“The laundry bill must be incredible” – How DO our wardrobe team cope with #YVDream Mud?

The Young Vic costume department have been both complimented and commiserated with, by critics and audience members alike as to how they have to deal with our A Midsummer Night Dream mud every night. Especially those white pants…. come on! We talked to Head of Costume Catherine Kodicek about how this is done. 

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“Over the years we have been challenged by lots of productions when it comes to the laundry and maintenance of the costumes; oodles of blood from all kinds of injuries, bags of vomit made from soup and other food items, bottles of ink, water with brown dye in it which the actors fall in to, sticky champagne that gets sprayed over them, paint which they cover themselves in, make-up and even a food fight with trifle, but nothing has really compared to the mud in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Not since the *blood rain* in A View From The Bridge has every single item of costume come up completely covered and needing to be transformed back to its clean self.

The key to survival is to have doubles of as many of the costumes as possible so that they do not get washed every single day. Washing and drying can wear out even very robust fabrics. There will always be items from vintage shops and markets that you cannot buy a second version of so if possible make replicas of these. The more duplicates you have the fewer times each item will be washed and the longer they will look good. Some of the actors in the show have between 2 and 6 versions of their costumes.

  • Before we let any actual costumes get muddy we did a wash test with some old clothes to see how washable the mud was- the answer was *not very washable on natural fibres*. On man made fabric such as polyester and nylon the mud comes out relatively easy. On natural fibres such as cotton and linen the fabric wants to hold the mud particles and so the mud is harder to get out.
  • Using the same method we used successfully on the Wardrobe staff doing the laundryblood rain did not help us. Every
    heavily soiled item needed rinsing or soaking, scrubbing then washing, rinsing and washing again before it was clean. In the end the magic ingredient to dislodge the mud particles was washing up liquid!!  (an old trick recommended by Upstage Theatrical Dry Cleaners who we use regularly for dry cleaning).
  • Every item still needed to be scrubbed and then washed, but the washing up liquid proved to be more successful that any of the oxy action or other *stain removal* products. We discovered that the cheaper the detergent the better, as it produces fewer bubbles and makes rinsing easier.
  • We found that drying the suit trousers first and brushing off the surface mud prior to surface washing gave the best results. Finally we also ran the whites through an ecological bleach to freshen them regularly and let the lighting do the rest.”

So there you have it. How to clean a entire company’s costumes every night post mud-roll.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs in the YV Main House until 1 April. For more information and to book, click here.

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11 Questions with the cast of The Bear / The Proposal – George Ikediashi

Returning to the Young Vic after Tobias and the Angel in 2006, you may also recognise George Ikediashi from  Threepenny Opera, Porgy & Bess or his fabulous cabaret character Le Gateau Chocolat. 11 Questions with George below… 

George Ikediashi in The Bear The Proposal at the Young Vic © Ellie Kurttz

George Ikediashi in The Bear / The Proposal at the Young Vic.     Photo: Ellie Kurttz 

1) Describe your stage presence in three emojis or words?

🦄💃🤡

2) What’s it been like working on a Young Vic Genesis show?

Thrilling, exciting and utterly exhausting. It was been a true collaborative effort with every moment spent mining Chekhov for his truth and Leo, mining the performers and themselves, for ours.

3) What is one thing you would like people to know about the gender-fierce*/gender queer community? 

To keep questioning and challenging your preconceptions. The fluidity might seem challenging and counter intuitive, in a world that championed and drilled in blue for boys and pink for girls but the rewards of embracing? Liberation.

In the words of en vogue “free your mind and the rest will follow”

4) What are you usually doing 10 minutes before a show begins?

Warming up, doing scales, and or finishing make up. Here though, I’m sat on stage in a cubby hole, waiting to come on as the audience are let in.

5) What is your favourite part of the rehearsal process?

The hope and the boundless ambition showcased and discussed excitedly in the first couple of days – you dive in, get lost, it gets hard, mushy, confusing… you check back and somehow, some of that ambition has materialised and evolved to an unfathomable and interesting place and you’re like – “ah, that what the work was for”

6) What did you want to be growing up?

A lawyer. Ha.

7) If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Um…. no. Making me Sophie’s Choice my food?  You’re ridiculous. Nope, not even hypothetically.

8) What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?

Life. Mine & others. “There is no greater agony that bearing an untold story inside you” – Maya Angelou

9) What’s your favourite play you’ve seen, read or worked on?

This changes so often as I feel it very important to facilitate your growth by consuming a lot of art. So my current answer’s Love at the National; the bleakest depiction of our social care problem. I don’t know when the tears came or when they stopped. It was deeply affecting and painfully human.

10) If you could be a superhero who would it be and why?

Easy. X-Men’s Phoenix; the hair, the costume, the powers. Most importantly though, the metaphor; to rise from the ashes. To embrace the idea that from mistakes, pain, suffering… something beautiful is born. We’re not perfect. You mightn’t succeed at first but learn, grow and rise again.

11) Would you rather have the hiccups for the rest of your life, or always feel like you have to sneeze but not be able to?

First the food question, now this? You’re ridiculous.

George stars in The Bear / The Proposal   which runs 15 – 25 Mar in the Young Vic’s Clare. Tickets for this production are all sold out but you are welcome to join our returns queues from an hour before each performance. Find more information on The Bear / The Proposal here

YV Blind Date – Alice & Max 💕 – “Very good date night play”

Blind date

Alice on Max:

What were you hoping for?

An evening of good company, and a way of meeting someone new outside my normal social circle that enjoys the theatre and the arts.

First impressions?

Max was approachable, friendly and made me feel at ease.

What did you drink in The Cut Bar and was it a good place for pre-theatre mingling?

A G & T to calm my blind date nerves. The bar had a nice buzz about it and a relaxed atmosphere for a date.

What did you talk about before the show?

His job, which is fascinating, where we grew up and that someone he went to LAMDA with was in the play (a small world).
My job, and how I (try to) balance my social life and theatre/gig going schedule.
Pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones.

Any awkward moments?

I was 5 minutes late due to a Citymapper fail (map reading is not my strong point). Sorry!
Oh and we almost forgot to take the selfie.

Describe him in 3 words.

Intriguing, smiley, a gentleman.

What did you think of #YVDream and was it a good date night play?

I’d thoroughly recommend it as a date night play, the humour and muddy mayhem worked well.

Rate the date using as many emojis as you like.

🎭😂👍🏻📷

Would you meet again? (Romantically/as friends/as theatre companions)

As theatre companions, we had lots to talk about and he’d been to some interesting productions I haven’t seen yet.

Max on Alice:

What were you hoping for?

Love! Crazy love!

First impressions?

Very good.

What did you drink in The Cut Bar and was it a good place for pre-theatre mingling?

Tonic water, great place to meet- atmosphere, music, lively people, good vibe.

What did you talk about before the show?

Our interests/work and theatre/shows we’d seen before.

Any awkward moments?

I don’t feel awkwardness on dates, it’s a waste of time.

Describe her in 3 words.

Articulate, pretty, chilled.

What did you think of #YVDream and was it a good date night play?

Very good date night play- for Shakespeare fans, which we were.

Rate the date using as many emojis as you like. 

👁📸🎉🌘🍈🍸🎼🎭

Would you meet again? (Romantically/as friends/as theatre companions)

No.

Max and Alice met at The Cut Bar & Restaurant before watching A Midsummer Night’s Dream, running at the Young Vic until 1 April. Find our more about the show here, or let us know if you want us to carry on with #YVBlindDate and would apply yourself: marketing@youngvic.org.

World premiere announced: Paul Mason’s Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere

We are delighted to announce a new show Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere by Paul Mason and directed by David Lan, which will be performed 28 – 30 March 2017 in the Young Vic’s Maria studio. Tickets are free and will be allocated by ballot. The show will be filmed and broadcast at a later date by BBC Television as part of Performance Live.

“What kind of revolution is this?”

The world premiere of a play about revolution.

This is the story of the networked generation. How did we get from the optimism of the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement to Trump’s election and the dislocation of the present day?

Journalist Paul Mason teams up with Young Vic artistic director David Lan for this powerful and challenging new show based on Paul’s acclaimed book.

Performed by Paul Mason, Khalid Abdalla, Lara Sawalha and Sirine Saba in promenade with stunning video designs, the audience will interact with the company throughout the show.

Tickets for the limited run are one per person and available exclusively through our online ballot. More details below.

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The ‘How’, the Terms, and the Conditions:

  • Click through to our ballot form here to register for free tickets.
  • Fill out the required fields including which performance you would like to attend.
  • You must apply by 12pm Wednesday 22 March.
  • Winners will be contacted on Thursday 23 March by email.
  • If you don’t respond with confirmation by 12pm Friday 24 March your ticket will be assigned to another applicant.
  • If you are successful in getting a ticket, but are unable to attend the performance, the ticket is non transferable and will be assigned to another applicant.
  • You must bring photo identification with you that matches your name to the ballot entry.
  • Audience participation is a key part of the performance so please be prepared to have the company interact with you.
  • This performance is being filmed for the BBC. By ticking the filming permissions box on the ballot, you agree to be filmed for inclusion in the programme, and give all rights for use to the producers in perpetuity
  • The YV promises that you will not receive unsolicited mail by supplying your personal details.

 

11 Questions with the cast of The Bear / The Proposal – Rebecca Root

You may recognise her from Trans Scripts, The Danish Girl or Boy Meets Girl  amongst other things … It’s Rebecca Root’s 11 Questions on eating gin (eating?) and more below. 

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Rebecca Root 

1) Describe your stage presence in three emojis or words?

Spirited, unexpected, present.

2) What’s it been like working on a Young Vic Genesis show?

Hard work, exhilarating, enervating, joyful.

3) What is one thing you would like people to know about the gender-fierce*/gender queer community? 

We’re just like you.

4) What are you usually doing 10 minutes before a show begins?

Doing final checks (props, make up etc); running through a scene in my head; reciting Shakespeare’s 29th Sonnet as a personal talisman.

5) What is your favourite part of the rehearsal process?

Coming off book for the first time. Like riding a bike without stabilisers.

6) What did you want to be growing up?

A female actor.

7) If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Gin. Wait, does that count? Sunday roast if not. Chicken, trimmings, the lot. And gin.

8) What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?

Doing the school nativity play when I was 4.

9) What’s your favourite play you’ve seen, read or worked on?

Hamlet.

10) If you could be a superhero who would it be and why?

Wonder Woman. Because of the pants.

11) Would you rather have the hiccups for the rest of your life, or always feel like you have to sneeze but not be able to?

Sneeze. There’s so much drama in the anticipation.

Rebecca stars in The Bear / The Proposal   which runs 15 – 25 Mar in the Young Vic’s Clare. Tickets for this production are all sold out but you are welcome to join our returns queues from an hour before each performance. Find more information on The Bear / The Proposal here

Young Vic nominated for 4 Oliviers!

We are absolutely thrilled to have been nominated for 4 Olivier Awards for Yerma and Cuttin’ It. The biggest congratulations to all the cast, crew and creatives involved. 

The ceremony to announce the winners will be on Sunday 9 April, we hope you’ll join us in crossing your fingers and toes until then. More details on the nominated awards below.

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Best Revival
Yerma

Best Director
Simon Stone, Yerma

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Best Actress
Billie Piper, Yerma

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Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre
Cuttin’ It

You can watch the full Olivier Award Nomination ceremony here.

*Yerma photo credits: Johan Persson. Cuttin’ It photo credit: David Sandison.

11 Questions with the cast of See Me Now – Flynt

flyntFormer development executive Flynt (née Daniel Inglés, née Gabriel) was reborn in Paris in 2012 under the instruction of Madame Paula, a legendary Latina courtesan, following a slight misunderstanding near a towpath. After some time perfecting his craft amongst wealthy ladies around the continent, Flynt returned to his home town of London, where he had to relearn everything, because the English still don’t seem to know what they want. A bi-lingual, multi-instrumental, adventure-seeking polymath, Flynt lists his hobbies as mixing us the perfect pink gin, giving you foot rubs, and always remembering exactly where we left the car.

If you could only eat one ‘Penny Sweet’ for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Probably Jelly Beans. A least there’s variety.

What is one common misconception about the sex industry you would like to change?

There is nothing seedy or wrong about paying for sex, as long as your provider has made that decision for themselves. Though I appreciate that ‘decision’ in many contexts is a complicated issue, which is why these things need talking about, and not be buried under bizarre legislation or moral posturing.

What is one thing you would like people to know about sex work? 

It comes in more flavours than there are Jelly Beans. I didn’t appreciate that until I got to know my fellow cast members. We all appear to have found our respective niches and then worked the hell out of them for whatever reason, be that good or bad. But sex work does seem to be necessarily solitary. It sounds like a contradiction given the physical exchange of the job, but there you go. And yes, many of us care very much about our clients – the nice ones, anyway (so I guess that’s more than one thing).

Is this your first time working in theatre? What’s it been like?

I’ve worked in both television and publishing, but never theatre, which forces collaboration like no other. Your deadline is a live space, and the feedback from audiences is immediate, and unpredictable, and intoxicating.

Describe the See Me Now rehearsal room vibes in three words (or emojis).

“Shitload of doors” (You really need to see the show to understand this!)

What did you want to be growing up?

A writer, actor or director. Professionally speaking, I have accomplished the first two, and only one of those also involved having sex for money …

If days were 28 hours long, what would you do with the 4 extra hours?

I’d cook! I love to cook and I never have time. My beautiful fiancee is from the Brazilian state of Bahia. She produces the most fantastic quick food with cheap ingredients and a pressure cooker. I need to get back in the kitchen.

What’s your favourite song and why?

It changes all the time, but in the show I play the blues piano for Dee, another cast member. She’s a pleasure to accompany, has a phenomenal voice, and her tune is really catchy. We all go home humming it.

What’s your favourite play or movie you’ve ever seen? 

Macbeth, Jaws, The Book of Mormon, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Big Leboswki .. a lot of the usual suspects. But I remember having dreams after seeing The Cherry Orchard  as directed by Sam Mendes with Simon Russell Beale in about 2009, that really affected me. I have a BA in English Lit but Chekov was a bit lost on me until then. My guiltiest pleasure is And Then There Were None  by Agatha Christi, which I saw as a fourteen year old boy somewhere in Ontario, Canada. It still amazes me that she could employ such broadly wooden characterisation and murder almost her entire cast in quite silly ways over ninety minutes or so, yet modern audiences, myself included, remain credulous and hypnotised. Theatre magic.

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

Flight. But only while invisible.

Do you think you will want to continue being involved in theatre after this production?

Yes , at least with the Young Vic. It is a remarkable place to work, a worthwhile place to think, and has a fine bar in which to make friends and people-watch. Should it not happen, I will cherish the memory.

Flynt stars in See Me Now  which runs 11 Feb – 4 Mar in the Young Vic’s Maria. Tickets for this production are all sold out but you are welcome to join our returns queues from an hour before each performance. Find more information on See Me Now here