The Floor Is Yours at the Young Vic

Kwame Kwei-Armah - First day © Leon Puplett-07022

Join our Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah at one of three open sessions in the first of a new series of industry events at the Young Vic.

We want to hear your ideas for the future of theatre-making and what you need from us to make it happen.

We welcome artists from diverse backgrounds to share their experiences and contribute thinking for how we move forward together.

When: Saturday 3 March 2018
Where: Young Vic Clare Studio

10.30am – 11.30am
1.00pm – 2.00pm
3.00pm – 4.00pm

We have a limited number of spaces per session. To register, please fill in your details here by midday on Monday 26 February, stating which session you would like to attend, and we will be in touch to confirm whether or not you have a place.

Let us know if you have any access requirements, or if you need to bring your children with you.

If you’re unable to attend, you can tweet us your questions @youngvictheatre using the hashtag #YVFloor in advance and we’ll share on our social channels throughout the day.

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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

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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
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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!

Winter | Touch Tours announced for every performance!

We are thrilled to announce that in addition to every performance of Winter (14 – 24 Feb) being audio-described, we will also be providing a touch tour before each and every performance.

For many blind or partially sighted theatre-goers, a touch tour is an essential part of the theatre experience. It is a chance for audience members to have a sensory exploration of the stage, set, props and costumes before the performance begins. There is usually an opportunity to meet some of the actors too so you can get a sense of how their characters will sound. Find out more about what it actually involves in our blog from the Life of Galileo touch tour.

 

Our touch tours are free for audiences attending that show, and although priority will be given to blind or partially sighted theatre-goers, we are pleased to be welcoming up our Winter touch tours for all audience members.

If you would like to attend a pre-show touch tour, email touchtour@youngvic.org with your name, access requirements and date/time of the performance you’re attending. We will reply back to confirm your place and let you know what time your touch tour will be kicking off.

Touch tour schedule:

14 – 17 Feb: 6.45pm 
20 – 24 Feb: 6.15pm
21 & 24 Feb: 1.15pm 

 

Winter | Rehearsal Photos

Take a look inside the rehearsal room for our upcoming production Winter by Jon Fosse, directed by 2018 Genesis Award-winner John R. Wilkinson.

The cast includes Jonathan Cullen and Maisie Greenwood.

An ordinary businessman meets a volatile stranger in a park. So begins a fugue of splintered desires and mistaken meanings.

Tickets have already sold out for this riveting and hypnotic play, but we still have some access holds available for every performance – all audio-described – as well as the captioned performance on 23 February. Call 020 7922 2922 now to book an access ticket (carers can watch for free) or email our welcometeam@youngvic.org.

Winter runs in the Clare studio 14 – 24 February.

Photography by Leon Puplett 📸

Maisie Greenwood in rehearsal for Winter at the Young Vic © Leon Puplett (2).jpg

Maisie Greenwood

 

Maisie Greenwood and Jonathan Cullen in rehearsal for Winter at the Young Vic © Leon Puplett.jpg

Maisie Greenwood and Jonathan Cullen

 

Winter rehearsals at the Young Vic © Leon Puplett

Winter rehearsals

John R Wilkinson in rehearsal for Winter at the Young Vic © Leon Puplett

 Director, John R. Wilkinson

 

Jonathan Cullen in rehearsal for Winter at the Young Vic. © Leon Puplett.jpg

Jonathan Cullen

Celebrating David Lan | Artistic Director 2000 – 2018

After 18 years, today is David Lan’s final day as Artistic Director at the Young Vic. We couldn’t let him “slip away” (as he would have it), so we checked in with a few notable alumni to share with us just how much of an impact he has had on them and the industry during his tenure…

(Thanks to Noma Dumezweni, Sinead Matthews, Nathaniel Martello-White, Jude Law, Natalie Abrahami, Natalie Dormer, Hugh Skinner, Sir Ian McKellen, Rory Kinnear, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith and Marcello Magni.)

Over the 18 years of his artistic leadership, the Young Vic’s ambitious and adventurous work has reached millions of people on The Cut and around the world.

David spearheaded the 2006 redevelopment of the building you know today featuring our three spaces, the Main House, the Maria and the Clare. Designed by architects Haworth Tompkins, we were named RIBA London Building of the Year, were shortlisted for the Sterling Prize and won many design and industry awards.

The last decade has been the most successful in our company’s history.  David has consistently produced pioneering shows, nurtured the careers of younger theatremakers and won acclaim from critics and audiences across the globe. Through David’s vision the scope of Young Vic productions has widened to include opera, music theatre, dance and short films.

Here, in a 2009 interview about Young Vic collaborations with the English National Opera, David touches on his passion for welcoming in and working with the local community and the reflection of this in his artistic work through to the design of the Young Vic building itself:

(Credit: ENO)

Many Young Vic productions have gone on to great success in the West End, on Broadway and in other theatres round the world. Since winning an Olivier Award for the entire 2003 season, the Young Vic has won every major London and New York theatre award, several many times over.

The importance David places on the audience experience has always been evident,  “Everything we do is about the moment at which you bring the show and the audience together and that’s the only thing that matters” he says in this interview at the Young Vic in 2001:

(Credit: Victoria and Albert Museum)

Tweets and tributes have been flooding in since David announced his stepping down in 2017. A few below, and many more here.

And finally, we love this 2016 inspirational interview with David on the subject of creativity – “A human being is a whole, and if one part of them is stimulated, encouraged, then the whole person is allowed to grow and develop and achieve its potential.”

(Credit: TellyJuice) 

David Lan wins Special Award at 2018 Critics’ Circle Awards

We are thrilled that our Artistic Director David Lan has been awarded a Special Award for Services to Theatre at today’s annual Critics’ Circle Awards held at the Prince of Wales Theatre. The award is in recognition of David’s significant impact and legacy on the theatre industry, and comes, significantly, in his final week as Artistic Director of the Young Vic.

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David Lan, 2018. Photo by Johan Persson. 

David was appointed AD of the YV in 2000 where he established the Genesis Directors Project, the Jerwood Directors Award and the Young Vic Award.

He won an Olivier Award for the 2004 YV season. Other awards include the John Whiting award, The George Orwell award and the Zurich International Television Prize. He led the £12.5 million rebuild of the Young Vic theatre and the two year Walkabout season while the theatre was closed.

His productions at the Young Vic include Julius Caesar (2000), A Raisin in the Sun (2001, revival and tour 2005), Doctor Faustus (2002), The Daughter-in-Law (2002), The Skin of Our Teeth (2004) and As You Like It at Wyndhams (2005) as part of Walkabout. In 2010, he directed August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.

In his last week at the helm here at the YV, this Critics Circle Special Award forms just part of our farewell salute to David.

Find out more about the 2018 Critics’ Circle Awards and the full list of winners here.