Call Out For Artists | Forest: A response to Tree created by Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah

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Young Vic Taking Part are creating FOREST, a new show inspired by Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah’s Tree and we’re looking for people from Lambeth and Southwark to be part of it.

This is the first time we have joined together our three strands of work; Learning, Participation and Neighbourhood Theatre, to create a theatre experience which feels like it is for everyone, using live music and other media to tell stories from the people in our neighbourhood.

Project dates:

Rehearsals:  Occasional rehearsals in June/ July (Exact dates TBC). Then, 29 July –  17 August 2019.

Tech and shows: 19 – 24 August 2019

About Tree:

Tree takes you on a thrilling journey in search of the soul and spirit of contemporary South Africa.  Created by Idris Elba, whose album Mi Mandela provides the inspiration for the soundtrack, and Kwame Kwei-Armah, this major world-premiere production performed in the round, is also directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah.

Music, dance and film combine with an exciting cast to explore the past, present and future of this country at a crossroads – all through the eyes of one young man on a journey of healing. 

We would like to invite artists and companies to submit expressions of interest and a short description of how you think the community of Lambeth and Southwark can respond to Tree. We are looking to form a team of artists from multiple disciplines, so we would like to hear from collectives, companies, film makers, musicians, directors, writers, and designers.

Please tell us what you’d like to do in any of the following ways:

    • A letter (either on paper or emailed)
    • A video (no longer than 5 minutes) .mov or .mp4 good for us
    • A voice recording (no longer than 5 minutes) .wav or .mp3 good for us
    • A PowerPoint presentation (of no more than 10 slides)

Please email imogenbrodie@youngvic.org with your expression of interest by Friday 23 November at 1pm.  We will be meeting people to discuss ideas on 4 and 5 December.

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.

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

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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.

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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.

The Marbleous Route Home, Intro to Theatre and Something to Declare | YV Taking Part Summer update

It’s been an incredibly busy few months for the Young Vic’s outreach team, Taking Part. We’ve shared the playful, non-verbal production The Marbleous Route Home with SEND schools and young people over two weeks of performances, our YV Young Associates created an installation for Refugee Week, Something to Declare and Intro to Theatre, our week long programme of free workshops for young people interested in a career in theatre was attended by hundreds who enjoyed the talents and advice of some incredibly exciting artists.

The Marbleous Route Home

Our playful, non-verbal production, The Marbleous Route Home was our new Young Vic Taking Part production created as an original response to Fun Home aimed at children and young people who attend special schools.


Conceived by Natasha Nixon and Kirsty Harris, and devised by the company, Natasha Nixon’s production received some beautiful and excited reactions from audiences throughout our two weeks of performances set in our open and relaxed performance environment.

Intro to Theatre

Our week long programme of workshops for Young People got even bigger in May 2018. We hosted hundreds of Young People across 26 workshops held by exciting artists including directors Roy Alexander Weise, performers Yolanda Mercy, Serafina Bey, London Hughes and Michael Balogun, writer Luke Barnes and photographer Helen Murray as well as our very own Kwame Kwei-Armah and Nadia Latif.


If you’re interested in finding out more about the next Intro to Theatre then send an email to youngpeople@youngvic.org and they’ll let you know how you can sign up.

Something to Declare

The Young Vic Young Associates are local young people from Southwark who work at the YV, each joining a different department for 9 months of the year. Towards the end of their time at the YV they are given the opportunity to come up with some work on a theme of their choosing. This year’s team of Lanikai, Sandra and Patrick chose to create some work in response to the refugee crisis during Refugee Week.


Their installation, Something To Declare was developed through a series of interviews and workshops with LGBTQI+ refugees. Visitors were invited to listen to different narratives on headphones while inside the installation room, composed from interviews with workshop participants about their experiences in their home countries and in the UK. The second room offered a chill out space with music, films and food, and later featured moving performances from poets Belinda Zhawi and Tamara McFarlane. It was a great evening and we had a fantastic response from our audiences – big thanks to everyone who contributed to the project and to all of those who came.

All photos © Leon Puplett

 

Young Vic celebrates World Refugee Week, 2018

It’s Refugee Week, 2018 and we’re delighted to have a number of events lined up alongside hundreds of others in communities across the UK, all helping raise awareness of the contribution of refugees around the world.

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Following in the footsteps of the Young Vic staging plays which engage with the world’s migration crisis and which explore the individual stories of refugees, our most recent production of which The Jungle has just opened in the West End.

The Jungle tells stories of loss, fear, community and hope, of the Calais camp’s creation – and of its eventual destruction.

We are thrilled that our Taking Part team will be taking the cast of The Tide (our schools response to The Jungle, performed by local teenagers, exploring what is home, family and migration) to see a performance of The Jungle for free during Refugee Week.

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Meanwhile, our Young Vic Young Associates’ project will culminate with Something To Declare, an installation performed by LGBTQ+ refugees, on 21 June at 6pm at Platform, SouthwarkSomething To Declare has been created through workshops with LGBTQI+ refugees and performances from people who identify as such.

We’ll also soon be hosting our next instalment of Kitchen Conversations on 17 July in conjunction with Migrateful: an initiative which aims to bridge the cultural and generational gap between the local community and refugees who are new to the U.K.

Follow Refugee Week on twitter and the  hashtag for all the latest news and stories. You can find events in your local area on Refugee Week’s events listings: http://refugeeweek.org.uk/events/

In response to The Jungle, The Brothers Size and The Inheritance | YV Taking Part

It’s been a busy start to 2018 for our incredible education and outreach team, Young Vic Taking Part. Working in response to some stunning productions in the YV’s Main House including The Jungle, The Brothers Size and The Inheritance, they’ve been working with a wide range of people from Lambeth, Southwark and beyond.

The Tide

The Tide was our schools response to The Jungle and was met with some amazing feedback. Written by Eno Mfon, directed by Eva Sampson and performed by local teenagers, The Tide explored what is home, family and migration and was performed in the YV’s Maria space with a stunning design incorporating trampolines by Cecile Tremolieres.

The Brothers Size Parallel Production

Taking Part have also been working with HMP Wandsworth. At the beginning of February Jonathan Ajayi, Sope Dirisu, Manuel Pinheiro and Anthony Welsh performed Bijan Sheibani’s production of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brothers Size.  Forty men currently at the prison watched the sharing and were invited to take part in our project inspired by the theme’s explored in McCraney’s work. The script they develop with writer Luke Barnes will form a later production with young offenders, directed by Justin Audibert.

Neighbours Known. Neighbours Unknown.

In collaboration with the acclaimed The Choir with No Name who run choirs for homeless and marginalised people, on a singing project that brings together their members with people from our local boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. Members of the YV Taking Part’s Neighbourhood Theatre have been working on Neighbours Known. Neighbours Unknown. a singing project that celebrates singing, community and togetherness. They’ll be performing on Sat 17 March at The Workshop in Vauxhall.

Within Reach

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Taking Part have also had the first few rehearsals of Within Reach, a movement based response to Matthew Lopez’s The Inheritance, led by Grace Gibson. Working with people who have HIV or have been directly affected by the illness, the work will be shared in early May.

Arts in Schools Campaign

Taking Part has also been working hard on arts in schools and worked on the first London Theatre Consortium symposium on a future curriculum for drama education which YV AD Kwame Kwei-Armah spoke at. Find out more about the event and people’s responses on our video.

Sing Before You Speak Again | A Taking Part community response to Wings

“These are stories we don’t often get a chance to hear – indeed they are often the hardest stories for people who have had strokes to articulate until they are set to music. Music seems to tap into a part of the brain that sets language free, the rhythm allowing words to flow where they are normally stumbled over”

Written after a series of workshops with stroke recovery groups, Parkinson’s community groups and dementia healthy living clubs and inspired by Natalie Abrahami’s production of Wings by Arthur Kopit, Sing Before You Speak Again was staged this November.

 

Sing Before You Speak Again‘s director Thomas Martin explained a little more about the production which took the form of an original choral song cycle written by Deanna Rodger and Joseph Atkins.

Some of the text was verbatim, but most of it was poetic – in Deanna’s lyrical world, memories become motors, houses become ships tossed about on a cold sea, and brains become balloons to be popped or let go. Joe’s composition brings these images to life with rich and challenging harmonies, filled with cheeky echoes of our participants’ favourite artists – Bob Marley, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell.

 

Sing Before You Speak Again has taken us through a range of emotions with the hope that our audiences leave with a little more understanding of what having a stroke feels like and the often disorientating effects – Wendy, Participant

Following the week of performances some of the company took part in a series of special performances at community centres with Nunhead Dementia Cafe, time & talents and Stockwell Healthy Living Club who helped inspire the original songs that the creative team had met during their original workshops.

It was so brilliant to have such great entertainment and even more special to meet the singers. – Nunhead Dementia Cafe

We’re extremely grateful to some incredible local groups who opened their doors and allowed us to get involved. Our production wouldn’t have been possible without the workshops and support of the following organisations, Aphasia Re-Connect, Southwark and Lambeth Parkinson’s Support Group, Stockwell Healthy Living Club and Time & Talents.