Ola Ince to direct Danai Gurira’s ‘The Convert’ at the Young Vic

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We’re thrilled to announce that Ola Ince will direct The Convert by Tony-nominated writer and Black Panther star Danai Gurira at the Young Vic this December.

In 2016 Ola was the winner of the Genesis Future Director Award which saw her direct Dutchman at the Young Vic, Amiri Baraka’s provocative play about race relations and freedom.

Ola is currently Associate Director on Tina Turner The Musical following a number of high profile roles including director of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (Gate Theatre, 2018), Start Swimming (Young Vic, 2017) and Assistant Director on the Donmar’s critically acclaimed Shakespeare Trilogy which transferred to St Ann’s Warehouse in New York in 2017.

The Convert, explores the impact of colonialism on heritage, history and faith.

It’s 1896 and Jekesai, a young woman fleeing forced marriage, finds herself working for a devout Catholic.  Chilford dreams of being an English priest and relishes the opportunity to mould his new convert.  But Jekesai’s salvation has its price as her individuality is slowly stripped away…

The Convert runs at the Young Vic from 7 Dec 2018 – 19 Jan 2019. Tickets are available to book now from £10.

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Theatre Uncut announce the Theatre Uncut Political Playwriting Award

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The Theatre Uncut Political Playwriting Award aims to find the next generation of political playwrights who want to explore the big issues that affect our lives today.

Through the award Theatre Uncut are looking for brand new voices from all backgrounds that examine – in a full length play – the political in its widest sense, from the domestic to the global.

In an effort to reach talented writers from across the UK, Theatre Uncut has collaborated with The Sherman, Traverse Theatre and the Young Vic, utilising the diversity within each partner venues’ networks.

The writer of the winning play will receive an award of £9,500 including an agreement to option the production of the play to Theatre Uncut and the award partners. Submissions will open on 1st September 2018 and close 1st November 2018.

A longlist of 30 will be read by Theatre Uncut Artistic Directors Hannah Price and Emma Callander. A shortlist of 10 plays will then be read by the Artistic Directors of the partner venues Kwame Kwei Armah, Rachel O’Riorden and Orla O’Loughlin and the winner judged by the panel above with invited guests (to be announced soon).

Theatre Uncut also presented THE POWER PLAYS on 1 May, a new series of brand-new of short plays written by some of the UK’s most dynamic female playwrights exploring the theme of power from the female perspective. The Power Plays are available to download from theatreuncut.com and can be performed by anyone anywhere free of charge for a limited period. Over 6,000 people have performed Theatre Uncut plays across 26 countries so far. Visit the Theatre Uncut Mass Participation Map to see how far these plays have reached so far and to upload information on your own Theatre Uncut event.

Theatre Uncut aims to provoke debate and galvanise action by making new political theatre available for everyone, everywhere. 

A brand new season of shows from Kwame Kwei-Armah

We’re thrilled to announce a new season of shows from our new artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah. In addition to this we’ve announced two exciting upcoming projects called My England and YV Unpacked. You can read more about these below.

Tickets are on sale now to YV Friends. Public booking opens at 10am on Monday 23 April.

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A Musical Adaptation of William Shakespeare’s

Twelfth Night

Conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub
Music and Lyrics by Shaina Taub
Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Oskar Eustis

2 Oct – 17 Nov 2018

Shakespeare meets his match as brass bands and Beyoncé weave through this enchanting musical adaptation of Twelfth Night, with music and lyrics by the critically acclaimed songwriter Shaina Taub.

Young Vic Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah and Oskar Eustis co-direct this technicolour celebration of love in all its forms, following a run at the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park.

Book tickets from £10

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The Convert

By Danai Gurira

7 Dec 2018 – 19 Jan 2019

★★★★ “A rich and gripping drama” – Financial Times

Black Panther star and Tony-nominated writer Danai Gurira’s striking play explores the impact of colonialism and Catholicism on black identity.

It’s 1896 and Jekesai, a young woman fleeing forced marriage, finds herself working for a devout Catholic. Chilford dreams of being an English priest and relishes the opportunity to mould his new convert. But Jekesai’s salvation has its price as her individuality is slowly stripped away…

Book tickets from £10

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Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train

By Stephen Adly Guirgis | Directed by Kate Hewitt

14 Feb– 30 Mar 2019

★★★★ “Shocking, shattering, stunningly well-written” – The Daily Telegraph
“Like a shot of caffeine straight in the veins” – The Guardian

From Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis (The Motherf$%ker with the Hat), a dark comedy about the contradictory nature of faith.
Inside the lockdown wing of Rikers Island prison, a frightened young man accused of murdering a cult leader is confronted with a charismatic born-again serial killer and a sadistic guard.

Will one man’s redemption lead to another’s damnation?…

Book tickets from £10

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Things of Dry Hours

By Naomi Wallace | Directed by Debbie Hannan, 2018 Genesis Award winner

Clare Studio | 15 – 25 August 2018

★★★★ “A gorgeously written and philosophically rich celebration of a black Communist agitator in Depression-era South”
Time Out New York

The knock at the door. Because there is always a knock at the door…

Tice Hogan and his daughter Cali live a quiet life, keeping their heads down, reading the Bible, Karl Marx, and washing the rich folks’ laundry. Until one day an unknown white factory worker crashes into their lives.

Weaving the spiritual into the political, Things of Dry Hours interrogates the idea that humans cannot change; are we really all that black and white?

2018 Genesis Award winner Debbie Hannan directs this tantalizing, poetic play.

Book tickets from £10

My England
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My England is a celebration of playwrights from across regions of England. The works look at what it means to be English. Video monologues will be recorded and shown on the Young Vic social media channels.

Confirmed commissions include work from: Leo Skilbeck, Omar El-Khairy, Polly Stenham, Barrie Rutter, Jack Thorne and May Sumbwanyambe.

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YV Unpacked

YV Unpacked is a new strand of work, taking the highest quality theatre to people who do not normally think that theatre is for them. We will be taking shows to refugee centres, prisons, community hubs and home-less shelters as part of this work. The first work to be taken out to the community is:

Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind, directed Caroline Byrne.

Priority Booking is now open for all shows. Public booking opens from 10am on Monday 23 April.

 

 

£5 First Previews Lottery with TodayTix

We are very excited to introduce £5 First Previews alongside Kwame Kwei-Armah’s first YV season. All first previews of Main House productions will be sold at just £5 via a TodayTix lottery, starting with the first show of the season: Twelfth Night.

You will be able to enter the £5 First Preview Lottery for one week until noon the day prior to the first preview performance of each production (don’t worry, we’ll remind you).

Priority Booking is now open for all shows. Public booking opens from 10am on Monday 23 April.

Find out more about all the shows in the new season by heading over to youngvic.org.

David Lan announced as Special Award winner at the 2018 Oliviers

Former Artistic Director of the Young Vic, director and playwright David Lan will be presented with the Special Award at the Olivier Awards 2018 ceremony on Sunday 8 April at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The award will be presented in recognition of his outstanding contribution in leading the Young Vic since 2000, his work within the local community around the theatre, and his commitment to internationalism and diversity.

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David Lan, 2018. Photo by Johan Persson. 

David stepped down as Artistic Director earlier this year after leading the Young Vic for almost two decades.  Over the course of his tenure, the YV’s reputation has grown to become one of the most admired theatres in the world. It is known for its extensive and fully integrated outreach program, its engagement with young theatre artists, especially directors as well as playing to an audience acknowledged to be the most diverse in the UK. David wrote the architectural brief for the 2004/6 re-development of the theatre, and led the entire project including a 24 show, 32 city walkabout season.

He has produced the work of some of the most influential theatre makers of our time including Peter Brook, Ivo Van Hove, Benedict Andrews, Susan Stroman, Stephen Daldry and Katie Mitchell and has championed innovative ways of co-producing across the UK and internationally. David also is responsible for establishing the Young Vic’s Genesis Directors Program many of whose past members now lead theatres all over the UK. Many YV productions have gone on to great success in the West End on Broadway (the Olivier Award Winning Yerma opening this March at the Park Avenue Armory), and in other theatres around the world.

In addition, he founded the What Next? Alliance of arts organisations which now has ‘Chapters’ throughout the UK.

The Young Vic has won eleven Olivier Awards under David’s tenure including Outstanding Achievement In An Affiliate Theatre in 2004 for his “audacious season” and artistic direction.

Past recipients of the Special Award include Kenneth Branagh, Stephen Sondheim, Judi Dench and Ian McKellen.

Widely recognised as the most prestigious stage honours, this year’s Olivier Awards return to the Royal Albert Hall and will be hosted by Catherine Tate.

 

Fun Home Casting Announced!

We’re thrilled to be able to announce casting for Fun Home, the five-time award winning musical based on a graphic novel by Alison Bechdel with music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and direction by Sam Gold:

Alison: Kaisa Hammarlund
Medium Alison: Eleanor Kane
Helen: Jenna Russell
Roy/Mark/Jeremy: Ashley Samuels
Joan: Cherrelle Skeete
Bruce, Alison’s father: Zubin Varla

More information about the company is below. Casting for Small Alison, John and Christian will be confirmed soon.

Kaisa_blogKaisa Hammarlund | Alison
Theatre includes: Cockpit (Lyceum Edinburgh); Sweet Charity (Royal Exchange Theatre  Manchester, Theatre Awards & UK Theatre Awards nomination for Best Actress); Bakkhai (Almeida); As You Like It (Southwark Playhouse); Sleeping Beauty (Park Theatre); The Captain of Kopeknick (National Theatre); The Tempest (Theatre Royal Bath); Can I Be Straight With You / Courting Drama (Bush Theatre); The Boys from Syracuse (Union Theatre); The Three Musketeers (Rose Theatre Kingston); A Day Before Spring (Sadler’s Wells); Cabaret (Lyric Theatre); Sunday in the Park with George, They’re Playing Our Song, A Little Night Music, Take Flight (Menier Chocolate Factory); Mamma Mia (Prince of Wales theatre and touring); Legally Blonde (Nöjesteatern, Malmö Sweden).
Television includes:  Lewis, Doctors, The Sandhamn Murders, Holby City.
Film includes: K, Coup de Grace.

 

Eleanor Headshot_blog.jpgEleanor Kane | Medium Alison
Theatre includes: Assassins, Wondertown,  Barefoot Gen, The Merchant of Venice, Three Days in the Country, Rhinoceros, Three Sisters (Rose Bruford); Threeway (Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh Fringe Festival); Werther (Scottish Opera); Now’s the Hour (Scottish Youth Theatre); Joan and Jim R&D (Told By An Idiot).

 

 

 

Jenna Russell_blogJenna Russell | Helen
Theatre includes: Di and Viv and Rose (Vaudeville theatre); Urinetown (Apollo and St James Theatre); Mr Burns (Almeida); Merrily We Roll Along (Menier Chocolate Factory / Pinter Theatre); That Day We Sang (Opera House, Manchester); Seasons Greetings (National Theatre); Into The Woods (Regents Park); Sunday in the Park With George (Wyndhams / Studio 54 Broadway); Amy’s View (Garrick Theatre); Guys and Dolls (Picadilly Theatre); Into the Woods (Donmar Warehouse); Three Sisters (Royal Court).
Television includes: Call the Midwife, The Paradise, Minder, Dr Who, Born and Bred, Picking Up the Pieces.
Film includes: Mortdecai.
Awards include:  Nominee for 2008 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Theatre World Award and Drama League for Leading Actress in a Musical for Sunday In The Park with George. Olivier Award Winner for Best Actress in a Musical for Sunday In The Park with George 2007. Nominee for 2006 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Guys and Dolls.

 

Ashely Samuels bw.jpgAshley Samuels | Roy/Mark/Jeremy
Theatre includes: Motown the Musical (Shaftsbury Theatre); The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre); The Toxic Avenger (Southwark Playhouse); The World Goes Round (Stephen Joseph Theatre); Olivier Awards 2014 (Royal Opera House).
Television includes: This Morning (ITV); Sing it Kitty (commercial).
Other work includes: Concert soloist (The Other Palace & Electric Theatre).

 

 

Cherrelle Headshot_blogCherrelle Skeete | Joan
Theatre includes: The Seagull, Jack and Beanstalk (Lyric Hammersmith); Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Palace Theatre); Three Days in the Country, The Amen Corner (National Theatre); Wind in the Willows (Royal & Derngate); And I and Silence (Finborough Theatre); The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre) The Edge, Sold, King Lear, Love’s Last Shift, There’s No Place Like Home, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Three Sisters (Central School of Speech and Drama); Joey Boy (The MAC).
Television includes: Silent Witness, Doctors, Danny and the Human Zoo, The Five, Ordinary Lies, Call the Midwife.

 

Zubin_blogZubin Varla | Bruce
Young Vic includes: Measure for Measure, The Changeling.
Theatre includes: Poison (Orange Tree Theatre); The Unknown Island (Gate Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe); Dara, War Horse, Attempts on Her Life, The Enchantment, The Life of Galileo and Cyrano de Bergerac(National Theatre); The El Train (Hoxton Hall): Don Juan Comes Back from the War (Finborough); Troilus and Cressida (RSC/Wooster Group); Chess (UK tour); Into Thy Hands(Jericho House); Amadeus (City of London Sinfonia/Barbican); In the Soliyude of Cottonfields (ATC) Hello and Goodbye (Treatment Theatre Company); Julius Caesar (RSC/Lyric Hammersmith); Faust (RSC); The Painter of Dishonour (RSC); Midnight’s Children, Roberto Zucco, Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest (RSC); Jesus Christ Superstar (Lyceum); Paradise Regained (Royal Court); Teeth n Smiles (Sheffield Crucible); and Twelfth Night (Donmar West End), Antigone (Old Vic/Donmar); Beautiful Thing (Duke of York’s); In the Heart of America (Bush Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Regent’s Park).
Television includes: Deep State, Will, Our Girl, Strike Back, Holby City, Garrow’s Law, Crocodile Shoes, Hustle, Little Dorrit, Saddam’s Tribe, Silent Witness and Spooks.
Film includes: Mad, Sad and Bad, Twelfth Night.

 

Fun Home runs from 18 June – 1 September 2018 in the Young Vic’s Main House. Book your tickets here

 

 

New Executive Director announced: Despina Tsatsas

We are thrilled to announce that Despina Tsatsas will be the Young Vic’s new Executive Director in summer 2018. Despina is currently Executive Producer at Punchdrunk International and she will take over the role from interim Executive Director, Sarah Hall.

Young Vic Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah says: “We had some fantastic candidates apply for the position as Executive Director from all around the world, but the qualities that Despina demonstrated made her the perfect person for the job. Despina is everything I would want an Executive Director to be; imaginative, ambitious and a true team-player. We can’t wait for her to join the Young Vic family.”

Incoming Executive Director Despina Tsatsas says: “The Young Vic is driven by a mission to create world-class theatre for some of the most engaged and diverse audiences in the UK. Under the leadership of David Lan and Lucy Woollatt its institutional culture has also became synonymous with artistic integrity, meaningful political engagement and a generosity of spirit. These values – along with the-once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to work with the hugely inspirational Kwame Kwei-Armah – made me jump at the chance to join the team.”

Despina is a theatre producer with experience across the subsidised and commercial sector. She was previously Executive Producer at UK’s Frantic Assembly working closely with Artistic Director Scott Graham, and has worked for organisations including Almeida theatre, and Ambassador Theatre Group. She was also Associate Producer for West End General Management company Mark Rubinstein Ltd where clients included National Theatre Productions (War Horse UK Tour, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time).

Whilst at Mark Rubinstein Ltd, Despina acted as Main House Producer at the Young Vic theatre between 2010 and 2012 producing works including Sweet Nothings, Vernon God Little, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Glass Menagerie, Hamlet, Government Inspector, I Am The Wind, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Wild Swans, and working with directors including David Lan, Carrie Cracknell, Rufus Norris, Richard Jones, Joe Hill-Gibbins and Patrice Chereau.

Despina is a Clore Leadership Programme Fellow (2012/2013) and received a Stage One Apprenticeship early in her career. She is a Board Member of UK charity Clean Break – a women’s theatre company working with women offenders and those at risk of offending, as well as medical-educational charity The Laura Case Trust.