Real-life father and son star in Caryl Churchill’s A Number

John and Lex Shrapnel in A Number. Photo by Richard Budd.

                                            John and Lex Shrapnel in A Number. Photo by Richard Budd.

Caryl Churchill’s thrilling drama A Number directed by Michael Longhurst comes to the YV in July. Rated no.4 in the Guardian’s top 10 theatre of 2014, the acclaimed Nuffield production stars real-life father and son John and Lex Shrapnel. Get to know the cast and take a look at their biogs below…  

John Shrapnel in A Number. Photo by Richard Budd.

John Shrapnel in A Number. Photo by Richard Budd.

John Shrapnel plays Salter. He last appeared at the Young Vic in King Lear. Other theatre credits include Hamlet (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Macbeth (Manchester International Festival/New York), King Lear (Tobacco Factory, Bristol), Phaedra (National Theatre/Epidaurus/ Washington), Julius Caesar (Barbican), South Pacific (National Theatre), The Hothouse (Chichester/Comedy Theatre), Hamlet, The Dybbuk, The Thebans, The Greeks, Measure for Measure, Temptation, The Archbishop’s Ceiling (RSC).  John’s television credits include Merlin, Waking the Dead, Inspector Lynley, New Tricks, Apparitions, The Palace, Inspector Morse, Midsomer Murders, Jonathan Creek, Coogan’s Run, Hornblower, Foyle’s War, Between the Lines, Invasion Earth, BodyguardsBlackeyes, The Woman in White, Professional Foul, Edward & Mrs Simpson, Elizabeth R.  His film credits include The Awakening, The Duchess, Alien Autopsy, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Troy, Gladiator, Notting Hill, Sparkle, Mirrors, 101 Dalmatians, Two Deaths, How To Get Ahead In Advertising, Personal Services, and Nicholas and Alexandra.

Lex Shrapnel in A Number. Photo by Richard Budd.

Lex Shrapnel in A Number. Photo by Richard Budd.

Lex Shrapnel plays Bernard. His theatre credits include: Hedda Gabler (Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton), The Deep Blue Sea and Death of a Salesman (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Serious Money (Birmingham Rep), Richard II, Henry IV Part IHenry V, Henry VI Parts 1, 2, 3 and Richard III (Royal Shakespeare Company), Hamlet (Birmingham Rep), Romeo and Juliet (Chichester) and King Lear (Almeida).  His television credits include A.D., Sons of Liberty, Transporter, The AssetsMidsomer MurdersBy Any MeansEndeavourThe Poison TreeHuntedMinder and Sharpe’s Challenge.  Lex’s film credits include Grimsby, Seal Team Eight, OXI: An Act of Resistance, Captain America: The First Avenger, EmulsionAn Organization of DreamsFlyboysMinotaurThunderbirds and K-19: The Widowmaker.

A Number is directed by Michael Longhurst, designed by Tom Scutt, with lighting design by Lee Curran and sound design by Richard Hammarton. The shows runs at the YV from 4 Jul – 15 Aug. Book now: www.youngvic.org/whats-on/a-number

11 Questions with the cast of Ah, Wilderness! – Lucas Pinto

Lucas Pinto in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

  Lucas Pinto in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

Lucas Pinto is currently playing Tommy Miller (also played by Rory Stroud) 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?
Raucous. Annoying. Active.

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

What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?
Not sure. This play.

What is your favourite midnight snack?
I don’t get up at midnight.

What are you most passionate about?
Drama!

If days were 28 hours long, what would you do with the 4 extra hours?
Sleep for 2 more hours, play and read.

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
Universal Studios Florida.

Favourite city and why?
New York.

What is your favourite song?
Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen.

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
Now – because I don’t want my life to change.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
Flight as I have always wanted to fly.

Ah, Wilderness! runs at the Young Vic until 23 May. Head over to YouTube to see the trailer. Book now: www.youngvic.org/whats-on/ah-wilderness

4 Stars for World Factory at the Young Vic

Heather Lai and Lucy Ellinson (standing) and audience members in World Factory. Photo by David Sandison.

Heather Lai and Lucy Ellinson (standing) and audience members in World Factory. Photo by David Sandison.

The reviews are in for World Factory. Read below to find out what the critics think and click here to see the amazing audience response so far.

★★★★
“Innovative, thought-provoking and richly absorbing”
Evening Standard – read the full review here.

★★★★
“Fun and engaging”
The Independent – read the full review here.

★★★★
“A breakneck, thought-provoking piece”
The Guardian – read the full review here.

★★★★
“Lively, ambitious and highly entertaining”
The Times

★★★★
“Smart, mischievous and genuinely thought-provoking”
Financial Times

★★★★
“One of the guiltiest pleasures going… the game is great fun”
WhatsOnStage – read the full review here.

“Stunningly presented and brilliantly intricate”
Time Out – read the full review here.

World Factory runs at the Young Vic until 6 June. Book now

11 Questions with the cast of Ah, Wilderness! – Eleanor McLoughlin

Eleanor McLoughlin in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

Eleanor McLoughlin in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

Eleanor is currently playing Norah in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Here are her answers to our 11 Questions…

Can you describe your character in Ah, Wilderness! in three words?
Clumsy. Cheeky. Young.

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

What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. 

What is your favourite midnight snack?
Red wine.

What are you most passionate about?
Prevaricating.

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

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
KnockanStockan.

Favourite city and why?
Dublin – I’d be in fierce trouble if I said otherwise.

What is your favourite song?
It’d be hard to say, I have so many.

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
Now is fine.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
The ability to make people laugh at my jokes.

Ah, Wilderness! runs at the Young Vic until 23 May. Head over to YouTube to see the trailer. Book now: www.youngvic.org/whats-on/ah-wilderness

11 Questions with the cast of Ah, Wilderness! – Rory Stroud

Rory Stroud in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

Rory Stroud in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

Rory Stroud is currently playing Tommy Miller (also played by Lucas Pinto) 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?
Mischievous. Energetic. Excitable.

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

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

What is your favourite midnight snack?
Grapes.

What are you most passionate about?
The pop culture of TV/Film.

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

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
Vietnam.

Favourite city and why?
London – very busy.

What is your favourite song?
Common People by William Shatner.

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
The 60s because of The Beatles, the moon landing and JFK.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
Invisibility -because I could spy on everyone.

Ah, Wilderness! runs at the Young Vic until 23 May. Head over to YouTube to see the trailer. Book now: www.youngvic.org/whats-on/ah-wilderness

Turning a Little Further – Two Boroughs at the Young Vic

20150430_3605

The Company of Turning a Little Further at the Young Vic. All photos by Helen Murray.

‘Imagine a woman up to her neck’
Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days did just that. But where would this woman go if she could move? What would this woman do if she was able to escape? Who is this woman if she is not Winnie?

Two Boroughs at the Young Vic stages two community shows a year. Working with a full, professional creative and production team we put the show on in one of our theatre spaces with a cast made up of local individual and community groups. Each piece is inspired by something we have running concurrently in the Main House, so that our shows in Taking Part are integral to the programming of the building.

Happy Days, on at the start of this year, felt to us like one woman’s story – so we wanted to use it as a starting point to tell more stories, of more women. Of women who, like Winnie, find themselves defined by something outside of their control. Women who chose to care for others when that meant their world shrank around them. The rubble piled higher. Up to the neck.20150430_3410

We engaged two groups of unpaid, female carers, one from each of our two boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. With them we created movement and text which enabled us to imagine freedom and escape, and to describe the daily realities of life for these extraordinary, ordinary women. All of the movement was improvised by the cast which also included twelve local women who auditioned to be part of a core movement group, in sessions led by Coral Messam, whilst the text was generated by exercises led by performance poet Francesca Beard. The show was brought together into a joyous whole by director Laura Keefe.

For the carers, coming to rehearsals every week and juggling their responsibilities with our sessions has been an ongoing negotiation. We have been meeting the two carers groups for four months, getting to know these amazing women with an often forgotten role in our society. They save the UK government approximately £119 billion a year – that’s almost as much as the entire NHS budget. Their carer’s allowance is £61.35 per week. On the eve of this uncertain general election we wanted to say something about the lives of these women who are affected, daily, by those in power but who are invisible except to those relying on them every hour of every day. No one knows them when they walk past on the street.

20150430_3629We felt that the sessions themselves needed to be joyful – to be a respite – and we hope we translated that to the stage. If it is theatre’s job to tell the stories of a society, to tell us our stories of ourselves, then we wanted to tell those stories that we do not hear, do not know exist. We have not given anyone a voice, we have simply allowed those voices to be heard.

Some women had circumstances too complicated to allow them to perform, some developed health complications of their own, but we are grateful for their words. It has been a joy and a privilege creating this piece with these women. Every story told on stage was true. Every woman stood with many more behind her. This show was for all those women, keeping the world turning, one day at a time.

Lily Einhorn (Two Boroughs Projects Manager)

For more information about Taking Part, go to www.youngvic.org/taking-part.

Casting announced for The Trial

Olivier Award winner Rory Kinnear leads the cast of this new adaptation of Kafka’s novel, created by Richard Jones and Miriam Buether and written by Nick Gill. Take a look at the full cast below.

marc-antolin

Marc Antolin makes his Young Vic debut in The Trial. Other theatre credits include Taken at Midnight (Minerva Theatre, Chichester/Theatre Royal Haymarket); Amadeus, Singin’ in the Rain and The Music Man (Chichester Festival Theatre); From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre); Matilda (RSC/Cambridge Theatre); Bells are Ringing, Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi (Union Theatre); Hello Dolly and Into the Woods (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Billy Liar (UK tour); and Imagine This (New London Theatre). Marc’s film credits include Love Actually, Hunky Dory and London Road, released in June 2015. Television credits include Caerdydd and More Than Love.

Steven Beard

Steven Beard’s previous credits at the Young Vic include The Good Person of Szechuan and The Government Inspector. His other theatre credits include The Crucible (West Yorkshire Playhouse); A Flea in her Ear and The Illusion (Old Vic); Uncle Vanya, The Winter’s Tale, The Bald Prima Donna, The Breasts of Tiresias and The Park (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield); The Lady From the Sea and The Father (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow); The Servant of Two Masters and Endgame (Nottingham Playhouse, also performed in Weimar as part of 1999’s European Capital of Culture); Nathan the Wise, The Seagull, Seven Doors and Scapino (Chichester Festival Theatre); Racing Demon, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (National Theatre); and The Importance of Being Earnest and Candide (Opéra National de Lorraine, Nancy). Film credits include Anna Karenina, The Remains of the Day and Shakespeare in Love.

Richard Cant makes his Young Vic debut in The Trial. His theatre credits include My Night with Reg (Donmar/Apollo); War Horse (National Theatre); Salome (Headlong); Troilus and Cressida, Cymbeline, As You Like It (Cheek By Jowl); The Country Wife, Original Sin (Sheffield Crucible); Pera Pelas (Gate); Other People (Royal Court); Angels in America (Manchester Library); Hamlet, Cymbeline, Much Ado About Nothing (RSC); His film credits include Sparkle and Lawless Heart. Television credits include Bleak House, Mapp And Lucia, Outlander, Doctor Who and The Way We Live Now.

Sarah Crowden

Sarah Crowden makes her Young Vic debut in The Trial. Her previous theatre credits include Flare Path (Theatre Royal, Haymarket); 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea ( Stratford East); The Man Who Came to Dinner (Chichester Festival Theatre); Chatsky (Almeida & tour); La Bete (Lyric, Hammersmith); and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC). Her film credits include Mr Holmes, Queen of the Desert, Quartet, The Riot Club, Jupiter Ascending, Brideshead Revisited and Miss Potter. For television her credits include Doc Martin, New Tricks, Wolf Hall, Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs, Sarah Jane Adventures, Tipping the Velvet and many others. For radio, her credits include Kathmandu or Bust.

Charlie Folorunsho

Charlie Folorunsho returns to the Young Vic having previously appeared in The Mosquito Coast. His other theatre credits include Satyagraha (ENO & Metropolitan Opera, New York); The Firework Maker’s Daughter (Lyric Hammersmith); Gilgamesh (London Parks); All’s Well That Ends Well (UK tour); The Lower Depths (The Clink Vaults); Muhammad Ali & Me (Ovalhouse); Under Their Influence (Tricycle); The Southwark Mysteries (Southwark Cathedral); A Mad World My Masters (New Wolsey, Ipswich); and The Arrival (Newcastle Playhouse).

Neil Haigh

Neil Haigh makes his Young Vic debut in The Trial. His previous theatre credits include World Cup 66 (Bristol Old Vic); What The Dickens (Brewery, Bristol); Pub Rock, Hard Hearted Hannah (also Kennedy Center Washington DC) (Lyric Hammersmith); Made Up (Soho Theatre); The Summer House, Difficulty of Concentration, Angels of the Universe (The Gate); Mass Observation (Almeida); The Irish Giant (Southwark Playhouse); The Ratcatcher of Hamelin, Meat & Two Veg (BAC); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (UK Tour) and Ether Frolics (SHUNT). For television his credits include Dalziel and Pascoe, No Angels, Casualty, The Bill and Doctors (National Soap Award nomination 2014).

Suzy King

Suzy King makes her Young Vic debut in The Trial. Previous theatre credits include Swanwhite (The Gate); Dr Faustus and Daisy Pulls It Off (Dukes, Lancaster); The Millionairess (BAC); Marya and A Flea In Her Ear (Old Vic); and Merry Christmas Mr Burbage (The Theatre, Shoreditch). Opera credits include Anna Nicole, Il Trittico, The Gambler, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Royal Opera House); Der Rosenkavalier and Falstaff (Glyndebourne); and Julietta, Lulu, Die Fledermaus and Don Carlos (English National Opera). Suzy’s film credits include The Third Party, Like It Is and Knickers. Her television credits include The House of Eliot, Blood Rights and The Upper Hand. For radio, her credits include work as a presenter for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Radio 1.

Rory Kinnear

Rory Kinnear returns to the stage for the first time since his Evening Standard Award-winning performance as Iago in Othello (National Theatre) in 2013, for which he also won an Olivier Award. In 2011 he won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor for his performances in both Measure for Measure (Almeida) and Hamlet (National Theatre). Other theatre credits include The Last of the Hausmanns, Tragedy, Philistines and The Man of Mode (Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role) (National Theatre); Mary Stuart (Donmar Warehouse); Cymbeline and Taming of the Shrew (RSC). His film credits include The Imitation Game, Cuban Fury, Skyfall, Quantum of Solace, Wild Target and Broken, for which he won the BIFA award for Best Supporting Actor. For television, his credits include The Casual Vacancy, Penny Dreadful, Count Arthur Strong, Richard II, Southcliffe for which he was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor, Loving Miss Hatto, Black Mirror and Lucan. Upcoming releases include Spectre, Man Up and Tresspass Against Us.

Kate O’Flynn

Kate O’Flynn makes her Young Vic debut in The Trial. Theatre credits include A Taste of Honey and Port (National Theatre) for which she won the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Newcomer; The Ritual Slaughter of George Mastromas and A Miracle (Royal Court); Lungs and The Sound of Heavy Rain (Paines Plough/Sheffield) and See How They Run and The Children’s Hour (Royal Exchange, Manchester) for which she won the MEN Award for Best Newcomer and the TMA Award for Best Supporting Actress. Kate’s film credits include Mr Turner, Up There and Happy Go Lucky and her television work includes Ordinary Lies, No Offence and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

Weruche Opia

Weruche Opia makes her Young Vic debut in The Trial. Other theatre credits include Liberian Girl (Royal Court); Shakespeare Sonnets (Shakespeare’s Globe); and The Inheritors and For Coloured Girls (National Theatre Nigeria). Television credits include Bad Education (series regular), Suspects, Banana and Top Boy. Film credits include When Love Happens and Bad Education The Movie which is due for release later in 2015.

Hugh Skinner

Hugh Skinner’s previous work at the Young Vic includes The Cherry Orchard and Senora Carrar’s Rifles. Other theatre credits include Therese Raquin (Theatre Royal, Bath); American Psycho (Almeida); Wild Oats (Bristol Old Vic); You Can’t Take It With You (Royal Exchange, Manchester); 66 Books, Where’s My Seat?, 2nd May 1997, SuddenLossOfDignity.com (Bush); The Great Game (Tricycle) and The Enchantment (National Theatre). Hugh’s film credits include Kill Your Friends, Les Misérables and Day of the Dead. Television credits include Our Zoo, Any Human Heart and Tess of the D’Urbervilles. He is currently appearing in W1A on BBC One.

Sian Thomas

Sian Thomas returns to the Young Vic having previously appeared in Rainsnakes. Other theatre credits include Minetti (Barbican/ Royal Lyceum Edinburgh); Passion Play (Duke of York’s); Blue Heart Afternoon and The Glass Room (Hampstead Theatre); Feelgood (Hampstead Theatre/Garrick), Richard II (Donmar Warehouse); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Northern Stage/Sheffield Crucible); Spring Awakening (Lyric Hammersmith/Novello); Up for Grabs (Wyndham’s), for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award; The Illusion (Old Vic); Fram, House and Garden, Sleep With Me, Richard II, The Way of the World and Countrymania (National Theatre), for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award; Ghosts (Bristol Old Vic); The Price (Apollo/Tricycle); Push Up (Royal Court); King Lear, Macbeth, Hamlet, Happy End and Taming of the Shrew (RSC); and Richard III (RSC/Savoy). Her film credits include Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Perfume. On television, her credits include Atlantis, Merlin and The Royal Bodyguard.

Day Seat Lottery
Before each performance of The Trial (except 26 June), head down to the Box Office for the Day Seat Lottery. At 5pm we’ll take your name and a draw will then take place at 5.30pm with all tickets at £20, with a £10 concession for Under 26s. On matinee days we’ll take names at 1pm and draws will take place at 1.30pm. A few bits of housekeeping:

• There will be a limit of 2 tickets per person for lottery winners
• On matinee days, please arrive at 1PM for a 1.30PM drawing for the matinee performance only, the usual 5PM time for the evening performance

Due to popular demand, day seats and returns will only be available in person.

The Trial runs at the Young Vic from 19 Jun – 22 Aug. Book now.