11 Questions with the Vocal Coach of The Suppliant Women | Mary King

The “outstanding” (★★★★★ The Telegraph) The Suppliant Women has received wide-spread critical acclaim, not least for the power of the “choral power unleashed” (★★★★★ Whatsonstage) from the chorus of 27 young women recruited from local communities of South London who sing and dance their way through Aeschylus’ 2500 year old text. It seems fitting, therefore, that Mary King – Vocal Coach to finest of London’s musical theatre and opera stars, and who has coached these young women since their recruitment in September – should be in the hot seat for our 11 Questions today:

1. Can you describe your job in three words?

Fascinating, energising, varied!

2. What’s it like working with a community chorus of 50+ ?

All of the above (Answer 1) – stimulating and never dull

3. What was it that first got you interested in singing/music?

Been interested my whole life, but remember being absolutely awestruck by hearing Kathleen Ferrier on a recording singing Blow the wind Southerly – I must have been about 8, and I’d never heard anything like it

4. If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

My super power would be the ability to get on a magic carpet at the end of a rehearsal / day’s work, and to be home in seconds…..(and a bonus if it could also be used for getting to work, or even making trips to seaside / countryside / parks and gardens…)

5. What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?

Either doing a vocal warm up with the cast, or sipping a dry white in the bar…

6. What is your favourite show you’ve seen, read or worked on?

Too many to mention, so it would change every day of the week – Bernstein’s Mass in 2010 was pretty amazing!

7. What’s the best thing about teaching?

Seeing / hearing people develop over a rehearsal period, and accomplish things which are a) amazing and b) that they didn’t necessarily know they could…

8. How do you think this show will make audiences feel?

Hopefully it will be thought provoking; touching and exciting

9. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Stick in there… never give up

10. Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you could meet them?

Not sure I have an ultimate hero / heroine… I met Bobby McFerrin once, (who would be on my list, if I had one) and could only mumble…

11. Confession time. This is a safe space: tell us something you’ve never told anyone before

I cannot change my new light bulbs….

Five Plays – November 2017 | YV Directors Program

Twice a year we team up five directors from our Directors Program with five different writers and task them with creating five plays, rehearsed and staged over five days with five different casts. The result is Five Plays.

As always, this November saw some amazing collaborations between a host of exciting writing and acting talent working with our five directors, including three Jerwood Assistant Directors who have worked on recent Young Vic productions.

I Have Aids

 

by Rachel De-Lahay.
Direction Milli Bhatia, with Shane Zaza and Shvorne Marks.

 

Pops

 

by Charlotte Josephine.
Direction Alasdair Pidsley, with Sean Campion and Sophie Melville.

 

Glutathione

 

by Winsome Pinnock.
Direction Nicole Charles, with Estella Daniels and Petra Lang.

 

Signs / Wonders 

 

by Katherine Soper.
Direction Anna Poole, with Aoife Duffin and Robyn Addison.

 

Nuclear 

 

by Phoebe Eclair-Powell.
Direction Natalie Denton, with Gemma Lawrence and Jack Shalloo.

To find out more about the YV Directors Program and how we’re supporting artists of the future head to directorsprogram.youngvic.org.

All photos by Slav Kirichok.

Anna Poole, Natalie Denton and Nicole Charles are supported through the Jerwood Assistant Directors Program at the Young Vic.

Alasdair Pidsley is supported through the Young Vic Reach Out initiative.

With thanks to Jerwood Charitable Foundation which is dedicated to imaginative and responsible revenue funding of the arts, supporting artists to develop and grow at important stages in their careers. The aim of its funding is to allow artists and arts organisations to thrive; to continue to develop their skills, imagination and creativity with integrity. It works with artists across art forms, from dance and theatre to literature, music and the visual arts.

For more information on Jerwood Charitable Foundation visit: http://www.jerwoodcharitablefoundation.org

A statement from the Young Vic

18 November 2017

A statement in regards to The Suppliant Women

In accordance with the Young Vic’s longstanding Dignity at Work policy, we do not tolerate inappropriate conduct of any kind.

The safeguarding of those we work with is our priority.  As soon as we were made aware of allegations, all of which related to historic events, the Young Vic took action to look after all participants in The Suppliant Women.  By agreement with the Young Vic and in consultation with Equity, Actors Touring Company have initiated an independent investigation into this matter.

Our policies were shared with the entire company of The Suppliant Women and include resources for reporting concerns or complaints of this nature.  As outlined in our safeguarding policy, experienced members of staff oversaw rehearsals with the community chorus to ensure their wellbeing.

When the investigation was initiated, senior members of our team spent time with our participants to share as much information as we were advised was permissible at that time.

As we made clear in our joint statement with other UK theatre companies on 23 October: we work to create and support a theatre culture where abuse of power is always challenged.  We are committed to working together to ensure that our theatres are safe spaces for all.​​

★★★★★ “A timeless, fantastical production of colour, song, and movement” | The Suppliant Women reviews

The fantastic reviews are rolling in for The Suppliant Women, which is currently storming our Main House with a chorus of over 50 people from our local communities.

★★★★★
“A timeless, fantastical production of colour, song, and movement” 

The Independent | Read the full review

★★★★★
“Outstanding…pungent modern resonances” 

The Telegraph | Read the full review

★★★★★
“Remarkable…choral power unleashed” 

Whatsonstage | Read the full review

YOUNG VIC - THE SUPPLIANT WOMEN 2017

The chorus of The Suppliant Women led by Gemma May. © Stephen Cummiskey

★★★★
“An experience of overwhelming potency…awakens a renewed faith in the future” 

The Times | Read the full review

★★★★
“Pulsating urgency…rousingly topical” 

The Evening Standard | Read the full review

★★★★
“A fierce, beautiful staging of Aeschylus’s drama” 

Financial Times | Read the full review

★★★★
“A community chorus gives tremendous power to this witty adaptation of Aeschylus’s ancient play” 

Time Out | Read the full review

The Suppliant Women runs until 25 November with very limited availability on a few nights and a returns queue operating for all performances. Click here to find out more and book tickets.

 

The Jungle | Rehearsal Room Photos

We went behind-the-scenes inside the rehearsal room for The Jungle at the Young Vic.

This world premiere set in the Calais Jungle opens at the Young Vic from 7 Dec 2017. Written by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin.

_MG_7614

Ansu Kabia, Alex Lawther and Michael Gould in rehearsal for The Jungle

_MG_7557

Alex Lawther, Justin Martin, Joe Robertson and Mohamed Sarrar

_MG_8573

The cast in rehearsal for The Jungle

_MG_8453

Rachel Redford in rehearsal for The Jungle

_MG_7847

Ben Turner and Mohamed Amiri in rehearsal for The Jungle

 

_MG_7639

John Pfumojena in rehearsal for The Jungle

_MG_7680

Jo McInnes in rehearsal for The Jungle

_MG_7711

Rachel Redford and Alyssa Denise D’Souza in rehearsal for The Jungle

_MG_7750

Ben Turner and Ammar Haj Ahmad in rehearsal for The Jungle

_MG_7798

Raphael Acloque in rehearsal for The Jungle

_MG_7555

Writer Joe Murphy in rehearsal for The Jungle

_MG_7688

Ben Turner in rehearsal for The Jungle

_MG_7840

Justin Martin and John Pfumojena in rehearsal for The Jungle

_MG_8449

Jo McInnes and Rachel Redford in rehearsal for The Jungle

_MG_8527

Jo McInnes and Nahel Tzegai in rehearsal for The Jungle

The Jungle runs at the Young Vic from 7 Dec 2017 – 6 Jan 2018

BOOK TICKETS NOW

📸 by David Sandison

Sing Before You Speak Again | A Taking Part community response to Wings

“These are stories we don’t often get a chance to hear – indeed they are often the hardest stories for people who have had strokes to articulate until they are set to music. Music seems to tap into a part of the brain that sets language free, the rhythm allowing words to flow where they are normally stumbled over”

Written after a series of workshops with stroke recovery groups, Parkinson’s community groups and dementia healthy living clubs and inspired by Natalie Abrahami’s production of Wings by Arthur Kopit, Sing Before You Speak Again was staged this November.

 

Sing Before You Speak Again‘s director Thomas Martin explained a little more about the production which took the form of an original choral song cycle written by Deanna Rodger and Joseph Atkins.

Some of the text was verbatim, but most of it was poetic – in Deanna’s lyrical world, memories become motors, houses become ships tossed about on a cold sea, and brains become balloons to be popped or let go. Joe’s composition brings these images to life with rich and challenging harmonies, filled with cheeky echoes of our participants’ favourite artists – Bob Marley, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell.

 

Sing Before You Speak Again has taken us through a range of emotions with the hope that our audiences leave with a little more understanding of what having a stroke feels like and the often disorientating effects – Wendy, Participant

Following the week of performances some of the company took part in a series of special performances at community centres with Nunhead Dementia Cafe, time & talents and Stockwell Healthy Living Club who helped inspire the original songs that the creative team had met during their original workshops.

It was so brilliant to have such great entertainment and even more special to meet the singers. – Nunhead Dementia Cafe

We’re extremely grateful to some incredible local groups who opened their doors and allowed us to get involved. Our production wouldn’t have been possible without the workshops and support of the following organisations, Aphasia Re-Connect, Southwark and Lambeth Parkinson’s Support Group, Stockwell Healthy Living Club and Time & Talents.

Captioning Awareness Week – 11 Questions with Caption Hero Miranda Yates

Here at the Young Vic this week, we’re celebrating Captioning Awareness Week, spreading the word about captioned performances to the 1 in 6 people in the UK who are currently deaf, deafened or hard of hearing.

Enter, Miranda Yates, who has long been captioning the Young Vic’s productions and also happens to be our Caption Hero (I mean, how could she not be?!). Whether you’re a captioning regular or you didn’t know the word existed, we hope Miranda’s 11 questions will give you a little insight into accessible theatre…

1. Can you describe your job in three words?

Self-contained, persnickety, silent

2. What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?

Trying to be calm – finishing off a takeaway coffee!

3. What was it that first got you interested in captioning and access?

A long time back now  whilst working at the Almeida Theatre (I still am!) I was inspired by the work of Graeae Theatre Company to look at ways of extending access for Deaf and disabled audiences. This led to setting up a regular programme which included captioned and audio described performances. Later following a successful funding application we trained with Stagetext to caption in house and I became a captioner.

4. What’s the funniest thing that’s happened at captioned performance?

I did a show recently in the West End where the lead character because of illness swapped to their understudy half way through the show – that was a surprise!

5. Have the actors ever gone off script or tried to test you?

At this very venue not so long ago in the Life of Galileo – not naming names – but they’re definitely regretting not being on my Christmas card list this year – ha ha!

6. What is your favourite play you’ve seen, read or worked on?

Passion at the Donmar Warehouse – I didn’t caption it but worked on the audio description for it. Sondheim all the way – genius!

7. What’s your favourite thing about being part of the wonderful world of theatre captioning?

It’s great to do a job that reduces the barriers that D/deaf and disabled people face and promotes access to the magical world that theatre is.

8. Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you could meet them?

Joni Mitchell – unlike the Caption Hero I’d be a bit lost for words if I ever go that opportunity!

9. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Think less – do more! (I don’t always manage it!)

10. What would you say to someone who had never been to a captioned performance but secretly wanted to?

Just go – what’s to lose?!

11. Confession time. This is a safe space: tell us something you’ve never told anyone before.

I think I accidentally cooked a hamster once – the cage was outside and it was a hot day! When I went to check the hamster had gone quite stiff – we buried it in our back garden … #BadPetOwner

Find out more about Captioning Awareness Week and Stagetext‘s work. See our upcoming accessible performance schedule on our Access for All page.