Playhouse); From Here to Eternity (West End); Mother Courage and her Children, Anything Goes, Love’s Labours Lost (National Theatre); The Iceman Cometh (Old Vic); and Cleansed (Royal Court). Television credits include Vera, Twenty Twelve and The Whale. In spring 2015 Martin will appear in new BBC One comedy Woody.

Eleanor McLoughlin

Eleanor McLoughlin plays Norah. She makes her Young Vic debut in Ah, Wilderness!.  Previous stage credits include Planter’s Island (Saint Martin’s Studio Theatre) and Playboy of the Western World (Millbank Theatre). Her film credits include Forgotten Man and Ghost Runner.

Yasmin Paige

Yasmin Paige plays Belle. Making her Young Vic debut in Ah, Wilderness!, her previous theatre credits include Spur of the Moment (Royal Court); Annie (Hammersmith); Romeo and Juliet (Bloomsbury) and Les Miserables (Palace). Film includes The Possibilities are Endless, The Double, Second Nature, Z, Wondrous Oblivion, Tooth, The Keeper, I Could Never Be Your Woman, and Submarine. Television includes Glue, Pramface, Coming Up: Spoof or Die, Secret Life, Smack the Pony, Bed & Breakfast Star, The Last Detective, Mysti, Golden Hour, My Life as a Popat and Murderland. Radio includes Dead in the Water, The Meeting Point, and The Little Toe Radio.

Dominic RowanDominic Rowan plays Sid. He most recently appeared at the Young Vic as Lopakhin in Katie Mitchell’s production of The Cherry Orchard, and previous credits for the theatre include A Doll’s House which played two seasons before transferring to the West End and BAM in New York, and After Dido. Other theatre credits include Medea, Happy Now?, Iphegina at Aulis (National Theatre); The Village Bike (Royal Court); Henry VIII (Shakespeare’s Globe); and The Misanthrope (West End). Television credits include Henry IV, The Restless and Law and Order UK (four series).

Susannah WiseSusannah Wise plays Lily. She first appeared at the Young Vic in A Doll’s House. Other theatre credits include Hero and Where Do We Live (Royal Court); Blurred Lines, The Hush, The Holy Rosenbergs (National Theatre); Three Sisters and Festen (West End). Susannah’s television credits include Derek, Jo, Phone Shop, Camp X and Babylon. Later in 2015 she will be seen in The Enfield Haunting and feature film Take Down. Film credits include An Ideal Husband, Britannic and Wonder.

Ashley Zhangazha

Ashley Zhangazha plays Arthur. Appearing at the Young Vic for the first time, Ashley’s previous theatre credits include Hamlet (Royal Exchange, Manchester); Venice Preserv’d (The Spectator’s Guild); Henry V (Nöel Coward Theatre, Michael Grandage Season); Fences (Duchess Theatre); Belong and Truth and Reconciliation (Royal Court); Richard II, King Lear (Donmar Warehouse); and Danton’s Death (National Theatre). His television credits include Humans, Ordinary Lies and Lenny Goes to Town.

The role of Tommy in Ah, Wilderness! will be shared by Lucas Pinto and Rory Stroud.

Ah, Wilderness! runs from 14 Apr – 23 Mar. Tickets from £10 for all performances. Book now at youngvic.org.

Happy Days set-build

Ever wondered what it takes to build a set as epic as Vicki Mortimer’s for Happy Days? Take a look at our mini-vid..

The 5 star hit returns with Juliet Stevenson in Samuel Beckett’s surreal masterpiece, directed by Natalie Abrahami.
Trapped in a scorched wasteland with her detached husband, Winnie keeps despair at bay with ritual, song and her trusty lipstick. But is our buoyant, hopeful heroine in denial of her ever-diminishing world?

Juliet Stevenson as Winnie in Happy Days at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

Photo by Johan Persson.

Happy Days runs at the Young Vic until 21 March. Book now.