★★★★★ “A joy to watch” | A Man of Good Hope reviews are in

South African company Isango Ensemble are only with us until 12 November with A Man of Good Hope. This true, epic story of one man’s journey across Africa is told through marimbas and roof-lifting songs. Read the latest reviews and find out what audiences have been saying.

“Bursting with life, this is a full-blooded hymn to hope.”
Daily Mail | Read the full review

“Isango Ensemble’s musical has marvellous songs and breathtaking acting”
The Observer | Read the full review

“A terrific slice of musical theatre – this fiercely topical show is a real treat”
Mail on Sunday | Read the full review

“An extraordinary, magical piece of theatre – all politicians should go”
The Times | Read the full review 

“Exhilarating and inspired –  I urge everyone to see this show”
The Guardian | Read the full review

“A gorgeous score that bubbles with life – profoundly stirring”
The Independent | Read the full review

“Glorious, vibrant musical theatre that speaks to the biggest concern of our age”
The Financial Times | Read the full review

“Powerful and vivid, Asad’s story unfolds in joyous ensemble singing”
Evening Standard | Read the full review

“Heartbreaking, with dynamic choreography and beautiful music”
Time Out | Read the full review here 

See more photos from the production. For tickets and more information head to youngvic.org.

Q&A with Jonny Steinberg & Isango Ensemble | A Man of Good Hope

We’re delighted to host a post-show Q&A with A Man Of Good Hope writer, Jonny Steinberg and members of Isango Ensemble.


The company of A Man Of Good Hope. Photo by Keith Pattison

The discussion will be chaired by YV Artistic Director, David Lan and is open to all audience members who’ll be coming to the 7.30pm performance on Wednesday 26 October.

David Lan will be joined by the writer of A Man Of Good Hope, Jonny Steinberg, Professor of African Studies at the University of Oxford, Isango Ensemble’s Music Director and Conductor, Mandisi Dyantyis, as well as other members of the creative team.

The panel will discuss how Jonny’s book was originally shared with Isango and later developed in Cape Town by the Ensemble, as well as the production’s journey to London and the Young Vic.

Don’t miss your chance to hear more about this unique production. Book tickets for 26 Oct at youngvic.org.

Good Chance presents Last Chance: Carey Mulligan, Juliet Stevenson, Samuel West and others join refugees to read the Dublin III Regulation


good_chance_logoGood Chance presents LAST CHANCE: a staged plea for the unaccompanied children of Calais

Carey Mulligan, Juliet Stevenson, Samuel West and others join refugees to read the Dublin III Regulation

 Good Chance will stage a reading of the Dublin III Regulation with a group of refugees, actors and activists at the Young Vic this Thursday, 20 October. Tickets are free and the event is open to the public.

A census conducted by Help Refugees on 15 October recorded 865 children living in the unofficial refugee camp in Calais. 78% of them were alone.   Many of these children have the legal right to be reunited with family members in the UK under the Immigration Act 2016.

Children and young people in the camp are at high risk of trafficking, sexual exploitation and slavery.  Senior officials from multiple charities working in the camp have reported incidents of serious depression, self-harm and threats of suicide from minors in despair over the camp’s imminent destruction.

The eviction of the Calais camp was planned for today, Monday 17 October, but has since been delayed by at least a week because of the lack of solution available for the hundreds of unaccompanied minors living in the camp. However, on average each case has taken over eight weeks to process, meaning that the majority of these minors will not be admitted to the UK ahead of the camp’s demolition.  At the latest count only 62 unaccompanied minors had been successfully settled with their families in the UK. Reports from the camp suggest that the destruction of cafés and restaurants will begin today, and buses have already arrived in preparation for dispersal of the population of the camp.

The Dublin III Regulation provides the legal basis for establishing the criteria and mechanism for determining the country responsible for reviewing asylum applications lodged in any member state by a stateless person. The regulation applies to 32 countries which include the EU member states, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Carey Mulligan, War Child Global Ambassador, Juliet Stevenson, Safe Passage Advisory Council Member, Samuel West and others will read the treaty in full alongside Good Chance founders Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy as well as John Pfumojena, Lula Mebrahtu and other refugees who have settled in the UK.  The reading is directed by Justin Martin.

Alongside the reading on the night, artist Sue Partridge will continue The Paper People Project. In March Sue hung 291 life size cut-outs representing the unaccompanied children of Calais throughout the Jungle camp. She is now coordinating the creation of 10,000 cut-outs made by individuals in the US, Italy, France, Afghanistan, Iran, Ireland and the UK, each representing a resident of the camp. Audience members are invited to join these international participants to be traced for a cut out of themselves. A replica of the Jungle camp will also be built live in the space, and other art projects will be created throughout the evening.

Juliet Stevenson says, “The Safe Passage UK programme has brought 62 children from Calais safely and legally to the United Kingdom under this legislation, but time is running out for the rest of the unaccompanied minors in the camp.  The prime minister and home secretary must act urgently to reunite these families and protect these vulnerable young people.”

 Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson add, “When Good Chance built its first theatre of hope in the Jungle last September, we were overwhelmed by the number of unaccompanied children living there, all needing a space of welcome and comfort to express themselves and feel safe.

 That many of those same children are still living there now over a year later, in ever more desperate conditions, is an outrage. With a hard eviction looming, they are running out of time.

 We have a moral responsibility to look after them, and a legal responsibility too. LAST CHANCE reading is a call to the government to ensure all the children of Calais are safely housed before the eviction begins, to speed up the Dublin III process, and for the Dubs Amendment transfers to begin as soon as possible.”


Kevin Bishop heads to Hollywood in Once in a Lifetime

Just announced – actor and comedian Kevin Bishop will join the cast of Once in a Lifetime.  


Kevin Bishop Photograph by Roger Charity

Kevin takes on the role of Jerry and joins Harry Enfield, Claudie Blakley and John Marquez on stage in this Broadway classic, directed by the remarkable Richard Jones.

Hollywood, 1930. The first-ever talking motion picture is a smash hit and suddenly every actor needs a voice. Three New Yorkers head west to cash in on the talkies trend by opening an elocution school. But in a city heaving with clueless ingénues, all-powerful studio moguls and neurotic screenwriters, success is trickier than it seems.

Kevin’s previous work for television includes The Kevin Bishop Show,  BAFTA TV Award-nominated Star Stories Porridge, Benidorm, Channel Four’s Comedy Gala.

Theatre credits include:  Fully Committed  (Menier Chocolate Factory) and Fat Pig (The Comedy Theatre).
Film credits include:  Irena Palm,  L’Auberge EspagnoleThe Muppets Treasure Island

Once in a Lifetime by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, adapted by Christopher Hart, is directed by Richard Jones and runs 25 November – 14 January 2017 in the Young Vic’s Main House. It is designed by Hyemi Shin with costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, light by Jon Clark, sound by Sarah Angliss and casting by Julia Horan CDG.

Find out more and book your tickets today.

Theatres urge Government to honour commitment to refugee children

Today theatre companies across the country urge Government to honour its commitment to refugee children with legal right to enter the UK.

 Today 21 theatre companies across the UK wrote to the immigration minister Robert Goodwill to urge the Government to honour its legal commitments under the Immigration Act 2016.  They particularly urge the minister to speed up the process by which those vulnerable young people currently living at the soon to be dismantled Calais refugee camp who are legally entitled to join their families in the UK can do so.

Though fully aware that a visit to the theatre will not be a priority for these vulnerable young people, the theatre companies are indicating their support for these children and the organisations attempting to protect them by offering the children and their families tickets to a show free of charge.

Those taking part are:  Battersea Arts Centre, Bush Theatre, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Chichester Festival Theatre, Colin Callender (Playground Entertainment), Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Lyric Hammersmith, The National Theatre, Nuffield Southampton, The Old Vic, Royal Court Theatre, Royal Exchange Manchester, Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells, Soho Theatre, Sonia Friedman Productions, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Unicorn Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Young Vic.

This is our joint statement:

We understand that there are currently 1022 unaccompanied young children living alone in the ‘Jungle’ refugee and migrant camp in Calais.[1] 

 Around half[2] of these children have the legal right to be reunited with their families in the UK under the terms of the Immigration Act 2016.

 As the authorities prepare for the camp’s demolition in the next three weeks, we urge the British Government to honour the legal commitment it has made to protect these children, to speed up the legal process in view of the impending eviction and to do everything it can to ensure the protection of all unaccompanied children living in Calais before the demolition begins. 

 We know that, on their hoped for arrival in the UK, a visit to the theatre will not be the most urgent of these children’s needs. Nonetheless we will all be delighted to welcome them and their families into our theatres across the country and to offer them seats to a show free of charge in the belief that this is one small expression of the desire of millions of UK citizens to do whatever they can to welcome these vulnerable young people in a generous and open-hearted way.”



[1] Help Refugees/L’Auberge des Migrants Census Report, September 2016

[2] Ibid

8 ways to be sustainable in the Theatre | How we try to put them into play

As we draw to the end of Sustainable September, we thought it would be ace to highlight some of the ways you can be sustainable in the theatre ALL year round.


The cast and creative team of La Musica were given a tree in Vauxhall as a present at opening night to commemorate the show being a Classics for a New Climate Production.


1. Up-cycling and reusing sets

🌱 So many times at the end of a production, if it’s not of immediate or foreseeable reuse, all that beautiful set goes straight in the skip. Not only wasting perfectly good materials but filling up our landfills. And we’re in an industry that is currently full of budget cuts, what is going on?  The Young Vic works with Scenery Salvage and Set Exchange, who aim to ensure that sets have a long and meaningful life post-production or are dealt with in the most sustainable way possible when they are no longer required. Recent examples include donating the sand from Ah, Wilderness! to a local nursery, the timber from The Trial being re-appropriated for La Musica and the rubber crumb from Yerma coming from a previous production at the Donmar Warehouse, rather than buying new.

2. LED lighting in the theatre

🌱 LED lighting is the way of the future because quite simply they use a fraction of the power of a normal light bulb…. meaning LOW POWER CONSUMPTION. Woop. Our production of La Musica was a Classics for a New Climate production – and included an LED light box. Capital Refurbishment Projects have also seen us introduce LED lighting into the YV get-round and public toilets.

3. Working to create a living roof garden to support an urban garden ecosystem

🌱 Green roofs (roofs with a vegetated surface and substrate) provide ecosystem services in urban areas, including improved storm-water management, better regulation of building temperatures, reduced urban heat-island effects, and increased urban wildlife habitat.1 Now in its second year, our gardening club works with Kew Gardens ‘Grow Wild’ Campaign. Check out our roof top below.

We’re also in love with our wormery – any appropriate food waste is place in the wormery, digested, and turned into compost. Go green!

4. Give away your surplus playtexts.

🌱 Why not give away any surplus playtexts to those who could use them? Definitely better than having these fantastic pieces of work lie around the office or in storage. All unused and surplus playtexts at the Young Vic are given away to local secondary schools.

5. Encourage your audiences to travel via public transport.

🌱 Actively encourage your audiences to hit the tube, bus, bike or their two feet in order to make to-ing and fro-ing from the theatre have less impact on the environment. Added bonus of not worrying about parking.

On top of trying to promote this practice to our audience, the Young Vic give away 10% of all its tickets away for free to local young people, schools and colleges, residents and community groups. Meaning that we know that at least 10% of our audience comes from the local area, and thus have a minimal carbon footprint in associated travel.

6. Get your in-house theatre bars and restaurants on board.

🌱 Local and organic is best! Just think about the how much wasted energy and carbon output you can cut down on if you stick to locally sourced produce. Also sticking with organic, you know not only exactly where it’s coming from, but what’s in it.

The Cut Bar does some fantastic work: food is seasonal, and comes from ethical, organic and free-range suppliers. There are also number of vegan and vegetarian options, the beer comes from a local brewery in Bermondsey, the wine comes from a biodynamic vineyard, and our takeaway cups are fully recyclable (unlike in coffee-chain shops).

7. Use eco-friendly suppliers within your companies/offices/organizations.

🌱 This one’s for all industries out there. Go green in your stationary and office supplies, why not?  For more information on the impact simple changes such as the paper you use can have, check out our supplier Wiles Greenworld‘s site. Some of their services include 100% recycled plastic pens, products that have not been freighted from overseas and Fairtrade tea and coffee. We love them and you can too!

8. Be recycle and waste concious.

🌱 A 2008 report from the Mayor of London’s office found that the annual carbon footprint of the theatre industry in London is equivalent to driving around the M25 1.5 million times. And it is estimated that around 600 million tonnes of products and materials enter the UK economy each year, with only 115 million tonnes of this getting recycled. There’s only one answer to this people, be recycle and waste concious aware.2

The Young Vic works with First Mile, who ensure that nothing they collect goes to landfill. All waste collected from the theatre is either recycled or incinerated for energy recovery or anaerobic digestion.

If you’d like to read more about how the Young Vic commits itself to helping the environment you can do so here


Young Vic Wormery

1 BioScience Oxford Journals

5 Free Events this Black History Month

October is Black History Month, celebrating and commemorating the contribution made to our society over many years by the African and Caribbean communities. We’ve found 5 free events around London that we think you should check out. For full listings, including all the great theatre that’s going on, head on over to Black History Month.


BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Now: Live

Monday 3 October, 11pm
BBC Glassbox, Riverside Terrace Cafe
Southbank Centre

This live broadcast features new music by vibraphonist Ralph Wyld, featuring his sextet Mosaic. Ralph, who won the 2014 John Dankworth Award and the 2015 Kenny Wheeler Prize for composition, is joined by a line-up of London’s brightest young jazz talent, including trumpeter James Copus, clarinettist Sam Rapley and cellist Celia Bignall. Also on the bill is the brilliant pianist Jason Rebello, a veteran of the bands of Sting, Jeff Beck and Tim Garland.

This event is free but tickets are required so please book your free ticket online, by phone or in person (no fees apply).

Africa on the Square
Saturday 15 October, 12 – 6pm
Trafalgar Square

Africa on the Square returns to Trafalgar Square for the third time on Saturday 15 October. This popular event celebrates African arts and culture. There’ll be a range of activities highlighting communities from across the continent.
You can expect a fantastic line-up of entertainment on the day including live music, DJs, dancing and a talent show. Plus an African market, food stalls, fashion show and lots of fun stuff for kids.

Africa on the Square is organised by the Mayor of London for Black History Month 2016

Celebrating Black History & Craft Fair
Saturday 22 October, 3- 7pm
St Mary and George Hornsey Parish Church
Cranley Gardens

This event is open to the community, to come together, to learn and celebrate black history. There will be local businesses, organisations, charities designers and artists providing community information, stalls, illustrative arts, crafts and decorative items.

There will also live entertainment from unsigned artists.

Back in the Day: Reggae vibes and memories with David Katz
Tuesday 25 October, 7.30 – 9pm
Rye Wax, CLF Art Café

Author and journalist David Katz will discuss his books Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae and People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, in an illustrated reading featuring the music covered in those books.
Further musical support will be provided by fellow journalist Angus Taylor, playing original reggae vinyl style.

Rye Wax bar and Taco Queen food facilities available. Signed copies of books available on the night.

Friday 28 October, 7.30pm
Brixton Library
Brixton Hill

Black words Matter.JPG‘Mother, mother. There’s too many of you crying. Brother, brother, brother. There’s far too many of you dying…’ (Marvin Gaye, What’s going on)

Black History Month couldn’t be complete in 2016 without reference to the Black Lives Matter movement happening in both the US and here. There are many ways to examine and rage about the reality of racism in society, whether through protest, song or the written word. Brixton Library is therefore throwing the microphone open to a poetic response to examining what’s going on. Poets and performers are coming together to speak through spoken word. If you would like to add your poem do get in touch.

For further information contact Tim O’Dell.


So get stuck in and enjoy as much of the upcoming month as you can! 

“Black History Month is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the myriad of contributions Black people have made to our country and to London.”
Sadiq Kahn, Mayor of London