⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “An electric storm of a performance” | Nina reviews

The reviews are in for Nina: A Story about me & Nina Simone !
Josette Bushell-Mingo, and her three piece band, mix story and song as she draws together tales from the life of Nina Simone, Josette’s own extraordinary career and the Black Lives Matter movement. This production is all sold out but you are welcome to join our returns queue from 6.45pm each night.

You can read the reviews below and check out what audiences have been saying so far in our Storify round up.

Josette Bushell-Mingo in Nina at the Young Vic. Photo by Simon Annand (2).jpg

Josette Bushell-Mingo and band in Nina at the Young Vic. Photo by Simon Annand

 

★★★★
“An electric storm of a performance”
Time Out | Read the full review

★★★★
“Amid this darkness, there’s also much light. Bushell-Mingo inhabits instinctively the union of joy and protest in Simone’s sound.”
The Times| Read the full review

★★★★
“Josette Bushell-Mingo’s searing one-woman show pushes the boundaries of theatre.”
The Stage| Read the full review

Nina: A Story about me & Nina Simone runs in the Young Vic Maria studio until 29 July before it heads to the Traverse Theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

5 things you didn’t know about Nina Simone (& even if you did they’re still pretty incredible)

Josette Bushell-Mingo in Nina at the Young Vic. Photo by Simon Annand.jpg

Josette Bushell-Bingo in Nina at the Young Vic. Photo by Simon Annand.

1. What’s in a name? Nina Simone was born in 1933 as the slightly-less-catchy Eunice Waymon. She decided to change it after taking a job as a pianist at a bar in Atlantic City and being told she was going to have to sing too. Terrified her Methodist preacher mother would find out she was singing the “devil’s music”, she laid low under this new name which would soon become iconic. “Nina” was a term of endearment used by an ex-boyfriend whilst “Simone” came from the French actress Simone Signoret.

2. “This Bach, I liked him!” Young Nina began playing the piano as a 3 year old in church, crossing the railroad tracks to the white part of town to study classical piano for free lessons which she adored. Her aim was to be the first black classical pianist in America. It was on this journey that she encountered racism as a young girl, paving the way for her later career in activism: first when her parents were moved to the back of the church during her first piano recital to make way for a white family (Nina refused to play unless they were brought back to the front); then again when she was rejected from the Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music based on her race (she carried on trying, and did get into the Julliard School of Music).

3. Come and knock on my door… Malcolm X and Nina Simone lived next door to one another in Mount Vernon, New York during the late 1960s. The pair were united in their approach to the Civil Rights Movement, believing that a militant stance would be more effective at taking on the establishment than the peaceful protest offered up by Martin Luther King Jr. This was in great contrast to Nina’s early life where she had been taught that racism was the “great unspoken” in her childhood home.

4. “A love affair with fire” – Lisa Simone on her mother. Nina’s second husband Andrew Stroud gave up his day job to become her manager and producer full-time not long after they met and fell in love. They were introduced  in March 1961 while she was playing at a midtown supper club and he was a formidable New York City police officer. Their marriage turned tempestuous, with Stroud becoming abusive before she eventually left him.

5. The messages in Nina’s songs are as relevant today as ever. Nina’s passionate, revolutionary protest anthems such as Mississippi Goddam – a direct response to the murder of Medgar Evers and the Alabama church bombings which killed four children in 1963 – were a call to action and a truly inspiring point of change in the black power movement. In recent years, in the US, the UK and the world over, there have been political stirrings reminiscent of those seen in the 60s and 70s. Nina and her songs are perhaps even more necessary now than ever before.

Nina: A Story about me and Nina Simone runs until 29 July in the Maria studio at the Young Vic. Tickets are sold out but we’ll be operating a returns queue at the box office in advance of each performance.

🎧🎶Listen to our Nina Simone playlist on Spotify to get you in the mood… 🎧🎶

Nina post-show talk with Josette Bushell-Mingo, Margaret Busby & Dr Deirdre Osborne 🎤

Josette Bushell-Mingo in Nina - a story about me and Nina Simone. Photo by Andrew Ness..jpg

Josette Bushell-Mingo in Nina: A story about me & Nina Simone. Photo by Andrew Ness.

Nina: A story about me & Nina Simone opens at the Young Vic next week for a hotly-anticipated, sold-out run of just nine performances before heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

We are now thrilled to announce a post-show talk on Tuesday 25 July with performer and joint-creator of the show, Josette Bushell-Mingo. Josette will be joined on the panel by Margaret Busby and Dr Deirdre Osborne.

Find out more about the panelists below and read Josette’s recent interview with The Observer discussing how the show evoke’s Nina’s “spirit – her danger, decadence and almost belligerent demand on audiences.”

Josette Bushell-Mingo OBE is a Swedish-based English theatre actress and director. She was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2000 for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Rafiki in the London production of The Lion King. In 2001, she founded a black-led arts festival called PUSH at the Young Vic. Her credits at the Young Vic include: Simply Heavenly (as a director, also West End) and The Iron Man.

Margaret Busby OBE, FRSL is co-founder of Allison and Busby publishing house, broadcaster, playwright, editor Daughters of Africa, book reviewer and obituarist for The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Independent.

Dr Deirdre Osborne is a Reader in English Literature and Drama, Goldsmiths University of London, co-convenor MA Black British Writing and editor of the Cambridge Companion to British Black and Asian Literature (1945-2010).

New Season Announcement: Young Vic 2017 Season – Time to make some noise.

We’re not doing 2017 by halves, we’re over the moon (you’ll get that in a minute) to announce seven new shows in our 2017 line up.

In the Main House it’s the season of creative returns: Joe Wright returns to the Young Vic with Life Of Galileo after his acclaimed production of A Season of the Congo.  Sell-out sensation, Yerma is back for a limited run. The incredible team behind Happy Days reunites for Wings, directed by Natalie Abrahami. And, The Suppliant Women brings back Ramin Gray, after Living with the Lights on. Over in the studios we have Taha, Nina and How to Win Against HistoryFind out more on all the shows below.

Life of Galileo ( 6 May – 24 Jun)

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BAFTA Award-winning film director Joe Wright (Atonement, Anna Karenina) returns to the Young Vic after his celebrated production of A Season in the Congo, with Brendan Cowell in the title role following his acclaimed performance in Yerma.

Galileo makes an explosive discovery about the universe with his new invention – the telescope. The establishment is in an uproar over his powerful challenge to their worldview and their entrenched religious beliefs.

Brecht’s masterpiece will be performed in-the-round on a stunning set designed by Lizzie Clachan (Yerma, A Season in the Congo) and with projections by 59 Productions (Feast, War Horse).

Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht, translated by John Willett, runs 6 May – 24 June 2017 in the Young Vic’s Main House. It is directed by Joe Wright with design by Lizzie Clachan, video by Lysander Ashton for 59 Productions, light by Jon Clark,  sound by Tom Gibbons, puppet direction by Sarah Wright and dramaturgy by Sarah Tipple. With Brendan Cowell and more to be announced.

Yerma (26 Jul – 31 Aug)

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★★★★★
‘An extraordinary theatrical triump’ – The Times

★★★★★
‘A shatteringly powerful reinvention of a familiar classic’ – The Independent

★★★★★ – The Observer, Evening Standard, Metro, Mail on Sunday, The Sun, iNews

2016’s biggest hit returns for a strictly limited run. The extraordinary Billie Piper plays Her, a woman driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child.

Simon Stone creates a radical new production of Lorca’s achingly powerful masterpiece.

Yerma by Simon Stone after Federico García Lorca runs 26 July – 31 August in the Young Vic’s Main House. It is directed by Simon Stone with design by Lizzie Clachan, costumes by Alice Babidge, light by James Farncombe, music & sound Stefan Gregory, video by Jack Henry James, casting by Julian Horan CDG. With, Maureen Beattie, Brendan Cowell, John MacMillan, Billie Piper and Charlotte Randle. 

Yerma is now sold out. We will be running returns queues on the day from an hour before each performance. Find more information on NT Live screenings here.  

Wings (14 September – 28 October) 

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Juliet Stevenson takes on yet another extraordinary role.  Emily was a fiercely independent woman, an aviator and a wingwalker, until a stroke destroyed her sense of reality. Fragments of her life come together as she struggles to find her voice and herself.

The hugely successful collaborators from  Happy Days reunites with director Natalie Abrahami.

Wings by Arthur Kopit runs 14 September – 28 October in the Young Vic’s Main House. It is directed by Natalie Abrahami with design by Michael Levine, light by Guy Hoare, sound by Gareth Fry and movement by Anna Morrisey. With Juliet Stevenson and more to be announced. 

The Suppliant Women ( 13 – 25 November)

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★★★★★
‘An epic, feminist protest song’ – The Guardian

“If we help, we invite trouble.
If we don’t, we invite shame.”

Fifty women leave everything behind to board a boat in North Africa and fl ee across the Mediterranean. They are escaping forced marriage in their homeland, hoping for protection and assistance, seeking asylum in Greece.

Written 2,500 years ago by the great playwright Aeschylus, one of the world’s oldest plays speaks to us through the ages with startling resonance for our troubled times.

Featuring a chorus of young women from London, this is part play, part ritual. Director Ramin Gray unearths an electric connection to the deepest and most mysterious ideas of the humanity – who are we, where do we belong and if all goes wrong – who will take us in?

An Actors Touring Company, Young Vic and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh co-production.

The Suppliant Women by Aeschylus, a new version by David Greig, runs 13 – 25 Novemeber in the Young Vic’s Main House. It is directed by Ramin Gray with music by John Browne, choreography by Sasha Milavic Davies, design by Lizzie Clachan andlight by Charles Balfour. With Callum Armstrong, Oscar Batterham, Ben Burton, Omar Ebrahim and Gemma May Rees. 

Taha ( 5 – 15 July)

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All my life, nothing came easy.
Not even becoming a poet.

A lyrical story of the life of Palestinian poet Taha Muhammed Ali, written and performed by Amer Hlhel.

Amir Nizar Zuabi (The Beloved, I Am Yusuf and This Is My Brother), founder of celebrated theatre company ShiberHur, returns to the Young Vic to direct this London premiere.

An Amer Hlehel, Young Vic and Shubbak Festival co-production.

Taha by Amer Hlehel, translated by Amir Nizar Zuabi, runs 5 – 15 July in the Young Vic’s Maria. It is translated and directed by Amir Nizar Suabi with light by Muaz Jubeh and music by Habib Shehadeh Hanna. With Amer Hlehel.

Nina (19 – 29 July)

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A STORY ABOUT ME & NINA SIMONE

★★★★
‘A searing tribute restarts Simone’s revolution’ – The Guardian

Backed by a brilliant band, Josette Bushell-Mingo mixes story and song as she draws together tales from the life of Nina Simone, her own extraordinary career and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Nina devised by Josette Bushell-Mingo and Dritëro Kasapi runs 19 – 29 July in the Young Vic’s Maria. It is directed by Dritëro Kasapi with design by Rosa Maggiora, light by Matt Haskins, musical direction by Shapor Bastansia and dramaturgy by Christina Anderson. With Josette Bushell-Mingo.

Nina is now sold out. We will be running returns queues on the day from an hour before each performance.

How to Win Against History (30 November – 23 December)

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★★★★★
‘This musical about being a cross-dressing Marquess is a work of genius’ – The Daily Telegraph

★★★★
‘Gleeful, luicrous – a larky collision of Gilbert & Sulivan and Monty Python’ – Time Out

The 5th Marquis of Anglesey was one of the world’s wealthiest men, until he lost it all by being too damn fabulous. A riches-to-rags story becomes a hilarious, ripped-up musical in an outrageous performance by Seiriol Davies.

An Aine Flanagan Productions, Seiriol Davies and Young Vic co-production.

How to Win Against History runs 30 November – 23 December in the Young Vic’s Maria. It is directed by Alex Swift with design by Verity Quinn, light by Dan Saggers, musical direction by Dylan Townley, music by Seiriol Davies and dramaturgy by Eve Leigh. With Matthew Blake, Seiriol Davies and Dylan Townley.

Tickets go on sale to the public on Wednesday 1 February  at 10am. You can become a friend and book today at www.youngvic.org