First Look: The Convert Production Photos

Take a look at the production photos for Danai Gurira’s The Convert, directed by Ola Ince. Now running at the Young Vic until 26 January 2019. 

It’s 1896 in what is modern day Zimbabwe and Jekesai, a young woman fleeing forced marriage, finds herself working for devout Catholic priest, Chilford. Chilford relishes the opportunity to mould his new convert, but Jekesai’s salvation has a price.

Cast includes Jude Akuwudike, Paapa Essiedu, Ivanno Jeremiah, Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo, Rudolphe Mdlongwa, Pamela Nomvete and Letitia Wright.

Set and Costume Designer Naomi Dawson and Lighting Designer Bruno Poet.

Book tickets from £10 : https://www.youngvic.org/whats-on/the-convert

Rudolphe Mdlongwa and Pamela Nomvete in The Convert. Photography by Marc Brenner
Ivanno Jeremiah in The Convert. Photography by Marc Brenner
Ivanno Jeremiah in The Convert. Photography by Marc Brenner
Letitia Wright in The Convert. Photography by Marc Brenner
Letitia Wright in The Convert. Photography by Marc Brenner
Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo in The Convert. Photography by Marc Brenner
Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo and Letitia Wright in The Convert. Photography by Marc Brenner
Paapa Essiedu and Letitia Wright in The Convert. Photography by Marc Brenner
Full Company in The Convert. Photography by Marc Brenner
Ivanno Jeremiah in The Convert. Photography by Marc Brenner
Jude Akuwudike in The Convert. Photography by Marc Brenner
Letitia Wright in The Convert. Photography by Marc Brenner
Paapa Essiedu and Letitia Wright in The Convert. Photography by Marc Brenner

The Convert runs at the Young Vic until 26 January. Limited tickets from £10. Find out more and book tickets now on our website.

Photography by Marc Brenner

Love Theatre Day 2018 | Costume Instagram Takeover

For #LoveTheatre Day we handed over the reigns of our Instagram account to our fabulous Costume department so that we could peek into their mad world of costume changes, wigs, mid-show fixes and other behind the scenes action on our production of Twelfth Night.

Check out some of their antics below –

Meet the Community Chorus | Twelfth Night

Community Chorus members dancing. Photography by Johan Persson

Our musical adaptation of Twelfth Night cast includes a 60-strong Community Chorus of  non-professional performers from across our local boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth.

Kaleya Baxe, who is currently on placement with our Taking Part team has been meeting with some of the Community Chorus in order to find out more about this fascinating, talented and diverse group of performers.

Our work with young people and our local communities is a major part of our artistic life. At a deep level, it complements and enhances each of the shows we produce.

Our Taking Part team engage with over 15,000 people a year. We offer young people and our neighbours free tickets to all our shows. We also run a wide range of projects, from skills based workshops to a chance to perform on one of our stages.

Take a look at our website to find out more about Taking Part and how you can get involved.

Catherine Coker

Cathy

One day after I’d retired I was going round the back of the Young Vic and I saw all these children so I went and stood in the doorway to see what they were doing- I have an awfully curious mind unfortunately. Suddenly, a man came out and counted me in with them! So I followed them into a room with a piano and he asked us to sing but unfortunately I couldn’t remember all the words. So I thought, Ella Fitzgerald didn’t use words, here we go: da ba da dip da ba baa da ba! I went home laughing the whole way. Then the next morning they called and said, you’re going to join us, aren’t you? And I thought, what have I done?! But I found myself in a most beautiful production and have been in many ever since.

Vanessa Doidge

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I got involved in the Young Vic originally through work ’cause I worked in drug, alcohol and mental health. I signed up through my work so that I could support clients to come and take part in workshops and watch some of the plays cause a lot of people had never been to the theatre before. It’s been a real confidence boost particularly this year where I lost quite a bit of confidence in my previous job so doing Twelfth Night has kind of boosted me up a little bit cause I felt like I couldn’t really do anything and I was a bit useless, I’m just gonna sit at home and cry.  But now I got involved with this and I thought actually, I’m not useless and I can do things and it’s just kind of pushed me forward. I also got a job interview and I got the job because I felt more confident so, yeah I think this experience at this time has been really good.

Sarah Trustman

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I first got involved with the Young Vic when the Taking Part team did a performance with a Year 9 class in one of the spaces at the Young Vic performed with a proper set and costume and script writers. I thought it was an amazing thing for the students because there’s not much availability for young people to have access to theatre, and also a lot of them were black or from mixed ethnic backgrounds which they felt like at the time, this is 2012, wasn’t as represented as it is now. Nowadays pretty much everything that my students see has been through the YV free ticket scheme which is so good because with a class of 20 when a West End ticket costs £45, it’s never gonna happen. And these students come from quite poor backgrounds, our free school meal percentage is something like 64%, it’s really high so it just means they have access to really high quality performance where they feel like they’re welcome and they’re represented.

Millie Lynch Bailey

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This experience has been really different because I’ve done two other chorusey things and both of those were only young women, so it was me and other girls my age, whereas this is the first time it’s been a totally diverse chorus in every sense; in age, in gender, in race. There are people who are teachers and people who are students and people who work in offices- like there’s one girl studying law so it’s just a completely different bunch. In this I get to make friends with people who I almost certainly would not have met otherwise.

Neil Penlington

Neil

I danced with Matthew Bourne from 1995 to 2006, so the original cast Swan Lake and then every show in between, Cinderella, Carmen, Highland Fling, Spitfire to name a few. Having previously been in the theatre and then coming back in a very different guise, there’s kind of this secret shroud here the minute you walk in, you just feel protected. I think what the Young Vic does here, you never feel like you’re community chorus, you always feel equal from the beginning really. And the principle cast, they’re a phenomenal bunch of people and they just all make us feel as one. I think that comes across in the show. But yeah, there’s a real sense of community and that’s what the Young Vic’s all about really.

Eddy Queens

Eddy Q.jpg

How I got involved in the Young Vic was doing a show called See Me Now about prostitution and sex workers. Because I’m a recovering addict and I used to prostitute myself, my friend told me about the show so I got involved and got the part. But the thing was that during rehearsals, I don’t want to get emotional but I was actually informed that my mother had passed and the team were fantastic and really held me you know? Then we were in rehearsals when the show went to Edinburgh and I got the call saying my dad had passed and I just felt like, every time I was at the YV I got the news but I was so grateful because had I not been at the YV I don’t know what I would have done you know, I mean, I’ve been clean now 8 years but because I had a commitment to the Young Vic it really kept me going.

Chris McGoldrick

Chris M

I’m a musician originally from Glasgow but been in London for 35 years now. Working with the Young Vic, there isn’t a highlight- there’s lots of highlights. For me when I feel really good is doing a great show like this is good fun you know and you’re in a better mood when you leave the building than when you came in, so that’s good. But for me it’s just kinda a selfish thing and that’s to get a free education in theatre making.

Pixie Maddison

Pixie M.jpg

I’ve always sort of drifted through life, my big joke was that my ambition was to have an ambition. I was homeless for a while and I’d just got myself sorted out and a friend of mine said, oh there’s a play about homelessness at the Young Vic do you wanna get involved? Yeah why not? So I came along and I ended up doing a bit where I told a story about when I was in care and I had 9 backing singers and I gradually climbed up this white sweeping staircase and sang ‘You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman’. And suddenly, I was one line ahead and I had the audience, I could make them cry, I could make them laugh, I just felt so empowered. And I thought, I’m gonna do this.

Twelfth Night runs at the Young Vic until 17 November. Tickets are now sold out but you can contact our Welcome Team on the day for returns and we operate a returns queue before each performance. Call our Welcome Team on 020 7922 2922.

https://youngvic.org/whats-on/the-convert

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.

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