Celebrating David Lan | Artistic Director 2000 – 2018

After 18 years, today is David Lan’s final day as Artistic Director at the Young Vic. We couldn’t let him “slip away” (as he would have it), so we checked in with a few notable alumni to share with us just how much of an impact he has had on them and the industry during his tenure…

(Thanks to Noma Dumezweni, Sinead Matthews, Nathaniel Martello-White, Jude Law, Natalie Abrahami, Natalie Dormer, Hugh Skinner, Sir Ian McKellen, Rory Kinnear, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith and Marcello Magni.)

Over the 18 years of his artistic leadership, the Young Vic’s ambitious and adventurous work has reached millions of people on The Cut and around the world.

David spearheaded the 2006 redevelopment of the building you know today featuring our three spaces, the Main House, the Maria and the Clare. Designed by architects Haworth Tompkins, we were named RIBA London Building of the Year, were shortlisted for the Sterling Prize and won many design and industry awards.

The last decade has been the most successful in our company’s history.  David has consistently produced pioneering shows, nurtured the careers of younger theatremakers and won acclaim from critics and audiences across the globe. Through David’s vision the scope of Young Vic productions has widened to include opera, music theatre, dance and short films.

Here, in a 2009 interview about Young Vic collaborations with the English National Opera, David touches on his passion for welcoming in and working with the local community and the reflection of this in his artistic work through to the design of the Young Vic building itself:

(Credit: ENO)

Many Young Vic productions have gone on to great success in the West End, on Broadway and in other theatres round the world. Since winning an Olivier Award for the entire 2003 season, the Young Vic has won every major London and New York theatre award, several many times over.

The importance David places on the audience experience has always been evident,  “Everything we do is about the moment at which you bring the show and the audience together and that’s the only thing that matters” he says in this interview at the Young Vic in 2001:

(Credit: Victoria and Albert Museum)

Tweets and tributes have been flooding in since David announced his stepping down in 2017. A few below, and many more here.

And finally, we love this 2016 inspirational interview with David on the subject of creativity – “A human being is a whole, and if one part of them is stimulated, encouraged, then the whole person is allowed to grow and develop and achieve its potential.”

(Credit: TellyJuice) 

David Lan wins Special Award at 2018 Critics’ Circle Awards

We are thrilled that our Artistic Director David Lan has been awarded a Special Award for Services to Theatre at today’s annual Critics’ Circle Awards held at the Prince of Wales Theatre. The award is in recognition of David’s significant impact and legacy on the theatre industry, and comes, significantly, in his final week as Artistic Director of the Young Vic.

David Lan January 2018 Credit Johan Persson.jpg

David Lan, 2018. Photo by Johan Persson. 

David was appointed AD of the YV in 2000 where he established the Genesis Directors Project, the Jerwood Directors Award and the Young Vic Award.

He won an Olivier Award for the 2004 YV season. Other awards include the John Whiting award, The George Orwell award and the Zurich International Television Prize. He led the £12.5 million rebuild of the Young Vic theatre and the two year Walkabout season while the theatre was closed.

His productions at the Young Vic include Julius Caesar (2000), A Raisin in the Sun (2001, revival and tour 2005), Doctor Faustus (2002), The Daughter-in-Law (2002), The Skin of Our Teeth (2004) and As You Like It at Wyndhams (2005) as part of Walkabout. In 2010, he directed August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.

In his last week at the helm here at the YV, this Critics Circle Special Award forms just part of our farewell salute to David.

Find out more about the 2018 Critics’ Circle Awards and the full list of winners here.

Young Vic Blind Date is BACK 💘

That’s right. Due to popular demand, we’re bringing back YV Blind Date just in time for Valentine’s Day, which also happens to coincide with the final night of our long-awaited revival The Brothers Size.

Tell us who you’re ideally looking to date and if you’re one of our lucky winners, you could be meeting your mystery someone in The Cut Bar for a free drink before picking up your free tickets to The Brothers Size. Settle down next to your date to enjoy this darkly sparkling, brilliant play from the writer of Moonlight, the 2017 Academy Award winner for Best Picture.


True love may blossom, maybe you’ll have a new theatre buddy for life, or you could just watch a really brilliant show on us. All we ask of you, is that you and your date take a selfie together, fill in our post-date survey, and let us write it up on the blog.

Applications are now open, and you have until midday 5 Feb to send us the following:

1. Name
2. Age
3. The gender you identify as
4. The gender you would like to be set up with
5. What is your favourite play ever?
6. Which actor from a YV show would you most like to kiss?*

To: marketing@youngvic.org with the subject line ‘YV Blind Date’.

* N.B. YV actors will not be partaking in these dates unless they apply independently

The Inheritance cast & extension announced

We are thrilled to announce today the company of The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez, a major world premiere in two parts directed by Stephen Daldry.

Andrew Burnap and John Benjamin Hickey will play the roles of Toby and Henry respectively, whilst Samuel H. Levine and Kyle Soller will join them in the roles of Adam/Leo and Eric.

Joining them is Hugo Bolton, Robert Boulter, Hubert Burton, Paul HiltonSyrus Lowe, Michael Marcus, Luke Thallon and Michael Walters.

We are delighted to welcome Vanessa Redgrave back to the Young Vic to play the role of Margaret.

Find out more about our new company below.

Due to popular demand, we are also very excited to have added extra performances. The Inheritance now runs 2 March – 19 May. For the full schedule and to book your tickets for parts 1 & 2, head to the production page now.


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Hugo Bolton | Jasper / Young Man 7
Theatre includes: Texas Tax Man (Vault Festival 2017); Love Me Do (Watford Palace Theatre); Travesti (Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh); Then Silence (Platform Theatre); Perfect Match (Watford Palace Theatre); Billy Budd (Southwark Playhouse) and Electra, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Drama Centre London)
Television includes: Marcella
Film includes: The Spy Who Dumped Me, Wasp and The Swimming Pool Library

 

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Robert Boulter | Young Man 5 / Toby’s Agent
Theatre includes:
Revolt. She said. Revolt again., The Ant and the Cicada, I Can Hear You (RSC); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Wirksworth Festival); The Merchant Of Venice (Derby Live); The Odyssey, Karamazoo (Natonal Theatre); How To Curse (Bush Theatre); Burn/Chatroom/Citizenship, An Island Far From Here (Cottlesloe National Theatre); Mercury Fur (Menier Chocolate Factory) and Herons (Royal Court)
Television includes:
Evidence, Doctors, Father Brown, Casualty, Survivors, Waking The Dead and The Long Firm
Film includes:
Star Wars Episode Vii – The Force Awakens, Genesis, Mark, Some Things Mean Something, Mercenaries, Donkey Punch and Daylight Robbery

andrew burnap.jpgAndrew Burnap | Toby Darling
Theatre includes: The Legend of Georgia McBride (Geffen Playhouse);This Day Forward (Vineyard Theatre); Troilus and Cressida, King Lear (Public Theater/Delacorte); Caucasian Chalk Circle (Yale Repertory Theatre); Once Five Years Pass, Dental Society Midwinter Meeting (Williamstown Theatre Festival); and Two Gentlemen of Verona, Kiss Me Kate, Coriolanus, All’s Well That Ends Well (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company)
Upcoming film includes: A Star Is Born, Spare Room and The Chaperone

hubert burton.pngHubert Burton | Young Henry / Young Man 3
Theatre includes: The Deep Blue Sea, Waste (National Theatre) and She Stoops to Conquer (Theatre Royal Bath)
Television includes: The Last Post, Jekyll and Hyde, UKIP: The First One Hundred Days, The Outcast, Holby City and The Passing Bells
Film includes: Their Finest and Testament of Youth

John Benjamin Hickey.jpgJohn Benjamin Hickey | Henry Wilcox
Theatre includes: Six Degrees of Separation (Ethel Barrymore Theatre); The Normal Heart (John Golden Theatre – Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play); Mary Stuart (Broadhurst Theater); The Crucible (Virginia Theatre); Cabaret (Henry Miller’s Theatre/Studio 54); and Love! Valor! Compassion! (Walter Kerr Theater)
Television includes: The Good Wife, Manh(a)ttan, The Big C (Emmy Nomination for Best Supporting Actor), Modern Family, Hannibal, Law and Order, and Sex and the City.
Film includes: Mapplethorpe (upcoming), Hostiles, Forever My Girl,  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Barry, Tallulah, Truth, Infamous, The Taking of Pelham 123, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Flags of Our Fathers and Pitch Perfect

Paul Hilton | Walter/Morgan Paul Hilton headshot
Young Vic includes: The Cherry Orchard, The Daughter-in-Law
Theatre includes: Mosquitoes, Peter Pan, wonder.land, The President of an Empty Room, Mourning Becomes Electra, Three Sisters, The Oresteia (National Theatre); Anatomy of a Suicide, Terrorism, Mountain Language (Royal Court); Romersholm, The Storm (Almeida); Dr Dee (ENO); All New People, Riflemind, In Celebration (Duke of York’s); Dr Faustus, As You Like It (Globe); Polar Bears, The Wild Duck (Donmar); The Mysteries, Romeo and Juliet (RSC)
Television includes: Grantchester, A Very English Scandal, Silk, Twenty Twelve, Casualty 1909, True, Dare, Kiss
Film includes: Lady Macbeth, Wuthering Heights, London Road, Swansong, Edge & Klimt.

Samuel H. Levine.jpgSamuel H. Levine | Adam / Leo / Young Man 1
Theatre includes: A Guide for the Homesick (Huntington Theatre Company); Alligator (New Georges Theater) and Kill Floor (Lincoln Center Theater)
Television includes: Bull, Elementary, Red Oaks, and Big Dogs
Film includes: The Transfiguration

 

Syrus Lowe.jpgSyrus Lowe | Tristan / Young Man 6
Theatre includes: Saint Joan (Donmar Warehouse); Henry V (Regent’s Park); Walking the Tightrope (Underbelly); Fast Cuts & Snapshots (Oran Mor); The Velveteen Rabbit (Unicorn Theatre); Fragile (Southwark Theatre / Soho Theatre, Theatre Uncut / Paterson’s Land); The President and the Pakistani (Waterloo East Theatre); Six Books (Bush Theatre); Macbeth (Liverpool Everyman); The Charming Man (Theatre 503) and Earthquakes in London (National Theatre)
Television includes: Holby City, The Living and the Dead, The Five, Critical, DCI Banks, Talking to the Dead, Doctors, Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet, Ashes to Ashes and The Bill

Michael Marcus.jpg

Michael Marcus | Jason/Young Man 2
Theatre includes: Two Gentlemen of Verona (Royal Shakespeare Company), Richard II (Donmar Warehouse), Jumpy (Royal Court)
Television includes: Siblings, Lucan, Ripper Street, The White Queen and Misfits
Film includes: Their Finest, The Theory of Everything, The Physician and The Invisible Woman

 

Kyle Soller.jpgKyle Soller | Eric Glass / Young Man 9
Young Vic includes: The Government Inspector, The Glass Menagerie
Theatre includes:
Hedda Gabler, Edward II (National Theatre); Cyrano de Bergerac (American Airlines Theatre); Long Day’s Journey into Night (Apollo, for which he was nominated for an Olivier award for Best Supporting Actor); The Faith Machine (Royal Court); The Glass Menagerie (Salisbury Playhouse/UK tour), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Globe/UK tour)
Television includes: Bounty Hunters, The Trip to Spain, American Odyssey, An Inspector Calls, Silent Witness, You, Me and the Apocalypse, Poldark, The Hollow Crown and Bad Education
Film includes:
Marrowbone, The Titan, The Fifth Estate, The Keeping Room and Anna Karenina.
Kyle was awarded the Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer at the 2011 Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

Luke Thallon.jpg

Luke Thallon | Young Walter / Young man 4
Theatre includes: Albion (Almeida Theatre – nominated for the Evening Standard Emerging Talent Award); Misalliance (Orange Tree Theatre); Bent (National Theatre) and Out There (Riverside Studios)
Film includes: The Favourite

Michael Walters.jpg

Michael Walters | Jason 2 / Young Man 8
Young Vic includes: If You Kiss Me, Kiss Me
Theatre includes: Death of a Salesman (Royal & Derngate & UK Tour); The Drunken City (19th Street Productions); In the Jungle of Cities (Arcola); A Thousand Miles of History (Bussey Building); and Anna Christie (Donmar Warehouse)
Film includes: Now You See Me: The Second Act, About Time, and Better Than Happy

 

vanessa.jpg

Vanessa Redgrave | Margaret 

The Inheritance runs at the Young Vic 2 March – 19 May. You can book to see parts 1 and 2 separately on weekday evenings or see both parts in one day on Wednesdays or Saturdays. Find out more and book now.

11 Questions with the cast of The Jungle | Moein Ghobsheh

Moein Ghobsheh, also known as Milan among his friends, hails from Iran, and spent time living in the Calais “Jungle” before successfully making the boarder crossing to the UK. He plays the role of Omid in The Jungle and these are his 11 Questions…

1. Can you describe your character in The Jungle in three words?

Crazy, fighter, musical.

2.  What’s the most exciting thing about being part of this particular Young Vic production?

I really like it, because this is my story.

3. How do you think this show will make audiences feel?

I hope they will feel safe.

4. Did you do anything unusual to prepare for this role?

Well, I lived in the Calais “Jungle”.

5. What was it like working with Good Chance Theatre?

It’s been a good time working with Good Chance, both here and in the Calais “Jungle”.

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

I listen to music and tune my guitar.

Moein Ghobsheh2

Back row: Mohammad Amiri, Mohamed Sarrar, Elham Ehsas, Moein Ghobsheh. Front Row: John Pfumojena. (Source: @FalsettoJohn ) 

7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Anything Amy* says!

*Amy works for Good Chance and met Moein in Calais

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

My Dad.

9. What is your favourite play (that you’ve seen / read / worked on)?

This is actually my first real experience of theatre, although I suppose I did see some in Calais.

10. What is the last thing that made you laugh out loud.

Years ago, back home in Iran – my friends would make me really laugh out loud.

11. Confession time. This is a safe space: tell us something that you’ve never told anyone before.

I’m in love!

The Jungle runs until 9 Jan. Find out more about the production here. Tickets are sold out but you are welcome to queue for returns before each performance. 

Top image: Mohamed Sarrar, Ben Turner, Moein Ghobsheh, Elham Ehsas. Photo by David Sandison. 

11 Questions with the cast of The Jungle | Elham Ehsas

We sat down with Elham Ehsas who plays Muzamil (Maz) in critically acclaimed The Jungle here at the Young Vic. Elham, who is originally from Afghanistan, moved to the UK aged 10 with his family and is one of a truly global cast of actors, including many from refugee backgrounds, some of whom came through the Calais “Jungle” itself.

1. Can you describe your character in The Jungle in three words?

Brave, short-tempered, funny.

2. What’s the most exciting thing about being part of this particular Young Vic production?

The range of actors involved and their backgrounds.

3. How do you think this show will make audiences feel?

I think it will make audiences more aware of what’s happening in their own back gardens.

4. Did you do anything unusual to prepare for this role?

I went to the Calais “Jungle” a few times.

5. What was it like working with Good Chance Theatre?

Really good!

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

Practicing the harmonica.

7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“When going through hell, keep going.”

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

Elon Musk. I’d say – “How’s it going?”

9. What’s your favourite play that you’ve ever seen/read/worked on?

Skellig! I watched it on a school trip when I was really young and had just moved to England and could barely speak English – it was amazing.

10. What is the last thing that made you laugh out loud?

Milan (Moein Ghobsheh who plays Omid) has a line in the play where he says “Iran will resist too!” and the way he says it always makes me laugh so much.

11. Confession time. This is a safe space: tell us something you’ve never told anyone before. 

In Afghanistan, when I was small, I loved the smell of soil when it gets wet (I think there’s a name for this…*), and I always wanted to taste it. So I’d lick the walls (which are made out of mud) to try and get that taste!

The Jungle runs until 9 Jan. Find out more about the production here. Tickets are sold out but you are welcome to queue for returns on the day. 

* Editor’s note: Petrichor (/ˈpɛtrɪkɔːr/) is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek πέτρα petra, meaning “stone”, and ἰχώρ īchōr, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.

Vi Marriott – A Legend of the Young Vic dies At 97

Vi  Marriott in 1996.jpg

Vi Marriott in 1996

We are sad to record the death at 97 of Vi Marriott, who became a legend in the annals of the history of The Young Vic, being inextricably bound in with its early years, serving as right hand to founder, Frank Dunlop for over 20 years from the theatre’s inception in 1970.

She had begun her theatre career as assistant to Laurence Evans, the General Manager of the Old Vic during the famous triumvirate of Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson and John Burrell, then housed at the New Theatre (now the Noël Coward) in St Martin’s Lane following damage during the Blitz.  “As I walked through the stage door, I thought it was the Holy Grail, and to be working alongside the charismatic Olivier, what could be better? Larry was ravishingly handsome.” she added, “both men and women fell for him. He had the most beautiful bone structure, with piercing blue eyes and wavy, dark hair.”

Following a controversial decision, the triumvirate was brought to an end, but Vi stayed on, moving back to the renovated Old Vic in the Waterloo Road to work with the new Director Hugh Hunt. She continued working there until 1955, when Hunt was appointed to set up the Elizabethan Theatre Trust, in Sydney, Australia’s first National Theatre. She followed Hunt out there working down under for five very happy years, falling in love with the country. It was an exhilarating time working with Australia’s burgeoning theatre talent, such as a young Peter Finch, the brilliant artist and set designer Sydney Nolan, and an exciting new playwright by the name of Ray Lawler, whose first play The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll was a runaway success.

She returned to England to look after her father who was then very ill, but soon got a job with a PR company called Talent Artists, when she met one of their clients, the Director Frank Dunlop. At that time he was the administrative director of the new National Theatre, then housed at The Old Vic. Olivier had asked Dunlop to set up a theatre for young people and Frank’s vision was to create a new kind of theatre, producing quality plays for a young audience, with high-quality plays but at reasonable prices. In 1970 he invited Vi to join him in the Cut at what was anticipated to be only a temporary building in an old butcher’s shop. It was to be called The Young Vic.

 

“It was only meant to last five years,” she remarked later. “It was just plain brick and concrete; no elaborate furnishings or carpet: The shows were very simple, with no scenery, and costumes often bought at places like C&A.”, “Frank called it ‘paperback theatre’ – first class theatre at cheap prices,” said Vi. “In the early days, when we were still part of the National Theatre, we often used young actors from the National such as Jeremy Irons and Jane Lapotaire. The productions were always well cast, well directed, but cheaply done”, she remembered.

Vi stayed there for the next 20 years, becoming, next to Frank, the embodiment of the YV, organising tours, often acting as unofficial Stage Manager to save money on overseas visits, or just oiling the wheels behind the scenes. The theatre soon became famous for its varied productions, ranging from Stoppard to Shakespeare. They staged the first production of Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat, which got fantastic reviews, and the Young Vic’s name soon spread around the world. “It didn’t matter what the play was or who was in it – I could sell it on its name alone,” she later said.

In 2009, she was awarded an MBE for her work in the theatre. Collecting it from Prince Charles, he said “How long have you worked in the theatre?” “About 62 years,” she said. “And have you enjoyed your long career in the theatre?” “Oh yes, Sir” she replied, and it was her obvious enjoyment in all that she did, that was catching and inspired a generation of theatre talent – her children – who will long cherish this great lady of the theatre.

Written by Antony Barlow