Queen of Syria – reviews

Rehearsals for Queens of Syria. Photo by Deema Dabis.jpg

“I have a scream I have to let out. I want the world to hear it.”

The reviews are in for Queens of Syria an extraordinary modern retelling of Euripides’ Trojan Women by a group of Syrian women. Take a look below to see what critics make of the show.

★★★★★
“A raw reminder of our common humanity, hitting an extraordinary pitch of intensity”
The Times – read the full review here.

★★★★
“A terribly moving show for theatregoers but, most importantly, for members of the human race”
The Evening Standard – read the full review here.

★★★★
“An eloquent re-working of an ancient text – intense, compelling and humbling”
The Independent – read the full review here.

★★★★
“It’s a piece full of pain and longing —but there is icy, humbling rage here too”
Financial Times – read the full review here.

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Queens of Syria runs at the Young Vic now until 9 July and then goes on a UK tour. More info below:

11 – 12 July 2016
The North Wall Arts Centre, South Parade, Oxford, OX2 7JN
13 – 14 July 2016
Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Gardner Centre Road Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RA
15 – 16 July 2016
Everyman Playhouse, 5-11 Hope St, Liverpool L1 9BH
18 July 2016
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Playhouse Square, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7UP
19 – 20 July 2016
Assembly Roxy, 2 Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9SU
21 July 2016
Assembly Rooms, 40 North Bailey, Durham, DH1 3ET
24 July 2016
New London Theatre, 166 Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5PW

Blue/Orange | Setting the Tone

Matthew Xia’s revival of Joe Penhall’s “timeless” production of Blue/Orange has been critically acclaimed and received brilliantly by audiences. We spoke to Matthew and Joe about the production and the script to get an insight into how they both approached the text, the themes it explores and what set the tone of Blue/Orange, including some iconic 90s tracks that fill the Young Vic every night.

In our podcast, Off Book, we went in depth with Matthew Xia on his approach to reviving Blue/Orange and talked about his upbringing in London, background as a DJ as well as the biggest influences on his artistic career.  

Blue/Orange features some iconic 90s tracks featuring Oasis, Blur, Destiny’s Child and many more. Enjoy some of the songs that set the scene with our Blue/Orange playlist.

Blue/Orange writer Joe Penhall discusses how he came to write his Olivier-award winning, ‘state of the nation’ classic and looks back on 90s Britain, when the script was written.

Blue/Orange runs at the Young Vic until 2 Jul. Book your tickets online.

Yerma | cast announcement

CaptureBillie

We’ve got some exciting Yerma casting news for you. Billie Piper will be joined by Maureen Beattie, Brendan Cowell, John MacMillan, Charlotte Randle and Thalissa Teixeira. Take a look below and get to know the cast and for a sneak peek behind the scenes of our photoshoot with Billie Piper – click here.

Simon Stone’s version of  Yerma runs at the Young Vic from 28 Jul – 24 Sept. £10 tickets available. Book now: www.youngvic.org/whats-on/yerma

Maureen Beattie

Maureen Beattie
Previous Young Vic: The Skin of Our Teeth.
Theatre includes: Right Now (Ustinov/Bush/Traverse); John Gabriel Barclay (Oran Mor), The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy (Stellar Quines/Edinburgh Festival); Romeo and Juliet (Rose, Kingston); Dark Road, Cherry Orchard (Royal Lyceum Edinburgh); Noises Off (Old Vic tour); No Quarter, Waiting Room Germany (Royal Court); Enquirer, 27 (National Theatre Scotland); The Masterbuilder (Chichester),The Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello (National Theatre); This Wide Night (Soho/Clean Break); Ghosts, Acting Up (Citizens); The Histories, Richard III, Titus Andronicus,The Man Who Came To Dinner, Mary and Lizzie, King Lear, Macbeth,The Constant Couple (RSC); Medea (Theatre Babel/Edinburgh Festival), Rebecca (UK tour); Small Change, The Taming of the Shrew (Sheffield Crucible); The Deep Blue Sea (Nottingham Playhouse), Candida (Plymouth/Salisbury), Hard to Get, The Widows of Clyth (Traverse), Othello (Lyric Hammersmith) and Daisy Pulls It Off (Gielgud).
Film includes: Spores, The List and The Decoy Bride.
Television includes: Outlander Series 2, Doctor Who Christmas Special 2014, Vera, Moving On-Letting Go, Midsomer Murders, Doctors, Lewis, The Worst Week Of My Life, The Last Musketeer, City Central, A Wing and a Prayer, Ruffian Hearts,Taggart, The Long Roads, Bramwell, All Night Long,The Chief and Casualty.

Brendan Cowell

Brendan Cowell
Theatre includes: The Wild Duck (Barbican, UK tour, Vienna and Amsterdam tour); Once in Royal David’s City, Miss Julie (Belvoir, Sydney); The Dark Room (nominated for Best Actor at the Sydney Theatre Awards; Company B); True West, Dissident, Goes Without Saying, Far Away, The Shape of Things (Sydney Theatre Company) and MEN (Old Fitzroy). Film includes: Last Cab to Darwin, Broke, Black Chook, Observance, Beneath Hill 60 (nominated for Best Actor in a Feature Film, Australian Film Institute Awards); I Love You Too, Save Your Legs!, Noise (winner of Best Actor in a Feature Film, Film Critics Circle Awards; nominated for Best Actor in a Feature Film, Australian Film Institute Awards and Inside Film Awards) and To End All WarsTelevision includes: Brock, The Let Down, The Outlaw Michael Howe (also written and directed), The Borgias (Series 3);  Love My Way (nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actor, ASTRA Awards, Most Popular TV Actor, Silver Logie Awards and Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, TV Week Awards as well as contributing several episodes over three series). Credits as a writer (UK) include: Happy New (Trafalgar Studios), Rabbit (Frantic Assembly UK tour), The Slap (nominated for a BAFTA and Emmy Award) and Ruben Guthrie (also directed; 2015 BFI London Film Festival).

John MacMillan

John Macmillan
Previous Young Vic: The Members of the Wedding and In The Red and Brown Water.
Theatre includes: The Homecoming (Trafalgar Studios); Children’s Children, The Last Days of Judas (Almeida); Sympathy For A Psycopath (Edinburgh Festival); Dream Weaver (Hull Truck); Titus Andronicus (National Drama Festival, Scarborough); Cymbeline (Cheek by Jowl World Tour); Piranha Heights (Soho); Macbeth (nominated for the Ian Charleson Award; Royal Exchange, Manchester) and Hamlet (nominated for the Ian Charleson Award; Donmar/Broadway). Film includes: Fury, Maleficent, World War Z, The Dark Knight Rises, Hanna and HeartlessTelevision includes: This Windsors, Chewing Gum, Hoff the Record, Critical, New Tricks, Silk Series 1-3, Miranda Unwrapped, Sherlock Homes: The Blind Banker and Hustle.

Billie PiperBillie Piper
Theatre includes: Great Britain, The Effect – Best Actress Olivier nomination, (National Theatre); Reasons To Be Pretty (Almeida) and Treats (Garrick). Film includes: City of Tiny Lights, Animals United, Things To Do Before You’re 30, The Calcium Kid and Spirit Trap. Television includes: Penny Dreadful Series 1-3, Foxtrot, Doctor Who Series 1-3, True Love, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, A Passionate Woman, Mansfield Park, The Shadow in the North, The Ruby in the Smoke, Much Ado About Nothing, Bella and the Boys and Canterbury Tales: The Miller’s Tale.

 

Charlotte RandleCharlotte Randle
Previous Young Vic: Public Enemy and King Lear (also Liverpool Everyman Playhouse).
Theatre includes: Birdland, Muse and Poem, Open Court – Actors and Poems (Royal Court); Deluge (Hampstead); Medea (Almeida); The Lyons (Menier Chocolate Factory); The King’s Speech (Tour & West End); Decade Ensemble (Headlong); Lingua Franca (Finborough/59E59 New York); Love the Sinner, Mother Courage, Romeo and Juliet (National Theatre); All About My Mother (Old Vic); Rabbit Bella (Old Red Lion/Trafalgar Studios); Rabbit Bella (59E59, New York); Don Carlos (also West End), Iphigenia, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, The Man Who Had All The Luck (Sheffield Crucible); Fuddy Meers (Birmingham Rep/Arts Theatre); Lobby Hero (Donmar Warehouse/New Ambassadors); The Taming of the Shrew and The Dispute (also Lyric Hammersmith) (RSC). Film includes: Being Considered, Joyride, The Honest Courtesan and The Token King. Television includes: Father Brown, The Trials of Jimmy Rose, Silent Witness, Legacy, Holby City, Doctors, The Bill, Casualty, The IT Crowd, The Brides in the Bath, EastEnders, McCallum, The Miller’s Tale and Lord Elgin. Radio includes: The Gambler, The Other Man, Don Carlos and The Ideal Heroine.

Thalissa Teixeira

Thalissa Teixeira
Theatre includes: The Night Watch (Royal Exchange); BU21 (Theatre 503); The Broken Heart, The Changeling (Globe) and Electra (Old Vic). Film includes: TakedownTelevision includes: The Musketeers.

A View from the Bridge wins two Tony Awards

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A View from the Bridge won two Tony Awards last night and we’re ecstatic. Ivo van Hove won for Best Direction and the show was recognised as the Best Revival of a Play. The critically acclaimed production was originally staged at the Young Vic in April 2014 and transferred to the London’s West End following a sold-out run. Later in 2015 it played a limited run at the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway, produced by Scott Rudin and Lincoln Center Theater. A View from the Bridge has played a total of 276 performances across these three venues and has been seen by audiences across the globe via NT Live broadcasts.

The most laurelled show in the Young Vic’s history, the Tony wins brings the total number of awards won by the production on both sides of the Atlantic to 12. Awards include Olivier Awards for Best Revival, Best Actor (Mark Strong) and Best Director; London Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards for Best Actor (Mark Strong) and Best Director; Outer Critics’ Circle Awards New York for Outstanding Director of a Play; Drama League Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play; Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Revival of a Play and Outstanding Director of a Play; and a Theatre World Award for Mark Strong.

Take a look at the heartstopping trailer to A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic:

Accepting the Award for Best Revival of a Play, Producer of the Broadway production Scott Rudin said: “I especially want to thank Rebecca Miller for giving us the stewardship of her father’s remarkable play, Ivo van Hove who did it just, I think, absolutely remarkably, and David Lan and Young Vic who originated the production. We were the stewards of it, but honestly the real work was done by David and his team.”

Artistic Director of the Young Vic David Lan, added “It is the greatest play about immigrants – it felt like exactly the right time to do this play. It has been thrilling for us to bring it back to the city, where it’s a great song of the great people of New York.”

Accepting the Award for Best Director of a Play, Ivo van Hove said: “New York has been so welcoming to us this season. I’m so grateful to Scott Rudin who dared to bring the Belgian bad boy avant-gardist to a center of theatre life, to wonderful theatre life on Broadway.”

Daisy Heath, Lead Producer at the Young Vic, commented: “David told me about an incredible director called Ivo van Hove on my first day at the YV four and a half years ago. The original production was made by a dedicated group on The Cut in the summer of 2014 working to create the visions of both Ivo and Miller. Awards were honestly the last thing on our minds. So to have been recognised by Broadway and the Tony Awards is mind-blowing, a credit to everyone on and offstage in all three runs, and a source of deep pride for me.”

Lucy Woollatt, Executive Director of the Young Vic added: “The wins at the Tony Awards are a real achievement for all involved in the show’s life in the UK and US. Our talented team are supported by the Arts Council and our individual, trust and corporate donors. It’s this crucial support that allows us to program the work that we do and to give away 10% of tickets for free to young people and our neighbours.”
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In the press | Ivo van Hove talks to The New Yorker about his life as a director and bringing out the elemental drama of classic works.

Now We Are Here | Desmond

Now We Are Here, part or our Horizons season of work, features four true refugees stories which are drawn together into a heartbreaking tale of the pursuit of freedom. Taking Part at the Young Vic presents this extraordinarily beautiful new play.
We spoke to the people who were originally involved in our first workshops about where they are from and why they decided to get involved in this important project.

Now We Are here - Desmond

Q. How did you find sharing your story through a performance?
A. There’s so much today but then you just have to take things in small portions. I guess it had its affect. I guess it leaves people more aware – wanting more. With a smile on their face; interesting, sad…all the emotions. It hit the mark.

Q. How long have you been living in the UK?
A. This year makes it 21 years.

Q. And how are you finding it?
A. For me it’s a sort of a culture I’ve always had in me in the sense that – well y’know the Caribbean can be busy. The culture can be busy, up and down. Overexcited sometimes but for me, I’m calmer which allows me to relax, to think, to feel, to share because it makes no sense being a busy-bee going nowhere without any emotion, without any caring, without any feeling.

Q. How have you found taking part in a workshop like this? Have there been any particular challenges?
A. I look on it this way, and for me it’s a simple way. Based on my experience, based on what I’ve been through – it’s not only for me. It’s for people who are probably not as strong, who probably can’t deal with…because it’s a lot of things out there that if they know the half of it, you realise how strong and resilient people can be because some people…they keep it in but they’re constantly fighting and sometimes they just need a simple kind word or somebody else’s experience to lift their spirit and for them to realise that ‘I’m not alone’. Life is never normally for you alone. Life is for everybody to learn from it even from one single sentence.

Now We Are Here will run 20-30 July in The Clare at the Young Vic. Tickets are free and all donations will go to Micro Rainbow International and Room to Heal.

Now We are Here | Mir

Now We Are Here, part or our Horizons season of work, features four true refugees stories which are drawn together into a heartbreaking tale of the pursuit of freedom. Taking Part at the Young Vic presents this extraordinarily beautiful new play.
We spoke to the people who were originally involved in our first workshops about where they are from and why they decided to get involved in this important project.

Portrait of NWAH participant, Mir

Mir at the Young Vic. Photo by Leon Puplett.

Q. How have you found doing the workshop?
A. Imogen has been wonderful. I’ve worked with the Young Vic 2/3 times in the past. I never knew Ian in the beginning and then when I researched his work I was mesmerised. I was like ‘oh my god’. As an actor, as a struggling actor, for me it was like massive big break and again, working with the Young Vic as well… Imogen has been very supportive from the beginning and Ian brilliant. I mean it was a wonderful experience.

Q. And in terms of your challenging story, what have you taken away from this and sharing your story in such a public way?
A. I never thought about telling my story in this way. Nobody wants to have a sorry feeling y’know. It’s just I wanted to get it out of my system, it’s therapeutic. It was very much helpful just to take all of that negativity out of me. I like dark stuff normally, even in my performances as well so for me this was something dark that I could show to the audience…the brutal reality of life. So it kind of makes me feel lighter now.

Q. You’re based in London now. How are you finding it?
A. Um, it’s nice. It’s a lonely city I must say. It’s the most loneliest city but people are friendly and I’m doing a lot of stuff which I always wanted to do. So this country has given me all those opportunities which I wanted to do…what I wanted to become. So I find it like, wow. I’m doing it, this is what I wanted to do.

Q. Anything to add about your experience and the importance of things like this?
A. Meeting different people from different cultures. When you can associate with them… As Golda said, ‘broken hearts are universal and when all the broken hearts come together, it fixes them back in way’.

Now We Are Here will run 20-30 July in The Clare at the Young Vic. Tickets are free and all donations will go to Micro Rainbow International and Room to Heal.
You can read our other interviews with our Now We Are Here collaborators in these blog posts.

“Devastatingly powerful” – ★★★★★ for Cuttin’ It

Tsion Habte (Iqra) and Adelayo Adedayo (Muna) in Cuttin' It at the Young Vic © David Sandison.jpg

Tsion Habte (Iqra) and Adelayo Adedayo (Muna) in Cuttin’ It at the Young Vic. Photo by David Sandison.

Charlene James’ award-winning new play about FGM in Britain opened at the Young Vic and it’s a glowing 4 stars all around. Take a look below to see what critics make of the show and click here for audience reactions to the show so far. Cuttin’ It runs at the Young Vic now until 11 June.

★★★★★
“70 of the finest minutes of drama 2016 is likely to offer”
Evening Standard – read the full review here.

★★★★
“Gripping, heartfelt and heartbreaking”
Guardian – read the full review here.

★★★★
“Brilliantly sharp – holds the audience spellbound”
Time Out- read the full review here.

★★★★
“Searingly potent and devastatingly powerful”
The Times

★★★★
“A starkly eloquent production – Charlene James writes with great power and sensitivity”
The Independent – read the full review here.

★★★★
“Unforgettable with brilliant performances”
The Telegraph – read the full review here.

★★★★
“Furious, powerful drama”
Financial Times

★★★★
“Powerful, unflinching and witty”
The Stage- read the full review here.

★★★★
“Superbly written and beautifully performed”
Whatsonstage – read the full review here.

After the run at the Young Vic, Cuttin’ It will go on to Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, Sheffield Crucible and the Yard Theatre. For more info about the tour, click here