Twelfth Night | Cast Announcement

We’re extremely excited to announce the cast of Twelfth Night, Kwame’s first YV adaptation as Artistic Director. Conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub,  with music & lyrics by Shaina Taub and direction by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Oskar Eustis.

A community chorus of 60 members from Southwark and Lambeth will perform alongside the professional artists below.

Melissa Allen (Feste)
Gabrielle Brooks (Viola)
Gerard Carey (Malvolio)
Natalie Dew (Olivia)
Martyn Ellis (Sir Toby Belch)
Gbemisola Ikumelo (Maria)
Jyuddah Jaymes (Sebastian)
Jonathan Livingstone (Antonio)
Silas Wyatt-Barke (Andrew Aguecheek)
Rupert Young (Duke Orsino)

Meet our wonderful company…

Melissa_Allen Simon Murphy Headshot

Melissa Allan | Feste
Theatre includes: A Christmas Carol (Old Vic); Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (NTS/National Theatre); Gemma (Playwrights’ Studio Scotland); Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Sweeney Todd (Aberdeen Youth Musical Theatre Group); and Westside Story (Leading Lights Theatre Group).



Gabrielle Brooks| ViolaGabrielle Brooks Headshot
Theatre includes: The Way of the World (Donmar Warehouse); The Wizard of Oz (Sheffield Crucible); Everybody’s Talking about Jamie (Sheffield Crucible); Queen Anne (RSC/Theatre Royal Haymarket); Lazarus (King’s Cross Theatre); Perfect Pitch Musical (St James Theatre); Red Snapper (Belgrade Theatre); Synergy Play Readings (Theatre 503); The Strangers Case (Liverpool Everyman); The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales); I Can’t Sing (London Palladium); Our House (Savoy Theatre),  Avenue Q (UK and Ireland Tour) and Hairspray (UK and Ireland Tour)
Concerts include: The Light Princess (National Theatre)
Television and film includes: Coming Down The Mountain and Notes of a Scandal.


Gerard CareyGerard Carey | Malvolio
Theatre includes: The Jungle (Playhouse Theatre); A Christmas Carol (RSC); Half a Sixpence (Noel Coward Theatre); Shrek the Musical (UK Tour); Dickens Abridged (Arts Theatre); Soho Cinders (Soho Theatre); Master Class (Vaudeville Theatre); Ex (Soho theatre); Butcher, Noises Off(Birmingham Old Rep); Invisible Man (Menier Chocolate Factory); His Dark Materials (National Tour); Jack and the Beanstalk (About Productions); Spamalot (Palace Theatre); Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz (Birmingham Rep); A Midsummer Nights Dream, Taming of the Shrew, Leonardo’s Last Supper, Two Gentlemen of Verona, High Society (New Shakespeare Company/ Regents Open Air); Cinderella (Oxford Playhouse); Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre).
Film and television includes: Bound, Love Soup and Torchwood.


Natalie Dew |OliviaDEW COLOUR
Theatre includes: Deposit and Fault Lines (Hampstead Theatre); Breaking the Code (Royal Exchange Theatre); Human Animals, The Internet is Serious Business and Rough Cuts (Royal Court); Bend it Like Beckham (Phoenix Theatre); Twelfth Night (Liverpool Everyman Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (National Theatre); Arab Nights (Metta Theatre) Rest Upon the Wind (A.M. Productions); Hamlet (Northern Broadsides); Arabian Nights (RSC); As You Like It (Dash Arts) Hansel and Gretel (Catherine Wheel Theatre Company) and Twelfth Night (The New Shakespeare Company).
Film and television: Peter Rabbit, We Can Be Heroes, Bodyguard, Casualty, Kiri and Gavin and Stacey.



Martyn Ellis | Sir Toby Belch
Theatre includes: My Fair Lady (Teatro di San Carlo); Carousel (English National Opera); Wicked (Apollo Victoria); My Fair Lady (Sheffield Crucible); One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre, West End and Broadway); Aspects of Love (Menier Chocolate Factory); The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre); Guys and Dolls(Piccadilly Theatre); Grand Hotel (Donmar Warehouse); The Lion King (Original London Cast-Lyceum Theatre); Lennon (Astoria Theatre); and Les Miserables (Palace Theatre).
Film and Television includes:  Catch 22, The Romanoffs, Decline and Fall, Father Brown, Harley and the Davidsons, The Last Kingdom, Agatha Raisin, Jonathan Strange and Mr.Norrell, The Smoke, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Doctors, Christmas Eve, Agent Cody Banks 2 and A Christmas Carol.

Gbemisola Ikumelo | MariaGbemisola Ikumelo
Theatre Includes: Our Country’s Good (UK Tour); Oliver Twist (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Snow White (Mercury Theatre); The New Nigerians (Arcola Theatre); The Night Watch (the Royal Exchange); Little Shop of Horrors (Salisbury Playhouse); Hopelessly Devoted (Paines Plough Tour/Tricycle Theatre/Birmingham Rep); The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre); The Coloured Museum (Talawa); Death & The Kings Horseman (National Theatre); Duck (Unicorn Theatre); God is a DJ (Theatre Centre); RENT (English Theatre of Frankfurt); and The Bat (The New Vic Theatre).
Film and Television: Cocktail, Famalam, SunnyD, Broadchurch, One Night, What’s Your News, Holby City and Black Britain.




Jyuddah Jaymes | Sebastian
Theatre includes: The Taming of the Shrew, The Wizard of Oz, Jason and the Argonauts, Little Baby Jesus, Blue/Orange, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Under Milk Wood, The Seagull, The Beaux Strategem, The Merchant of Venice, Our Country’s Good and The Garden Hop (Bristol Old Vic).
Film and television includes: Clique and Wedding Snaps.



Jonathan Livingstone | AntonioJonathan Livingstone
Young Vic includes: Now We Are Here
Theatre includes: Machinal (Almeida Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe); Our Country’s Good, Treasure Island, War Horse (National Theatre); White Hot and Weak (Old Vic New Voices Festival); Superior Donuts (Southwark Playhouse); Tis Pity She’s A Whore (Cheek By Jowl); The Taming of the Shrew (RSC); Pocket Comedy, Pocket Dream, Merchant of Venice, Midsummer Nights Dream  (Propeller) 7 New Plays By Young Writers (Kids Company and National Theatre); Pandora (Giant Theatre Company/ Arcola); Alice In The Walled Garden (Brockwell Park); Ignition 2 (Royal Court Upstairs).
Film and Television includes: Still Life, Chewing Gum and Holby City.


MPM Silas Wyatt-Barke 1 High ResSilas Wyatt-Barke | Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Theatre includes: As You Like It (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing (Rose Theatre); Dr Seuss’ The Lorax (The Old Vic/Royal Alexandra Theatre Toronto); Forty Years On (Chichester Festival Theatre); The Emperor and the Nightingale (Theatre by the Lake); The Go Between (Apollo Theatre); Sunny Afternoon (Harold Pinter Theatre); Jack and the Beanstalk (The Production Exchange, Key Theatre).
Film includes: Benjamin.



Rupert Young | OrsinoHeadshot - Rupert Young
Theatre includes: Gaslight (UK Tour); While the Sun Shines (Theatre Royal Bath), The Philanderer (Orange Tree Theatre); High Society (Old Vic); Tonight at 8:30 (Nuffield Theatre & Tour); Company (Southwark Playhouse); Much Ado About Nothing (Globe Theatre); Afterlife, Never So Good (National Theatre); French Without Tears (English Touring theatre); Sleeping Beauty (Salisbury Playhouse); Cymbeline, H.M.S Pinafore and Twelfth Night (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre);and Comedy of Errors (Wild Tyme).
Film and Television includes: The Bisexual, Will, Good Karma Hospital, Writers Retreat, Dirty Filthy Love, People Just Do Nothing, the White Queen, Merlin (Series II-V), Shameless, Hotel Babylon, Primeval, Heartbreak, Vital Signs, Foyles War, Doc Martin and Island At War.


Twelfth Night runs from 2 October – 17 November 2018 in the Young Vic’s Main House. Book your tickets here

The Jungle wins at South Bank Awards 2018

jungle award

We’re incredibly proud and excited to announce that The Jungle has won the theatre category at the South Bank Awards 2018! A huge congratulations to everyone that has worked on this brilliant production.

The Jungle premiered with a sold-out run at the Young Vic last year and is now playing at the Playhouse Theatre until 3rd November 2018. Tickets are available to book here.

Within Reach | A Taking Part community response to The Inheritance

“It’s been a wonderfully rewarding process. Not only have I learnt how to awaken my body through movement, but I’ve learnt that speech isn’t always needed to create a powerful, emotive performance.”

Created by a group of individuals who have a relationship to HIV and/or AIDS, Within Reach was inspired by the themes found within Matthew Lopez’s The Inheritance.

This poignant response piece used movement to physically explore participants experiences, memories, challenges and beliefs over the course of two months.

Within Reach image © Leon Puplett

Director Grace Gibson, supported through the Jerwood Assistant Director Programme at the Young Vic, told us more about this work:

“The topic of HIV and AIDS is huge and means different things to different people. We can only speak (or in this case move) from our own experiences. Each individual has brought their own story and energy to the process and it has been a true collaboration.”

YV TP - Within Reach © Leon Puplett-08835

YV TP - Within Reach © Leon Puplett-08712

One of our amazing participants, Jill, recorded a poem alongside Sound Designer George Dennis as a personal reflection of her time working with us. Listen here:

Our Director Grace went on to explain why she chose movement as the means to tell the story:

“This is the first time the full group have used movement as a form of self-expression. Through exercises involving trust, contact and improvisation the company created a safe and generous environment in which they allowed each other to openly share and take risks.”

You can read some audience responses to the piece here:




£5 First Previews Lottery with TodayTix

We are very excited to introduce £5 First Previews alongside Kwame Kwei-Armah’s first YV season. All first previews of Main House productions will be sold at just £5 via a TodayTix lottery, starting with the first show of the season: Twelfth Night.

You will be able to enter the £5 First Preview Lottery for one week until noon the day prior to the first preview performance of each production (don’t worry, we’ll remind you).

Priority Booking is now open for all shows. Public booking opens from 10am on Monday 23 April.

Find out more about all the shows in the new season by heading over to

Fun Home Casting Announced!

We’re thrilled to be able to announce casting for Fun Home, the five-time award winning musical based on a graphic novel by Alison Bechdel with music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and direction by Sam Gold:

Alison: Kaisa Hammarlund
Medium Alison: Eleanor Kane
Helen: Jenna Russell
Roy/Mark/Jeremy: Ashley Samuels
Joan: Cherrelle Skeete
Bruce, Alison’s father: Zubin Varla

More information about the company is below. Casting for Small Alison, John and Christian will be confirmed soon.

Kaisa_blogKaisa Hammarlund | Alison
Theatre includes: Cockpit (Lyceum Edinburgh); Sweet Charity (Royal Exchange Theatre  Manchester, Theatre Awards & UK Theatre Awards nomination for Best Actress); Bakkhai (Almeida); As You Like It (Southwark Playhouse); Sleeping Beauty (Park Theatre); The Captain of Kopeknick (National Theatre); The Tempest (Theatre Royal Bath); Can I Be Straight With You / Courting Drama (Bush Theatre); The Boys from Syracuse (Union Theatre); The Three Musketeers (Rose Theatre Kingston); A Day Before Spring (Sadler’s Wells); Cabaret (Lyric Theatre); Sunday in the Park with George, They’re Playing Our Song, A Little Night Music, Take Flight (Menier Chocolate Factory); Mamma Mia (Prince of Wales theatre and touring); Legally Blonde (Nöjesteatern, Malmö Sweden).
Television includes:  Lewis, Doctors, The Sandhamn Murders, Holby City.
Film includes: K, Coup de Grace.


Eleanor Headshot_blog.jpgEleanor Kane | Medium Alison
Theatre includes: Assassins, Wondertown,  Barefoot Gen, The Merchant of Venice, Three Days in the Country, Rhinoceros, Three Sisters (Rose Bruford); Threeway (Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh Fringe Festival); Werther (Scottish Opera); Now’s the Hour (Scottish Youth Theatre); Joan and Jim R&D (Told By An Idiot).




Jenna Russell_blogJenna Russell | Helen
Theatre includes: Di and Viv and Rose (Vaudeville theatre); Urinetown (Apollo and St James Theatre); Mr Burns (Almeida); Merrily We Roll Along (Menier Chocolate Factory / Pinter Theatre); That Day We Sang (Opera House, Manchester); Seasons Greetings (National Theatre); Into The Woods (Regents Park); Sunday in the Park With George (Wyndhams / Studio 54 Broadway); Amy’s View (Garrick Theatre); Guys and Dolls (Picadilly Theatre); Into the Woods (Donmar Warehouse); Three Sisters (Royal Court).
Television includes: Call the Midwife, The Paradise, Minder, Dr Who, Born and Bred, Picking Up the Pieces.
Film includes: Mortdecai.
Awards include:  Nominee for 2008 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Theatre World Award and Drama League for Leading Actress in a Musical for Sunday In The Park with George. Olivier Award Winner for Best Actress in a Musical for Sunday In The Park with George 2007. Nominee for 2006 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Guys and Dolls.


Ashely Samuels bw.jpgAshley Samuels | Roy/Mark/Jeremy
Theatre includes: Motown the Musical (Shaftsbury Theatre); The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre); The Toxic Avenger (Southwark Playhouse); The World Goes Round (Stephen Joseph Theatre); Olivier Awards 2014 (Royal Opera House).
Television includes: This Morning (ITV); Sing it Kitty (commercial).
Other work includes: Concert soloist (The Other Palace & Electric Theatre).



Cherrelle Headshot_blogCherrelle Skeete | Joan
Theatre includes: The Seagull, Jack and Beanstalk (Lyric Hammersmith); Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Palace Theatre); Three Days in the Country, The Amen Corner (National Theatre); Wind in the Willows (Royal & Derngate); And I and Silence (Finborough Theatre); The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre) The Edge, Sold, King Lear, Love’s Last Shift, There’s No Place Like Home, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Three Sisters (Central School of Speech and Drama); Joey Boy (The MAC).
Television includes: Silent Witness, Doctors, Danny and the Human Zoo, The Five, Ordinary Lies, Call the Midwife.


Zubin_blogZubin Varla | Bruce
Young Vic includes: Measure for Measure, The Changeling.
Theatre includes: Poison (Orange Tree Theatre); The Unknown Island (Gate Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe); Dara, War Horse, Attempts on Her Life, The Enchantment, The Life of Galileo and Cyrano de Bergerac(National Theatre); The El Train (Hoxton Hall): Don Juan Comes Back from the War (Finborough); Troilus and Cressida (RSC/Wooster Group); Chess (UK tour); Into Thy Hands(Jericho House); Amadeus (City of London Sinfonia/Barbican); In the Soliyude of Cottonfields (ATC) Hello and Goodbye (Treatment Theatre Company); Julius Caesar (RSC/Lyric Hammersmith); Faust (RSC); The Painter of Dishonour (RSC); Midnight’s Children, Roberto Zucco, Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest (RSC); Jesus Christ Superstar (Lyceum); Paradise Regained (Royal Court); Teeth n Smiles (Sheffield Crucible); and Twelfth Night (Donmar West End), Antigone (Old Vic/Donmar); Beautiful Thing (Duke of York’s); In the Heart of America (Bush Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Regent’s Park).
Television includes: Deep State, Will, Our Girl, Strike Back, Holby City, Garrow’s Law, Crocodile Shoes, Hustle, Little Dorrit, Saddam’s Tribe, Silent Witness and Spooks.
Film includes: Mad, Sad and Bad, Twelfth Night.


Fun Home runs from 18 June – 1 September 2018 in the Young Vic’s Main House. Book your tickets here



Welcome to new YV Artistic Director, Kwame Kwei-Armah!

1st February. A momentous day in British theatre history – Kwame Kwei-Armah takes the keys for the Young Vic and steps into his new shoes as our Artistic Director. And we couldn’t be more excited!

First day photography by Leon Puplett 📸

Kwame Kwei-Armah - First day © Leon Puplett-07036.jpg

Kwame Kwei-Armah - First day © Leon Puplett-07040.jpg

Kwame Kwei-Armah - First day © Leon Puplett-07051.jpg

Kwame Kwei-Armah - First day © Leon Puplett-07073.jpg

What is Fun Home and why should I be ridiculously excited about it?

What’s all this hype about Fun Home then? 🤷 Isn’t it that 90s kids game show presented by Pat Sharp I used to watch after school? Is it making a comeback, because I am SO DOWN.

Nope, guess again!

Fun Home is, in fact, a MUSICAL! An acclaimed, groundbreaking musical directed by Sam Gold, which has already taken America by storm and is about to hit London for the first time – and we’re just hoping you guys can handle it…

Things you need to know:

1. This is the first musical with a lesbian character as the lead role

Roberta Colindrez (Joan) & Emily Skeggs (Medium Alison) in the 2015 Broadway production of Fun Home

This is a coming-of-age story about a lesbian called Alison looking back on younger versions of herself, and examining her relationship with her closeted gay father. There are plenty of musicals around exploring the stories of gay men, but it’s rare to see a lesbian’s story in this genre and we’re so proud to fly that flag.

🎧 Listen: Changing My Major To Joan

(Sung by ‘Medium Alison’, aged 19, experiencing a sexual awakening after her first night spent with her friend, Joan.)

2. Fun Home the musical is based on a graphic novel (which is also a true story)

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Written by Alison Bechdel, the original graphic memoir has garnered much critical acclaim, including being named Best Book of the Year by TimeEntertainment Weekly, the New York Times, and People. Alison wrote the book following her father’s suicide and tries to unpick how the two of them ended up taking such different paths in life. It is profound, tender, funny, incredibly powerful and deeply moving. Ideal material for a…musical, huh?

🎧 Listen: Telephone Wire

(Sung by ‘Present-day Alison’, reliving the moment she and her father take a drive after she comes out to him. She hopes she can talk openly to her father one last time.)

3. ‘Fun Home’ is actually code for funeral home
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Sydney Lucas, Zell Morrow & Oscar Williams in the 2015 Broadway production of Fun Home

A musical about a funeral home? This is already a plot twist! Yes, the narrative centres on Alison who grew up in her family’s Pennsylvania funeral home (her father was the funeral home director) where she and her brothers would sometimes play in the coffins… Whilst not your traditional setting for a musical, this kind of juxtaposition of humour and tragedy is part of what makes the show so riveting.

🎧 Listen: Come to the Fun Home

(Sung by ‘Young Alison’ and her brothers, Christian and John, who are playing at making a TV advert for their family’s funeral home, AKA the ‘fun home’.)

4. It won 5 Tony Awards the year it opened on Broadway 🏅🏅🏅🏅🏅

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The original Broadway production was nominated for 12 Tony Awards in 2015, winning FIVE, including Best Musical. Also, the truly excellent Jeanine Tesori & Lisa Kron were the first female writing team to win the Tony Award for Best Original Score. Their acceptance speech is everything. (Did we mention this musical has an all female writing team?)

🎧 Listen: Days and Days

(Sung by Alison’s mother, Helen, who tells Alison about how her relationship with her father changed over the years. A beautiful example of Tesori & Kron’s musical genius.)

5. The Bechdel Test is named after – you guessed it – Alison Bechdel

We’re just going to let The Simpsons explain this one…

Alison featured this 3-step measure for films in her long-running comic Dykes to Watch Out For (Does it have at least 2 women in it and do they speak to each other about something besides a man?) and has since grown in popularity so much that it has become part of our modern-day vernacular.

🎧 Listen: Ring of Keys

(Sung by ‘Young Alison’, who, at 10 years old, is on the brink of discovering her sexuality when she sees a woman walk into the cafe that she and her father are sitting in – this one definitely passes the Bechdel test)

So, ridiculously excited yet? We definitely are. Fun Home opens 18 June, so hurry and snap up your tickets now!