Astoria | Latest YV short

Astoria, the latest in the series of Young Vic short films, was released alongside the Young Vic’s Horizons season announcement earlier this week.

Written and directed by Paul Mason, former economics editor of Channel 4 News and BBC’s Newsnight, it follows a Syrian refugee’s journey to the West. Once there, an encounter with the past in a Budapest hotel draws a parallel between Europe’s historical and current response to refugees.

The experience highlights the necessity of resistance to oppression – and the danger of losing sight of history. In Astoria, Paul Mason explores the irony that today’s refugees are moving through a landscape that was the site of genocide; the limitations of what individual people can do when faced with atrocity; the way resistance and memory intertwine. Astoria was filmed in Budapest, Hungary and Stoke Newington, London in early 2016, Astoria stars July Namir and Sonya Cassidy.

In 2012, Paul covered the rise of the far right party in Hungary. Whilst there, his team stayed at the Astoria Hotel and discovered it was used as S.S. Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann’s headquarters and as a torture chamber during World War Two. Since then, Mason has wanted to tell that story.

Paul said, “It is axiomatic that the story of the refugees will be told by refugees. But the story of our inhospitable continent, and our forgetfulness about why people leave their homes, and where hatred leads – that is our story and we have to confront it. Astoria is my personal response.”

A new series of short films based on the experiences of refugees from around the world will be released in 2016 – 17.

You can find out more about Horizons, a season exploring the lives of refugees, at the Young Vic in our Horizons blog post.

HORIZONS | a season exploring the lives of refugees

The Young Vic presents:

horizons bannerNEW.jpg

A new season across three strands of the Young Vic’s work – productions on all three stages, on film and through Taking Part projects – is launched today.

A note from our Artistic Director, David Lan:
“Horizons is the Young Vic’s response to the world as it is now. People in distress need help and they need to be heard. We want to provide a powerful means for audiences at home and abroad to connect with the political, social and human realities refugees face. These are the central stories of our age. We are thrilled and moved to be working with compassionate and fearless people, some of whom had never been to a theatre before, as well as writers and artists including Paul Mason, Ian Rickson, Deanna Rodger, Isango Ensemble, Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson.

We are delighted to welcome Good Chance to our home on The Cut as an associate company, and to be able to support the inspirational work of the Joes and their team. We are proud to have been recognized by City of Sanctuary with an award for our work with refugee communities. By becoming a Theatre of Sanctuary, we extend our commitment to raising awareness of the plight of refugees.”
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Horizons launches with the release of the Young Vic’s latest short film, Astoria, written and directed by Paul Mason, former economics editor of Channel 4 News and BBC’s Newsnight. It follows a Syrian refugee’s journey to the West. Once there, an encounter with the past in a Budapest hotel draws a parallel between Europe’s historical and current response to refugees.

We’ve also announced Now We Are Here (20 – 30 Jul) which tells the true stories of four LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people, all asylum seekers and refugees living in the UK. Over eight months, they participated in a series of workshops at the Young Vic led by director Ian Rickson and in partnership with charity Micro Rainbow International. Now, working with award-winning poet and spoken word artist Deanna Rodger, four actors will bring these important stories of intolerance, belonging and courage to the Young Vic’s Clare studio. The strictly limited run of performances will be free to attend. To book tickets, click here. We are welcoming donations to two charities, Micro Rainbow International and Room to Heal, chosen by our collaborators which work with refugees in the UK. Donations can be give online when booking free tickets or at our box office.

Previously announced work in the Horizons programme includes Queens of Syria, a multimedia production featuring an all-female cast of Syrian performing a new version of The Trojan Women, to the background of the award-winning documentary of their story. Queens of Syria is performed in Arabic and will tour the UK following its opening at the Young Vic (5 – 9 July). And A Man of Good Hope, co-produced with South Africa’s Isango Ensemble and the Royal Opera House, brings to life Jonny Steinberg’s extraordinary book about one refugee’s journey from Mogadishu to Cape Town. A Man of Good Hope runs at the Young Vic from 6 Oct – 12 Nov. Tickets for both shows are on sale now.

We’re also excited to announce that pioneering theatre company Good Chance will have a new base here at the Young Vic. As the company prepares to develop and continue its work with refugees, it will receive support from the Young Vic team. Joe and Joe said:
“We are thrilled to be working with the Young Vic. Having a home is so important. We know this from the people we work with. We are thankful to the Young Vic for giving us a home in London as we strive to build new theatres of hope.”

We are also delighted to receive a Theatre of Sanctuary Award from City of Sanctuary. The Award recognises our past and current endeavours to raise awareness of refugee communities and to take action to welcome and include them in its activities.
Amongst other projects in recent months, in April 2016 the Young Vic hosted the free-to-attend Beyond Borders conference in association with Counterpoints Arts and Platforma. The day provided a chance for artists and companies to hear about the Young Vic’s work with refugees and asylum seekers and to open up discussions on wider themes including pathways for artists from refugee and migrant backgrounds, how participatory work can link to a theatre’s programming, and international connections between artists.
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More on our Horizons announcement here: www.youngvic.org/horizons

Young Vic Shorts | The Departure feat. Gillian Anderson

Alongside our YV 2015 Season announcement, we’re very very excited to finally share with you the latest Young Vic Short, The Departure directed by and starring Gillian Anderson.

The Departure is inspired by Benedict Andrews’ hugely successful production of A Streetcar Named Desire which played at the Young Vic 23 July – 19 September 2014. Gillian Anderson received much praise for her performance as Blanche Du Bois, a role she reprises in the film. She said, “The Departure imagines the circumstances leading up to Blanche arriving at her sister’s house in New Orleans, a sort of prequel to Tennessee Williams’ great play. I am thrilled that, with the support of the Young Vic, Andrew and I have had the opportunity to delve further into the life of this iconic character and create something which can be seen by audiences across the globe.”

The Departure also features Bruce Alexander, Suzanne Bertish and Rollo Skinner and is available on the Guardian website. Take a look at the stunning behind the scenes images from the film shoot here.

The Departure featuring Gillian Anderson

Photo by David Sandison.

The Departure A film by Gillian Anderson Written by Andrew O’Hagan Directed by Gillian Anderson Young Vic Shorts are a series of short films inspired by Young Vic productions. They offer artists working with the theatre a unique creative opportunity to reach a large international audience online. The most recent Young Vic short was MAYDAY, inspired by Natalie Abrahami’s production of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days at the Young Vic.

Just announced: 2 New Young Vic Shorts featuring Gillian Anderson & Juliet Stevenson

Today we are pleased to premiere the latest Young Vic short, MAYDAY, starring Juliet Stevenson, and announce Gillian Anderson’s upcoming short film The Departure, written by Andrew O’Hagan, directed by and starring Gillian Anderson.

MAYDAY was inspired by Natalie Abrahami’s production of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days at the Young Vic, which will return to the Main House stage from 13 February 2015.  The short film stars Juliet Stevenson with appearances from David Beames and Tanya Moodie and glimpses the life of one resilient woman, fighting to “keep up the glamour” as she descends into ever increasing isolation.  Both Stevenson and Beames will return to the Young Vic in next year’s Happy Days revival.

MAYDAY
Written by Nancy Harris
Directed by Natalie Abrahami
Starring Juliet Stevenson

Want more? Watch the making of documentary featuring exclusive footage and interviews with Juliet Stevenson and Natalie Abrahami.

The Departure is inspired by Benedict Andrews’ hugely successful production of A Streetcar Named Desire which played at the Young Vic 23 July – 19 September 2014. Gillian Anderson received much praise for her performance as Blanche Du Bois, a role she will reprise in the film.  She said “The Departure imagines the circumstances leading up to Blanche arriving at her sister’s house in New Orleans, a sort of prequel to Tennessee Williams’ great play. I am thrilled that, with the support of the Young Vic, Andrew and I have had the opportunity to delve further into the life of this iconic character and create something which can be seen by audiences across the globe.”

The Departure also features Bruce Alexander, Suzanne Bertish and Rollo Skinner and will be available on the Guardian and Young Vic websites in the near future. Take a look at the stunning behind the scenes images from the film shoot here.

The Departure

Photo by David Sandison

The Departure
A film by Gillian Anderson
Written by Andrew O’Hagan
Directed by Gillian Anderson

Young Vic Shorts are a series of short films inspired by Young Vic productions. They offer artists working with the theatre a unique creative opportunity to reach a large international audience online. The most recent Young Vic short was Columbite Tantalite, written and directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor and inspired by Aimé Césaire’s masterpiece A Season in the Congo.

New Young Vic short film launched today – Bed Trick, inspired by The Changeling

Sinead Matthews in Bed Trick, directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins

Sinead Matthews in Bed Trick, directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins

Joe Hill-Gibbins, director of our sold-out hit productions of The Changeling, has written and directed a new short film inspired by the play.  Watch it now and read more from Joe in The Guardian about his experience.

Check out our other short films, coproduced with The Guardian, here.

Plus see behind the scenes photos on Facebook!

Bed Trick is sponsored by Bloomberg.
Bloomberg supports digital innovation at the Young Vic.