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 | Mohamed Sarrar

We sat down with Mohamed Sarrar who plays Omar in  The Jungle here at the Young Vic. Mohamed, who is originally from Sudan, came through the Calais “Jungle” before successfully making the crossing to the UK. A drummer and singer, he took part in Good Chance Theatre’s programme while there and since coming to the UK has performed in The Welcoming Party at Manchester International Festival and Borderline at the Brighton fringe.

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

Musical, energetic, soulful.

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

Being on the Young Vic stage and being able to tell people about the refugee crisis.

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

Hopefully audiences will feel closer to the crisis – and be inspired to help in their own small way.

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

I spent time in the Jungle camp so I didn’t need to prepare as I’d already lived there!

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

I have always loved working with Good Chance Theatre, since the first time I found them. They treat refugees as humans. It’s an honour for me to work with them.

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

Having a chat with the other performers and doing some humming as a vocal warm up.

Ammar Haj Ahmad (Safi) and Nahel Tzegai (Helene) in The Jungle at the Young Vic © Leon Puplett.jpg

Ammar Haj Ahmad (Safi) and Nahel Tzegai (Helene) in The Jungle at the Young Vic © Leon Puplett.

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

Not to lose touch with anyone who was kind to you.

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

I don’t have a specific one!

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

It’s actually a play I saw at the Young Vic – A Man of Good Hope.

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

This really funny Arabic joke about a pen – I can’t tell you it.

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

Back home in Sudan, I fell in love with my Chemistry teacher, so I deliberately left the answers blank on my exam so my family would get me tutoring with her. If my dad found out he’d be very angry!

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. 

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.

★★★★★ “A haunting, humane masterpiece. Hearts ache. Anger boils. Tears flow.” | The Jungle reviews

We are overwhelmed with the outstanding reviews received so far for Joe Murphy & Joe Robertson’s The Jungle, set in part of the Calais refugee camp, directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin.

★★★★★
“Exuberant, full of music and movement. This is a story we need to hear. It feels of national significance.”
Time Out | Read the full review

★★★★★
“This devastating, uplifting show celebrates the human capacity to build something out of nothing, to work together and try to make a difference.”
The Guardian | Read the full review

★★★★★
“The show breathes with the generosity of spirit that it champions. Wonderfully humane and illuminating.”
The Independent | Read the full review

★★★★★
“Important, deeply moving theatre that challenges us to face this terrible, intractable crisis.”
Financial Times | Read the full review

★★★★
“You’re left awed and appalled. It’s warts and all – and that’s the beauty of it.”
The Telegraph | Read the full review

★★★★
“Urgency, vividness and wit. The play’s sense of the knottiness of world politics makes this a remarkable evening.”
The Times | Read the full review

★★★★★ “Brimful of hope, humour and humanity.”
Metro | Read the full review

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Mohammad Amiri (Norullah) in The Jungle at the Young Vic © David Sandison

★★★★★
“A haunting, humane masterpiece. Hearts ache. Anger boils. Tears flow.”
The Stage | Read the full review

★★★★★
“Searing, emotional and profound. It makes you think and feel in a way that theatre very rarely does”
Whatsonstage | Read the full review

★★★★★
“An absolutely vital attempt to bring the tragedy of unwanted and abandoned refugees to the attention of the world.”
The Upcoming | Read the full review

★★★★
“A visual masterpiece. It’s unlike anything you have ever seen.”
Broadway World | Read the full review

The Jungle runs at the Young Vic until 9 January. Tickets are available to book from £10; find out more and book now.

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Ammar Haj Ahmad (Safi) in The Jungle at the Young Vic © David Sandison

 

Behind the scenes with The Jungle cast 👀

This week we let Ammar Haj Ahmad from the cast of The Jungle loose on our Instagram Story while the cast were in tech rehearsals. We’ve rounded up some of the best behind-the-scenes footage that he caught backstage here at the Young Vic.

The Jungle opens at the Young Vic from 7 Dec. A powerful world premiere set in the Calais jungle refugee camp. Book tickets from £10:
https://www.youngvic.org/whats-on/the-jungle

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The Jungle runs at the Young Vic from 7 Dec – 9 Jan. Book tickets from £10.

A Young Vic and National Theatre co-production with Good Chance Theatre. Commissioned by the National Theatre

11 Questions with the Vocal Coach of The Suppliant Women | Mary King

The “outstanding” (★★★★★ The Telegraph) The Suppliant Women has received wide-spread critical acclaim, not least for the power of the “choral power unleashed” (★★★★★ Whatsonstage) from the chorus of 27 young women recruited from local communities of South London who sing and dance their way through Aeschylus’ 2500 year old text. It seems fitting, therefore, that Mary King – Vocal Coach to finest of London’s musical theatre and opera stars, and who has coached these young women since their recruitment in September – should be in the hot seat for our 11 Questions today:

1. Can you describe your job in three words?

Fascinating, energising, varied!

2. What’s it like working with a community chorus of 50+ ?

All of the above (Answer 1) – stimulating and never dull

3. What was it that first got you interested in singing/music?

Been interested my whole life, but remember being absolutely awestruck by hearing Kathleen Ferrier on a recording singing Blow the wind Southerly – I must have been about 8, and I’d never heard anything like it

4. If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

My super power would be the ability to get on a magic carpet at the end of a rehearsal / day’s work, and to be home in seconds…..(and a bonus if it could also be used for getting to work, or even making trips to seaside / countryside / parks and gardens…)

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

Either doing a vocal warm up with the cast, or sipping a dry white in the bar…

6. What is your favourite show you’ve seen, read or worked on?

Too many to mention, so it would change every day of the week – Bernstein’s Mass in 2010 was pretty amazing!

7. What’s the best thing about teaching?

Seeing / hearing people develop over a rehearsal period, and accomplish things which are a) amazing and b) that they didn’t necessarily know they could…

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

Hopefully it will be thought provoking; touching and exciting

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

Stick in there… never give up

10. Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you could meet them?

Not sure I have an ultimate hero / heroine… I met Bobby McFerrin once, (who would be on my list, if I had one) and could only mumble…

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

I cannot change my new light bulbs….

★★★★★ “A timeless, fantastical production of colour, song, and movement” | The Suppliant Women reviews

The fantastic reviews are rolling in for The Suppliant Women, which is currently storming our Main House with a chorus of over 50 people from our local communities.

★★★★★
“A timeless, fantastical production of colour, song, and movement” 

The Independent | Read the full review

★★★★★
“Outstanding…pungent modern resonances” 

The Telegraph | Read the full review

★★★★★
“Remarkable…choral power unleashed” 

Whatsonstage | Read the full review

YOUNG VIC - THE SUPPLIANT WOMEN 2017

The chorus of The Suppliant Women led by Gemma May. © Stephen Cummiskey

★★★★
“An experience of overwhelming potency…awakens a renewed faith in the future” 

The Times | Read the full review

★★★★
“Pulsating urgency…rousingly topical” 

The Evening Standard | Read the full review

★★★★
“A fierce, beautiful staging of Aeschylus’s drama” 

Financial Times | Read the full review

★★★★
“A community chorus gives tremendous power to this witty adaptation of Aeschylus’s ancient play” 

Time Out | Read the full review

The Suppliant Women runs until 25 November with very limited availability on a few nights and a returns queue operating for all performances. Click here to find out more and book tickets.