Wild East | Production Photos 📸

Take your first look at April De Angelis’ outlandish and surreal Wild East which is currently running in The Clare studio directed by Genesis Foundation Award Winner Lekan Lawal.

Frank is nervous, his interview with Dr Jacqueline Pitt and Dr Marcia Gray is about to begin. If he can do this, it’s his ticket back to Russia.

Wild East is now running until 16 Feb. Tickets are sold out but any returns will be released online. We are operating a returns queue from 1 hour before each performance. Find out more.

Director Lekan Lewal
Designer Sarah Beaton
Lighting Designer Amy Mae
Photography Gabriel Mokake

With Lucy Briers, Kemi-Bo Jacobs and Zach Wyatt

Lucy Briers, Zach Wyatt & Kemi-Bo Jacobs in Wild East at the Young Vic. Photo by Gabriel Mokake.
Kemi-Bo Jacobs & Lucy Briers in Wild East at the Young Vic. Photo by Gabriel Mokake.
Zach Wyatt in Wild East at the Young Vic. Photo by Gabriel Mokake.
Zach Wyatt, Lucy Briers & Kemi-Bo Jacobs in Wild East at the Young Vic. Photo by Gabriel Mokake.
Kemi-Bo Jacobs & Zach Wyatt in Wild East at the Young Vic. Photo by Gabriel Mokake.
Kemi-Bo Jacobs & Lucy Briers in Wild East at the Young Vic. Photo by Gabriel Mokake.
(l to r) Zach Wyatt, Lucy Briers & Kemi-Bo Jacobs in Wild East at the Young Vic. Photo by Gabriel Mokake.
Lucy Briers in Wild East at the Young Vic. Photo by Gabriel Mokake.
Kemi-Bo Jacobs in Wild East at the Young Vic. Photo by Gabriel Mokake.

Wild East is running at the Young Vic until 16 Feb directed by Genesis Foundation Award Winner Lekan Lawal.

Full cast announced for Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

Artistic Director of the Young Vic, Kwame Kwei-Armah, today announces the full cast for Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, a co-production with Elliott & Harper Productions and Cindy Tolan.

Following her recent award winning success on Company and Angels in America, Marianne Elliott will co-direct this production with Miranda Cromwell, who worked as Associate Director on both of those shows. 

Wendell Pierce (making his UK stage debut as Willy Loman), Sharon D. Clarke (Linda Loman) and Arinzé Kene (Biff Loman) will be joined by Ian Bonar (Bernard), Trevor Cooper (Charley), Martins Imhangbe (Happy Loman), Joseph Mydell (Ben Loman), Nenda Neurer (Letta), Jennifer Saayeng (Miss Forsythe), Matthew Seadon-Young (Howard Wagner and Stanley) and Maggie Service (The Woman and Jenny) in the production, which opens on 9 May, with previews from 1 May.

“I don’t say he’s a great man…but he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.”

Directed by Marianne Elliott and Miranda Cromwell, Design by Anna Fleischle, Lighting Design by Aideen Malone, Sound Design by Carolyn Downing and Casting by Charlotte Sutton CDG.

Arthur Miller (1915-2005) was born in New York City and studied at the University of Michigan.  His plays include All My SonsDeath of a SalesmanThe CrucibleA View from the BridgeAfter the FallIncident at VichyThe American ClockBroken GlassMr. Peters’ Connections, and Resurrection Blues. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1949. Other works include the novel Focus, the screenplay The Misfits, the memoir Timebends, and texts for the books In RussiaIn the Country, and Chinese Encounters, in collaboration with his wife, photographer Inge Morath.Newly published collections include CollectedEssays and Presence: Collected Stories.

Ian Bonar returns to the Young Vic toplay Bernard. Previous theatre credits for the Young Vic include Ma Vie en Rose. His other theatre credits include Jellyfish (Bush Theatre), Be Prepared (Edinburgh Festival Fringe/VAULT Festival), Arden of FavershamThe Witch of EdmontonThe Roaring Girl (RSC), The Blackest Black (Hampstead Theatre), Brilliant Adventures (Royal Exchange Theatre), Me as a Penguin (Arcola Theatre), and DNA and The Miracle (National Theatre). His television credits include Damilola: Our Loved Boy, New BloodHoly Flying Circus, and Going Postal; and for film, Interlude in Prague, SpectreSkyfall, Kon-TikiStarter for 101234Atonement, and How to Lose Friends & Alienate People.

Sharon D. Clarke plays Linda Loman. Her theatre credits include Caroline, Or Change (Chichester Festival Theatre/Hampstead Theatre/Playhouse Theatre), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Amen Corner – for which she won an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress (National Theatre), Ghost The Musical (Piccadilly Theatre), The Life (Southwark Playhouse), Porgy and Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre), We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre) and the forthcoming Blues in the Night at Kiln Theatre. Her television credits include as series regular Lola Griffin in Holby City, Doctor Who, Informer and Flowers; and for film, Tau, The Darkest Universe, Sugarhouse, Secret Society and Beautiful People.

Trevor Cooper plays Charley. His theatre credits include An Enemy of the People, Heartbreak House (Chichester Festival Theatre), Chimerica (Almeida Theatre/Harold Pinter Theatre), All That Fall (Arts Theatre/59E59, New York), King Lear (Tobacco Factory Theatre), There is a War, The Swan, Playing with Fire (National Theatre), House of Games, Measure for Measure, Awake and Sing, The Late Henry Moss (Almeida Theatre), Arcadia (Duke of York’s Theatre), By the Bog of Cats (Wyndham’s Theatre),and The Lieutenant of Inishmore, King John and The Prisoner’s Dilemma (RSC). His television credits include as series regular Sergeant Woolf in Call the Midwife andLen Clifton in This Country, The Windsors, Wolfblood, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, Ballot Monkeys, Wizards vs. Aliens, Murphy’s Law and Tess of the D’Urbervilles; and for film, Postcards from London, Crooked House, A Quiet Passion, Happy-Go-Lucky, Until Death, Dear Wendy and Vanity Fair.

Martins Imhangbe plays Happy Loman. His theatre credits include The Tragedy of King Richard II (Almeida Theatre), An Adventure, The Royale (Bush Theatre), Absolute Hell, The Barbershop Chronicles (National Theatre), Luce (Southwark Playhouse), Octagon (Arcola Theatre), The Skriker (Royal Exchange Theatre), Lionboy (Complicite UK/international tour), Romeo and Juliet (Orange Tree Theatre), and A Human Being Died that Night (Hampstead Theatre).

Arinzé Kene returns to the Young Vic toplay Biff Loman. Previous theatre credits for the Young Vic include Been So Long. His other theatre credits include Misty – also written by Kene (Bush Theatre/Trafalgar Studios), Girl from the North Country (The Old Vic / Noël Coward Theatre ), One Night in Miami (Donmar Warehouse), Decade (Headlong), The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre), Daddy Cool (Shaftesbury Theatre/international tour) and Torn (Arcola Theatre). As a playwright his credits include One Voice, Good Dog, God’s Property, Little Baby Jesus and Estate Walls. His television credits include The Long Song, Flack, Informer, Crazy Face, Our Girl and Youngers. His film credits include Been So Long, The Pass, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Freestyle.

Joseph Mydell returns to the Young Vic to play Ben Loman. Previous theatre credits for the Young Vic include A Season in the Congo and Elektra. His other credits include The Tragedy of King Richard II, Richard III (Almeida Theatre), Hamlet (RSC), The Comedy of Errors, Edmond, Angels in America ­– for which he won Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor (National Theatre), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Novello Theatre), Mother Christmas and Anna in the Tropics (Hampstead Theatre). His television credits include Mrs. Wilson, Homeland, The Missing and Space Precinct; and for film, Woman in Gold, Tonight You’re Mine and Mammoth.

Nenda Neurer plays Letta. She represented Rose Bruford at the 2017 Sam Wanamaker Festival, playing Vittoria in The White Devil. Her other theatre credits include White Teeth (Kiln Theatre), Jerusalem, The Borrowers (The Watermill Theatre) and Romeo and Juliet (Orange Tree Theatre).

Wendell Pierce plays Willy Loman. His theatre credits include Cost of Living (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Queenie Pie (Kennedy Center), The Piano Lesson (Walter Kerr Theatre), Serious Money (Royale Theater) and The Boys of Winter (Biltmore Theatre),  The Good Times are Killing Me (Minetta Lane Theatre), Tis a Pity She’s A Whore, Cymbeline, Two Gentleman of Verona (Joseph Papp Public Theater), The Cherry Orchard (Classical Theatre of Harlem), Broke-ology (Lincoln Center) and Fences (Pasadena Playhouse). Pierce is also a Tony Award winning producer of Clybourne Park. His television credits include as series regular Det. Bunk Moreland in The Wire, Robert Zane in Suits, Antoine Batiste in Treme, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Confirmation, Chicago PD, Unsolved, The Odd Couple, Ray Donovan, Advocate’s Devil, Never Give Up: The Jimmy V Story, Strapped, Life Support and With Two Lumps of Ice; and for film, Selma, Horrible Bosses, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part Two, Parker, Lay the Favorite and One Last Thing – for which he won the Acting Award at the LA Film Festival.

Jennifer Saayeng plays Miss Forsythe. Her theatre credits include Caroline, Or Change (Chichester Festival Theatre), Ragtime (Charing Cross Theatre), Les Liaisons Dangereuses, City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), The Etienne Sisters (Theatre Royal Stratford East), The Color Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory), A Long and Happy Life (Finborough Theatre), Ghost (Piccadilly Theatre) and Not Quite Gospel (Birmingham Rep). Her television credits include Emerald City, Vera and the forthcoming Summer of Rockets.

Matthew Seadon-Young plays Howard Wagner and Stanley. His theatre credits include Company (Gielgud Theatre), Assassins (Gate Theatre, Dublin), Big Fish (The Other Palace), Beautiful (Aldwych Theatre), Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace Theatre), Sweeney Todd (ENO), Urinetown (Apollo Theatre), The Architects (National Theatre), School for Scandal (Theatre Royal Bath), She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre) and Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre). His film credits include Pride and Les Miserables.

Maggie Service plays The Woman and Jenny. Her theatre credits Annie Get Your Gun (Sheffield Theatres), Rules for Living, TABLE, Collaborators, Earthquakes in London, London Assurance (National Theatre), The Country Wife (Royal Exchange Theatre), A Flea in her Ear (The Old Vic), Well (Apollo Theatre) and Girl with a Pearl Earring (Theatre Royal Haymarket); and for film London Road.

Tony award winning Director Marianne Elliot

Marianne Elliott is Artistic Director of Elliott & Harper Productions, a company she founded in 2016 with producer Chris Harper. Her credits for the company include Company (Gielgud Theatre – winner of Evening Standard Award for Best Director and Critics Circle Award for Best Musical) and Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle (Wyndham’s Theatre). Her other directing credits include Angels in America (National Theatre/Neil Simon Theatre – winner of Olivier and Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play), co-direction of War Horse (National Theatre/New London Theatre/Vivian Beaumont Theater – winner of Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre/Apollo Theatre/Gielgud Theatre/Ethel Barrymore Theatre – Olivier and Tony Awards for Best Director), Saint Joan (National Theatre – Olivier Award for Best Revival, South Bank Show Award) and Pillars of the Community (National Theatre – Evening Standard Best Director Award).

Miranda Cromwell’s directing credits include Half Breed (Talawa Theatre/Soho Theatre/India tour), Magic Elves, Hey Diddle Diddle, Sense (Bristol Old Vic), Pigeon English (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), The Rest of Your Life (Bush Theatre) and Death and Treason (UK tour). As Associate Director to Marianne Elliott her credits include Company (Gielgud Theatre) and Angels in America (National Theatre/Neil Simon Theatre) and to Melly Still on Coram Boy (Colston Hall). As Assistant Director her credits include, Strife, An Enemy of the People (Chichester Festival Theatre), hang (Royal Court Theatre), and Swallows and Amazon and Faraway (Bristol Old Vic).

Death of a Salesman runs at the Young Vic from 1 May. Book tickets online now from £10.

YV Unpacked: Spring Awakening

Launched in Kwame Kwei-Armah’s Season 1, YV Unpacked is our new strand of work that is free and open to everyone, taking the highest quality art to places where theatre doesn’t normally happen.

Franz Wedekind’s Spring Awakening was our very first YV Unpacked which saw our Young Vic Taking Part team take Caroline Byrne’s adaptation to new audiences across Southwark and Lambeth before returning home to play to audiences at the YV.

Unpacked’s company of Olivia Caley, Charles Furness, Archie Rush, Harold Addo, Oliver Cudbill, Ged Simmons and Barbara Marten spent 4 weeks in rehearsals at the YV in Line Bech’s stunning costumes and working alongside composer Tasha Taylor Johnson,  before heading out into our local neighbourhood. The team went on to visit places including Millwall FC Community Trust, Walworth Academy, St Mungos and Pembroke House over a busy two weeks on the road.

Ali Kaviani who is Director of Projects at Pembroke House said – ‘Thank you for the magical moment that just happened in Pembroke House. The audience looked moved, provoked, challenged and entertained’. “I could watch that for hours” one of them said. Wonderful! Please come back.

We shared our new production with 681 people over the two week tour before bringing it back to the Young Vic where audiences from past Young People’s workshops and events enjoyed it alongside Neighbourhood Theatre members and the general public.

After an incredible first run we can’t wait for YV Unpacked to return in 2019 with Ariadne’s She Ventures and He Wins where we’ll be visiting more refugee centers, schools, community hubs and homeless shelters. To hear all the latest news from Young Vic Taking Part and future YV Unpacked projects sign up to our mailing list at youngvic.org

All photos © Leon Puplett

11 Questions with The Convert’s Jude Akuwudike

Jude Akuwudike in The Convert. Photography by Marc Brenner
Jude Akuwudike in The Convert. Photo by Marc Brenner.

Jude Akuwudike plays Uncle in The Convert which is currently running at the Young Vic until 26 Jan. We’ve posed him 11 Questions to find out more about him and his character:

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

I am usually playing music and going over some of my Shona.

2. What was it that first got you interested in theatre?

I first got interested in theatre by watching it.

3. Can you describe your character in The Convert in three words?

He feels disinherited.

4. What can the audience expect from this production that’s different to anything they may have seen before?

They should come in with open hearts, minds and spirits.

5. What language do you wish could speak? Or Do you speak any languages?

I would like to learn to speak many languages from my home country Nigeria. I would also like to speak at least three languages from North, East and Southern Africa.

6. What’s your favourite midnight snack?

I rarely eat late but I love avocado.

7. Who do you think must see this show before it ends its run?

Everyone should see it.

8. What play or film have you seen recently that has had a lasting emotional effect on you and why?

I saw Translations at the National Theatre. 

9. What’s the most memorable moment from working at the Young Vic?

The most memorable moment was realising my Shona was actually okay.

10. Which country would you like to visit and why?

I would like to visit China or India because I think both are great civilizations. 

11. If you could be an animal for one day, which animal would you be?

I would be a fish to experience the world from underwater.

The Convert is now playing at the Young Vic until January 26. Tickets are now 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.

11 Questions with The Convert’s Pamela Nomvete

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Pamela Nomvete in The Convert. Photo by Marc Brenner.

Pamela Nomvete plays Mai Tamba in The Convert which is currently running at the Young Vic until 26 Jan. We’ve posed 11 Questions to find out more about her and her character: 

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

I’m usually going over my Shona!

2. What was it that first got you interested in theatre?

When I was doing my A levels my best friend asked me to be her partner in a drama festival. Since then I was bitten by the bug of theatre!

3. Can you describe your character in The Convert in three words?

I would describe her as the – Mother of Zimbabwe.

4. What can the audience expect from this production that’s different to anything they may have seen before?

There is heart and soul in this production. Three generations from the African diaspora storytelling together.

5. What language do you wish could speak?

I would love to learn Swahili.

6. What’s your favourite midnight snack?

I am fast asleep at midnight. No snacks!  

7. Who do you think must see this show before it ends its run?

Everyone.

8. If your character had a catchphrase, what would it be?

Let’s move!

9. What’s the most memorable moment you’ve had at the Young Vic?

The Convert press night.

10. Which country would you like to visit and why?

I would like to visit Cuba.

11. If you could be an animal for one day, which animal would you be?

A unicorn. They seem to straddle the world of fantasy and reality for me.

The Convert is now playing at the Young Vic until January 26. Tickets are now 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.

Danai Gurira & Kwame Kwei-Armah In Conversation | The Convert

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Kwame Kwei-Armah and Danai Gurira at The Convert Opening Night. Photo by Dan Wooller

During rehearsals, Young Vic Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah, and The Convert writer, Danai Gurira, took a moment to discuss the play’s inception in Danai’s Zimbabwean roots, her writing process, and why courage is fundamental to her art.

 

K: I want to express how joyous it is to have The Convert within my first season! Talk to me about the idea and process behind the play.

 

D: It was a culmination of so many things growing up. I was born in the US but raised in Zimbabwe from the age of five until shortly after the end of high school. I was there shortly after the country gained independence, and was raised around so many things; a country grappling with the idea of independence, which was in many ways one the most prosperous of the African nations. I was in a schooling system that was very much modelled after the way the country had been colonialised; this manifested in how we were educated, who we were educated by, the structures of the system, the ways of doing business, our social lives, the way we ate… tea breaks! I took a step back and started to ask myself who I was, because I have so many influences -what I aspire too, and how I excel – which are all defined by those who colonised us. These feelings culminated in me, and I found that I wanted to express them on stage.A lot of my training when I returned to the US exposed me to Shaw, Chekov and Ibsen – all the European greats. There was something about Shaw that was very gripping, and something about Pygmalion that correlated with Zimbabwe. Yes, there are a lot of troubles, but it still has the highest literacy rate on the continent, which I witnessed as both my parents are educators. I grew up watching these children coming from mission schools in rural areas to the city who were mad-smart. They were so smart. Yet they’d be awe of seeing the city, whilst also being the most educated people in the room. It was an interesting juxtaposition for me and I was thinking about how you try and bring your people forward through more access, more success. The thinking was that you expose people to Western culture and Western education. I found a parallel with this and Pygmalion; ironing out the crude pieces of this young lady, which is kind of what we do with our own families and people.  I started to explore this this idea in 2009 and 2010. It was an interesting exercise for me as I was delving into the history of my own people and who I could have been if I had been born 120 years ago.  

 

Full Company in The Convert. Photography by Marc BrennerK: What I am interested in knowing about is your transition, how the running of the two trains of acting and writing came about?

D: There is something about trying to distinguish acting and writing that, I think, can be a very Western concept.  When I was being trained, and when I first started to connect with the arts, I was in Zimbabwe, aged between 12 and 13. We were taught the ethics of theatre, of coming into a space, and treating it with great respect. We would create work and then perform. The way I first came to the arts, it was a path to story-telling.

 

K: Hearing you talk now, you can understand that your writing comes from a place that is not just cerebral, but is also connected to the soul and the spirit. With this connection to the writing, what is it that you look for and what wisdom do you impart for the director and the wider team?

 

D: When I first spoke to Ola we talked about the immersion of history and culture. I studied history A-level and did not come across the story of my own nation. I knew all about Napoleon and World War One, as I should, but I didn’t know anything about my own nation. To an extent that feels like it’s by design. People can be disempowered if they are not taught about themselves and not encouraged to gain any understanding of their own roots. This play was designed to go to the heart of this. If you immerse yourself into a world that is foreign for you, you’ve got to let it inform you, overwhelm you, to take over your thoughts. You need to see it through the lens of those colonised within the 1890’s; it is a mayhem of a moment at this time in Africa. There has to be such a visceral understanding of that world, in terms of Shona culture, Shona people, and Shona history. I want people to walk in and feel like they are in a sacred space, a world they have never known before it. I got swept away writing it. When I found the end of the play, I found myself just being a vessel, because I couldn’t argue with that ending.

 

K: When some talk about the play, colonisation comes up a lot. But my access point for it is the spirituality. What swept me away was your ability to speak to the spirit, to faith and your ability to use that as a vehicle of both oppression, of actualisation, and of fulfilling your spiritual potential.

The-Convert-PROD-561-1

 

D: Yes, that’s a part of it. At times we can be super simplistic in the way we talk about faith and Christianity and it’s not simple! For example, my mother’s mother was a very powerful woman, the daughter of a powerful chief.  She made a decision to go and learn with Methodist missionaries. She met her husband, my grandfather, a Methodist pastor and she stepped away from one way of life to go into something more Westernised. She still gave speeches in deeply nuanced Shona, she sang her Methodist hymns in Shona and read her bible in Shona. In a sense she garnered an independence from her choice to learn about a Christian God. It’s a very complicated relationship that occurs between Africans and Christianity that can be, and is often, oversimplified.

 

K: What do you ask of this play in that regard?

 

D: I believe there can be a distinction for those who practise the Christian faith but are very much an Africanist at the same time, a distinction between the imposition of colonisation and the true essence of Christianity. That is Jekesai’s actualisation: how does an African connect with this faith while also seeing the hypocrisy in how it was used.

 

K: Now that you are in the public eye, can you be as brave to write something and not care of what others think of it, like you did when you wrote The Convert?

 

D: The day I can’t be brave is the day I am not an artist anymore. That space must be protected. To me the denial of your true self is to actually try to curb the spirit coming through you. You are no longer a vessel for your spirit, and that would be a tragic thing for me!

The Convert is now playing at the Young Vic until January 26. Tickets are now 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.

11 Questions with The Convert’s Ivanno Jeremiah

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Ivanno Jeremiah in The Convert. Photo by Marc Brenner.

Ivanno Jeremiah plays Chancellor in The Convert which is currently running at the Young Vic until 26 Jan. We’ve posed him 11 Questions to find out more about him and his character: 

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

Something physical for example a workout or yoga. Then I would hide in a dark, quiet spot for a bit.

2. What was it that first got you interested in theatre?

Storytelling.

3. Can you describe your character in The Convert in three words?

Struggle, Lover and a man of faith.

4. What play or film have you seen recently that has had a lasting emotional effect on you and why?

I love what Charlie Brooker is doing with Black Mirror. The film Bird Box horrified me.

5. What language do you wish could speak? Or Do you speak any languages?

I speak fluent Acholi and currently working on my Shona. 

6. What’s your favourite midnight snack?

I like to eat anything and everything.

7. Who do you think must see this show before it ends its run?

The Obamas!

8. If your character had a catchphrase, what would it be?

Chancellor’s catch phrase would be “Savages” and “Comes, comes”.

9. What’s the most memorable moment from working at the Young Vic?

The family unit – working with all the cast and creatives as a team. 

10. Which country would you like to visit and why?

I would love to go to Zimbabwe to visit the ruins at Great Zimbabwe.

11. If you could be an animal for one day, which animal would you be?

A bird of pray because of the freedom.

The Convert is now playing at the Young Vic until January 26. Tickets are now 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.