11 Questions with Brendan Cowell

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1. Can you describe your character in Life of Galileo in three words?

Brave, wise and naive.

2. What’s it been like working with Joe Wright?

Joe’s a bit of a visionary. He has wild ideas but the uncanny ability to make them all assimilate effortlessly. And he has a big sweet heart!

3. How did you find the rehearsal process in comparison to other productions you’ve been in?

Well, we rehearse a lot. On Yerma, the script was being written whilst we worked, whereas with Brecht it seems crucial to analyse the text thoroughly before expereincing it.

4. What can the audience expect from this production that’s different to anything else they are likely to have seen before?

We’ve taken a dense old play about science and tempted it into a sexy and visceral night of dreams and brutality.

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

Getting dressed! I never got into drama school so I lack proper preparation. I try and make people relax.

6. What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?

Hamlet (all three)

7. If you could travel anywhere in the universe, where would you go and why?

I am scared of the ocean and of anything beyond the earth, unlike Galileo. I’m happy with all I know to be real.

8. What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?
My sisters were singers and dancers growing up. Watching them made me want to make things up.

9. Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you ever met them?
I would have liked to meet Jeff Buckley and maybe drive along the coast of Spain with him.

10. If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
Will Power.

11. If you could relocate to another planet, which would it be and why?
No, I can barely control my feelings and curiosities for this weird and wonderful joint called Earth.

Life of Galileo runs 6 May – 1 July at the Young Vic directed by BAFTA Award-winning director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice).  Brendan Cowell plays Galileo following his acclaimed performance in Yerma.  Book tickets now.

Photo credit: Johan Persson

6 of our favourite songs from The Chemical Brothers 🎧

On Wednesday we announced that The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands will be making his theatre debut at the Young Vic to compose original music for Life of Galileo.

We’ve heard some sneak peeks of the music and you’re in for a serious treat with this one.

We wanted to celebrate this announcement by sharing our all-time favourite music from The Chemical Brothers. Now crank up the volume and we’ll see you at the Young Vic from 6 May! 👌

1. Galvanize

2. Hey Boy Hey Girl

3. Block Rockin’ Beats

4. Wide Open ft Beck

5. Go

6. Salmon Dance


Life of Galileo runs 6 May – 1 July at the Young Vic directed by BAFTA Award-winning director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice).  Brendan Cowell plays Galileo following his acclaimed performance in Yerma

Book tickets to Life of Galileo

The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands to compose original music for Life of Galileo

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We’re thrilled to announce that The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands is reuniting with director Joe Wright to compose original music for Life of Galileo.

BAFTA winner Joe Wright’s production of Brecht’s masterwork Life of Galileo will be accompanied by an original score composed by Tom Rowlands, founding member of the English electronic music duo The Chemical Brothers. Joe and Tom first collaborated on the 2011 feature film, Hanna.

When Joe approached me with the idea I was excited at the thought of doing something totally new. I was also happy to rekindle my creative collaboration with Joe as he always makes something inspiring and stimulating.” – Tom Rowlands

Galileo uses the newly invented telescope to make ground-breaking discoveries about the planets that set him on a collision course with authority. In challenging the idea that the earth is the centre of the universe, he is challenging the all-powerful Roman Catholic Church. Brecht’s timeless play about the conflict between science and dogma is more topical today than ever before.

Life of Galileo runs 6 May – 1 July at the Young Vic. Find out more about the show and book tickets here

📸 Image courtesy of The Guardian

Just released! A limited number of tickets for the opening night of Yerma

For the return of Yerma, the opening night on Saturday 29 July will be a special performance to raise funds for our Directors Program which supports emerging directors across the UK.

The production just won two Olivier awards on Sunday, adding to Billie Piper’s previous wins for this role including Best Actress Evening Standard Theatre Awards, Best Actress Critic’s Circle Theatre Awards and Best Actress WhatsOnStage Awards.

Tickets for the performance and an after party with the cast and creative team are priced at £250. All proceeds go towards our Directors Program.

As the most extensive scheme of its kind, the Directors Program offers support for professional directors at an early stage of their career. Opportunities include skills workshops, exploratory projects and paid assistant directing roles.

NT Live will also be broadcasting a performance live to cinemas across the world on 31 August (with encore screenings to follow). Book for NT Live now.

Book tickets to the Opening Night

YV takes home Best Actress and Best Revival for Yerma at the 2017 Olivier Awards

We are overjoyed and honoured to have won two Olivier Awards at this year’s ceremony. Last night the talented Billie Piper won Best Actress for her role as ‘Her’ in Yerma, with the production itself taking out Best Revival. Our congratulations go out to all the winners across the categories.

Yerma-Olivier-Winner

Following a sold out run in 2016, Yerma returns to the Young Vic this July.  The two Olivier Awards adds to Billie Piper’s previous wins for this role of; Best Actress Evening Standard Theatre Awards, Best Actress Critic’s Circle Theatre Awards and Best Actress WhatsOnStage Awards.

If you missed out on Yerma tickets for its run at the Young Vic, the production will be broadcast from 31 August by NT Live. For tickets and info, click here.

Check out some behind the scene snaps below:

Billie Piper after her Best Actress win.

Artistic Director David Lan with the Best Revival Olivier.

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Best Actress winner Billie Piper on the red carpet beforehand.

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11 Questions with . . . Lara Sawalha

Paul Mason and Lara Sawalha in Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere at the Young Vic. Photo by David Sandison..jpg

Paul Mason and Lara Sawalha in Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere at the Young Vic. Photo by David Sandison.

What’s your favourite play you’ve ever seen, been in or read?

There are too many to pick from because each play I’ve seen has left a mark and impacted me in different ways. One that comes to mind is a play I read called The Heresy of Love – a must read.

What can the audience expect from this production that’s different to anything else they are likely to have seen before?

To feel completely immersed in what’s happening around them, like they’re leading the revolution.

What protest or activism have you most recently taken part in or supported?

Protesting against apartheid in Palestine.

Describe in one word what you hope the audience will take away from this show?

Awareness.

What is your favourite midnight snack?

Humous and pitta bread.

What is the funniest protest sign you’ve ever seen?

“I can’t believe we still have to protest this shit”.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

Once I get those wings and fly I’ll let you know (refer to supernatural question). My favourite place constantly changes, so I always have many!

Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you ever met them?

I have many but one of them is Maya Angelou and I would take her dancing.

Which historic revolution or protest do you wish you could have been a part of?

Walking across the bridge with Martin Luther King Jr.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?

To fly so everyday I could experience a different part of the world.

What role do you think the arts plays in activism?

It’s another platform to speak and be heard to express and change the world.

If you could swap lives with anybody for one day, who would it be and why?

Donald Trump so that I can actually understand how his brain works, because it really doesn’t make sense.

What’s one thing about the future that makes you feel positive?

Seeing people around me working hard to improve the world of today for the generations of tomorrow.

Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere will be broadcast on BBC Two this year as part of Performance Live, a two-year strand of programmes developed between Arts Council England and Battersea Arts Centre.

Read what audiences have been saying about #KickingOffLive so far.

Good Chance launch a brand new temporary theatre in Paris

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We’re pleased to announce that Young Vic associate company Good Chance have built and launched a new temporary theatre in Paris following on from their previous venue at the refugee camp in Calais last year.

The team have spent the last four months in Paris, trying to understand the complex problems faced by the growing refugee population there. Through meeting and talking with theatres, artists and humanitarian associations they set out to create an inclusive space that helps to create empathy and understanding through theatre and art.

The theatre is an impressive 11-metre dome, that will migrate through Paris with a longer term view of setting the theatre up during long encampments in different places. The Good Chance team will be creating a daily artistic programme with local people and refugees.

A spokesperson for Good Chance said “As the ties between Britain and Europe are redrawn, we want to build new cultural links with our French and international friends, standing alongside them as we re-imagine new, more exciting, more united worlds.

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The Good Chance team were joined by members of the Young Vic team to help with the build. 

Good Chance Paris will be in the north of the city in partnership with Collectif MU before moving to the gardens of the Theatre de la Ville for the duration of the Chantiers d’Europe Festival (2-24 May) before continuing its migration across Paris.

Pioneering theatre company Good Chance are based at the Young Vic. Good Chance builds temporary theatres of hope and works in solidarity to make people’s voices heard.

For more information, please visit http://goodchance.org.uk/

Photography credit: David Sandison