11 Questions with Melissa Allen from Twelfth Night

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Melissa Allen as Feste in Twelfth Night

Melissa Allen plays one of the lead characters in Kwame Al-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 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 Taubs score is awesome. Its also an extremely accessible play and there are lots of little twists that are very different from other productions. Having the 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 brussel spouts for our birthdays and Christmas every year. He’s a joker.

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

Backcombing my hair within an inch of its life.

7. 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 hero’s.

8. 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.

9. What is your first memory of Shakespeare?

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

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

A Tim Burton movie.

11. Working on it! Watch this space…

 

Twelfth Night is at the Young Vic until November 17.

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

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

Black Panther’s Letitia Wright to star in The Convert at the Young Vic

letitia

Letitia Wright will play the role of Jekesai/Ester in the Young Vic production of Black Panther co-star, and Tony-nominated writer Danai Gurira’s The Convert.

She is cast alongside Paapa Essiedu (RSC Hamlet) who plays Chilford, and Ivanno Jeremiah (Humans) taking on the role of Chancellor.

Further casting includes: Jude Akuwudike (Uncle); Rudolphe Mdlongwa (Tamba); Pamela Nomvete (Mai Tamba). The casting of the role of Prudence will be announced at a later date.

Directed by Ola Ince The Convert, set in 1896 in what is modern day Zimbabwe, explores if faith has a cost and if so, when that cost is too much.  Jekesai, a young Shona woman fleeing forced marriage finds herself working for devout Catholic priest, Chilford. He relishes the opportunity to shape his new convert but Jekesai’s salvation has a price.

The Convert will run at the Young Vic from 7 Dec – 26 Jan 2019. Limited tickets are available from £10.

Photo credit: Kwaku Alston

Carnation for a Song | YV Taking Part response to Fun Home

Carnation for a Song was a Community Response to Sam Gold’s production of Fun Home. Created with Director Megan Cronin and Musical Director Joseph Atkins, Taking Part had an incredibly open and generous company who shared their LGBTQ stories to build this moving musical experience.

The company was made up of LGBTQ Londoners, all aged 50+ and featured original songs by Joseph Atkins directly inspired by their experiences being on the front line of the fight for cultural acceptance and equal rights from the past, as well as the present and their hopes for a more inclusive future.

 

 

Big thanks to the excellent creative and production team who put yet another outstanding community production together in just three weeks, and as always, a standing ovation to the marvelous Carnation for a Song company.

Find out more about Taking Part’s Community Shows.

All photos by Leon Puplett.