11 Questions with Melissa Allan from Twelfth Night

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Melissa Allan as Feste in Twelfth Night. Photo by Johan Persson.

Melissa Allan plays one of the lead characters in Kwame Kwei-Armah and Oskar Eustis’ Twelfth Night, as a forlorn but charming Feste – traditionally played as a fool, and now reinterpreted as a busker in modern-day Notting Hill.

We’ve posed her 11 Questions to find out more about her and her mysterious character –

1. Can you describe your character in Twelfth Night in three words?

Playful, charming and lonely.

2. What’s your favourite thing about working with Kwame and Oskar?

The love that was brought into the rehearsal room every single day and how safe they always made us feel.

3. What fictional family would you like to be a member of?

The Cullen family in Twilight.

4. What can the audience expect from this production that’s different to any other versions of Twelfth Night/ Shakespeare they may have seen before?

Shaina Taub’s score is awesome. It’s also an extremely accessible play and there are lots of little twists that are very different from other productions. Having the community chorus with us also makes this version really special.

5. What’s the strangest family tradition in your family?

My uncle gives me and my brother Brussels sprouts for our birthdays and Christmas every year. He’s a joker.

6. What is your favourite midnight snack?

Probably some dark chocolate!

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

Backcombing my hair within an inch of its life.

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

I know it’s very cheesy but mum and dad are definitely my ultimate heroes.

9. What was it that first got you interested in theatre?

I watched the movie version of Phantom of the Opera when I was about 12 and was obsessed. My mum and dad then took me to see it in London and I was beside myself.

10. What is your first memory of Shakespeare?

I think it would actually be watching the movie of Romeo and Juliet.

11. If your life were a movie, what genre would it be?

A Tim Burton movie.

 

Twelfth Night is now playing at the Young Vic until November 17. Tickets are sold out but returns may be available on the day of each performance. Speak to our Box Office for more information on 020 7922 2922.

Twelfth Night relaxed performance

The Twelfth Night relaxed performance will take place on Wednesday 14 November at 2.30pm. It is open to all audience members, and we particularly welcome those who feel a relaxed atmosphere would be beneficial to them – including those with an autism spectrum condition, learning disability or sensory sensitivities.

Small adjustments will be made to the sound and lighting and there will be a dedicated ‘break-out’ room outside of the auditorium available throughout. During the performance, no one will tell you to be quiet if you make noise and it will be possible to come and go as you wish. For example, it may be helpful to take some time out to relax in the ‘break-out’ room or the bar, use the bathroom or get some fresh air outside.

There are a selection of tickets available to buy online but if you require something more specific or want to talk through your seating options or access needs, just contact the Welcome Team via email welcometeam@youngvic.org or give them a call 020 7922 2922.

(Remember, if you do have any access requirements, it’s often best to let us know before the day of the performance so we can make arrangements for your visit to be as easy and enjoyable as possible.)

Find out when all our upcoming access performances are and details of the variety of discounts we offer for people with access needs

Behind the Scenes highlights from Stage Managers Day 2018

In the theatre world, sometimes those behind the scenes can get lost amongst the glamour and glitz of what’s on stage – so this year for Stage Manager’s Day we handed our wonderful stage managers the reigns to our Instagram account to reclaim the spotlight and show off what they do best.

See the highlights below!

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Twelfth Night runs until 17 Nov at the Young Vic. Limited tickets from £10.

Twelfth Night | Behind the Scenes with our Community Chorus

Come backstage with us, to the loud and bubbly atmosphere of the dressing rooms where our fantastic Community Chorus are getting ready for a performance of Twelfth Night.

Many have a pre-existing love of the theatre – some participating in previous Taking Part community productions, some totally new to the stage.

The 60-strong Young Vic Community Chorus for Twelfth Night spans many different backgrounds, generations and stories. The youngest chorus member is 18, whilst the oldest is in her mid-80s.

Cathy, 86, spent her working life in war zones for the United Nations. She can now be found on the Young Vic stage 4 nights a week. After a spell in Matthew Bourne’s company, Neil found himself homeless, which is how he came to be in Go Between, a Young Vic Taking Part production which was performed by a company who had all had some form of contact with homelessness, either directly or indirectly. Neil now works for St Mungo’s, and brought a group from the hostel to see him perform.

They share the stage with 18, 19 and 20 year-olds who come from our local boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth.

Amongst the backstage hubbub, we captured some quieter moments to gain an insight into what happens behind the scenes of our “joyous and dazzlingly colourful musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy at the Young Vic.

Young Vic Twelfth Night - Community Chorus © Leon Puplett-02208

Community chorus preparing for the stage. Photo by Leon Puplett.

Young Vic Twelfth Night - Community Chorus © Leon Puplett-02249

Community chorus preparing for the stage. Photo by Leon Puplett.

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Lending a hand. Photo by Leon Puplett.

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Doing hair in the dressing room. Photo by Leon Puplett.

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Final checks backstage. Photo by Leon Puplett.

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Some extra curricular. Photo by Leon Puplett.

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Seeing it from the audience’s perspective. Photo by Leon Puplett.

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Backstage excitement of some of our Community Chorus. Photo by Leon Puplett.

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The community atmosphere, on stage. Photo by Leon Puplett.

Young Vic Twelfth Night - Community Chorus © Leon Puplett-02520

Watching from the wings. Photo by Leon Puplett.

Twelfth Night runs at the Young Vic until 19 Nov. Book Tickets now.

Head to our website to find out more about Taking Part and how you can get involved in their future projects, workshops and productions.

★★★★ “This Twelfth Night is a thing of beauty” | Reviews Round-Up

Reviews for our musical adaptation of Twelfth Night are coming in! Critics are loving the jubilance that abounds throughout this exuberant production.

Co-directed by Oskar Eustis and our own Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah, who conceived the work in partnership with Shaina Taub for New York’s acclaimed Public Theater ahead of its debut here in the UK.

★★★★ ‘Brilliant. Show-stopping musical numbers’ The TimesRead the full review

★★★★ ‘Executed with flair, intelligence and vitality, this Twelfth Night is a thing of beauty’ Financial Times | Read the full review

★★★★ ‘A shot to the heart.’ The Observer | Read the full review

★★★★ ‘Irrepressible fun’ Evening StandardRead the full review

★★★★ ‘A joyous and dazzlingly colourful musical’ Time Out Read the full review

 

Martyn Ellis and Gerard Carey in Twelfth Night. Photography by Johan Persson

★★★★ ‘A big, bright and lively staging’ The StageRead the full review

★★★★ ‘Marvellous. Fun. An inclusive warmth’ WhatsOnStageRead the full review

Twelfth Night runs at the Young Vic until 17 November. Limited tickets are available. Find out more and book now.

First Look: Twelfth Night Production Photos

Our highly anticipated musical adaptation of Twelfth Night is now in previews at the Young Vic. You’re in the right place if you are looking for your first glimpse of this joyous gem of a production.

Twelfth Night is conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah & Shaina Taub. Music & Lyrics by Shaina Taub. Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah & Oskar Eustis

Set Designer Robert Jones, Costume Designer Brigitte Reiffenstuel, Lighting Designer Tim Lutkin

Book tickets from £10: https://www.youngvic.org/whats-on/twelfth-night

Community Chorus members dancing. Photography by Johan PerssonGabrielle Brooks & Rupert Young in Twelfth Night. Photography by Johan PerssonCommunity Chorus members dancing. Photography by Johan PerssonGabrielle Brooks & Melissa Allan in Twelfth Night. Photography by Johan PerssonNatalie Dew in Twelfth Night. Photography by Johan PerssonMartyn Ellis and Gerard Carey in Twelfth Night. Photography by Johan Persson

Twelfth Night runs at the Young Vic until 17 November. Limited tickets from £10. Find out more and book tickets now on our website.

Photography by Johan Persson

First look inside the Twelfth Night rehearsal room

Take your first look inside the rehearsal room for our upcoming musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night which opens for previews in just two weeks time.

Directed by our Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah and Oskar Eustis, this production is set to be an injection of joy for audiences this Autumn and we can’t wait!

This celebration of love in all its forms features an awe-inspiring community chorus from Southwark and Lambeth with music and lyrics by the critically acclaimed songwriter Shaina Taub.

Twelfth Night runs at the Young Vic from 2 Oct until 17 Nov. Tickets from £10.

Find out more and book tickets now.

Paul Willcocks (Fabian) & Gbemisola Ikumelo (Maria) inside the rehearsal room
Paul Willcocks (Fabian) & Gbemisola Ikumelo (Maria) / Photography by Johan Persson
Silas Wyatt-Barke (Sir Andrew Aguecheek) inside the Twelfth Night rehearsal room
Silas Wyatt-Barke (Sir Andrew Aguecheek) / Photography by Johan Persson
Gabrielle Brooks (Viola) inside the Twelfth Night rehearsal room
Gabrielle Brooks (Viola) / Photography by Johan Persson
Gbemisola Ikumelo (Maria), Gerard Carey (Malvolio) & Natalie Dew (Olivia)
Gbemisola Ikumelo (Maria), Gerard Carey (Malvolio) & Natalie Dew (Olivia) / Photography by Johan Persson

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Director Kwame Kwei-Armah and Melissa Allan (Feste) / Photography by Johan Persson

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Gbemisola Ikumelo (Maria) / Photography by Johan Persson

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Jyuddah Jaymes (Sebastian) / Photography by Johan Persson

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Gerard Carey (Malvolio) and choreographer Lizzi Gee / Photography by Johan Persson

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Musical Director Sean Green / Photography by Johan Persson
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Gerard Carey (Malvolio) / Photography by Johan Persson
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Rupert Young (Duke Orsino) / Photography by Johan Persson
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Jonathan Livingstone (Antonio) / Photography by Johan Persson
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Natalie Dew (Olivia) / Photography by Johan Persson
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Martyn Ellis (Sir Toby Belch) / Photography by Johan Persson
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Gabrielle Brooks (Viola) / Photography by Johan Persson
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Kwame Kwei-Armah (director) / Photography by Johan Persson

Shakespeare gets a shake-up as soulful melodies and R&B beats weave through this enchanting musical adaptation of Twelfth Night.

This celebration of love in all its forms features an awe-inspiring community chorus from Southwark and Lambeth with music and lyrics by the critically acclaimed songwriter Shaina Taub.

Book tickets now: https://www.youngvic.org/whats-on/twelfth-night