Life of Galileo: Touch Tour

On Wednesday afternoon, a small group of us gathered in the Young Vic foyer to embark on a touch tour of Life of Galileo, ahead of the audio described matinee. Anticipation was high – this was my first time; for some of my visually impaired fellow visitors, expectations were abound. It was led by Eleanor Margolis and Miranda Yates who facilitate all our audio described performances here at the Young Vic.

Simply, the idea of a touch tour – and indeed an Audio Described performance – is to give people who are blind or partially sighted the chance to enjoy the show in a way that is as close as possible to the full theatrical experience. The touch tour is facilitated by an Audio Describer, along with members of the FOH and technical teams, and usually takes place just before the show. It allows participants a tactile exploration of the theatrical space, getting up-close with the textures and shapes used in the costumes and props, to help provide a more rounded experience of the performance itself.

An audience member listens to the Life of Galileo stage manager describe a heliocentric model of the solar system prop from the show. The audience member and stage manager are in the background of the image with the focus on the heliocentric model of the solar system in the foreground with the stage manager’s hand placed on the sun.
Photography by Leon Puplett


The Space

We started the tour with an impressively detailed description of the auditorium, starting from the structure of the space right down to the materials that make up the set.

“A broad set of steps made out of scaffolding and untreated wood about four meters wide sits in a dock in the back wall about 8 meters deeps and 10 meters tall” – this level of detail felt really quite remarkable, and continued throughout the tour.

As we started to move further into the space, onto the centre of the stage where a lucky few ‘floor seat’ audience members recline each night, some of the visitors noticed a reverb that isn’t obvious until you begin speaking yourself. It felt pretty unnerving, and people wondered aloud “how do the actors manage this every night?!” Apparently this strange echo disperses once the auditorium is filled with an audience.

Props & Costume

Once we’d established the intricacies of the space, we moved on to explore through touch a wide range of different props and costumes used in Life of Galileo (let’s be honest, it’s what we were all most excited about anyway):

 

 

Above: visitors exploring props and costumes including a model of a planetarium; a pair of shoes worn by one of the Dancing Girls; a Cardinal’s costume; and part of an amazing dress worn by actor Bettrys Jones in the Ballad, when she represents the Earth as the centre of the universe, complete with lights and tiny model animals.
Photography by Leon Puplett.


The Cast

Many of the actors were on hand to tell us about the props and costume, so Eleanor stopped us for a moment so that the cast could introduce themselves. We heard first what they sounded like in reality, followed by their voices as each of their characters. This gave us the opportunity to differentiate between the multiple characters each of the actors play in Life of Galileo (40+!). Ayesha Antoine, for example, plays an old northern man at one point, and she was able to demonstrate the contrast between this character’s voice and her other younger female ones.

An actor from Life of Galileo is talking to an audience member, who listens with a look of rapt attention, his hand up to his mouth, his mouth open. The two men have their backs to us but their heads are turned inwards, towards each other, so that we can see their expressions. A stage light shines brightly in the background, out of focus.
Photography by Leon Puplett

Music & Sound

The music used in Life Of Galileo by the Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands is a significant and, at times, very loud part of the performance. Yamina, the Sound Operator, was on hand to demonstrate the 7K sound system and we were advised that this could actually make our bodies vibrate due to the bass. Playing sections of this music in advance meant participants felt comfortable knowing what was to come when entering the matinee.

Yamina also demonstrated the important ‘snap’ sound effect which signifies each scene and lighting change. We all agreed that hearing this in advance was helpful in getting an understanding of the way whole show was structured.

If you want to find out more about the Young Vic’s touch tours, audio described performances or any other accessible performances we have on offer, just visit our Access for All page, give us a call on 020 7922 2922 (Textphone 18001 020 7922 2922) or ask one of our Welcome Team members next time you’re here. We’d also recommend checking out VocalEyes for listings of the latest audio-described events (including Touch Tours) around the UK. 

A Statement from London’s Southbank and Bankside Cultural Organisations

We have all been shocked and saddened by the terrible events at London Bridge and Borough Market on Saturday night.

Our hearts go out to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims, and to all of those affected by this terrible attack.

As representatives of the cultural venues in the area, we are working together to ensure that our venues remain safe, open and welcoming to all. We will continue with our programmes as planned and demonstrate the cultural sector’s spirit, strength and ability to unite people of all backgrounds.

London is a city defined by its culture. We all intend to play our part in continuing to build and share this culture, and to welcome visitors from the city and the world to our creative events and spaces.

Hayward Gallery
National Theatre
Menier Chocolate Factory
Rambert
Shakespeare’s Globe
Siobhan Davies Dance
Southbank Centre
Southwark Playhouse
Tate Modern
The Bunker
The Old Vic
Young Vic

Further casting announced for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof!

We’re delighted to announce Lisa Palfrey (Big Mama), Hayley Squires (Mae), Brian Gleeson (Gooper), Richard Hansel (Doctor) and Michael J Shannon (Reverend) will join the previously announced Sienna Miller, Jack O’Connell and Colm Meaney for the Young Vic production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof directed by Benedict Andrews this summer.    

Lisa Palfrey by Catrin Arwel BW

Lisa Palfrey’s theatre credits include Junkyard for Headlong, Much Ado About Nothing for Theatre Clwyd, The Seagull for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, The Kitchen Sink for the Bush Theatre, Red Bud, Ingredient X and Under The Blue Sky all for the Royal Court Theatre, Festen and The Iceman Cometh both for the Almeida Theatre and Cardiff East and Under Milk Wood both for the National Theatre.  Her film credits include Pride, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a MountainHouse of America, Under Milk Wood and Guest House Paradiso.  Her television credits include HinterlandThe Line of Duty, Green HollowCasualty, and Family Tree.

Hayley Squires photo by Filip Van Roe BW USE THIS ONEHayley Squires’ theatre credits include The Pitchfork Disney at Shoreditch Town Hall and As Good a Time as Any at The Print Room.  For the role of Katie in Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winning I, Daniel Blake she won the British Independent Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer, the Evening Standard British Film award for Best Supporting Actress and also received a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress.  Her other credits include Giantland, Away, Polar Bear, A Royal Night Out and Blood Cells.  Her television credits include The Miniaturist, Collateral, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, The Commuter, Murder, Southcliffe, Complicit and Call The Midwife.

Brian Gleeson by Karl Hayden BW

Brian Gleeson was most recently seen on stage in The Weir at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh.  His other theatre credits include The Walworth Farce at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin and the Donmar Warehouse production of The Night Alive, which also ran at the Atlantic Theatre in New York.  His film credits include Assassin’s CreedThe Flag, Tiger Raid, History’s Future, Standby, Darkness on the Edge of Town, Stay, Snow White and The Huntsman.  His television work includes the lead role of Jimmy Mahon in the RTÉ series RebellionQuirke and Stonemouth.  His  film work due for release this year includes Steven Soderbergh’s feature film Logan Lucky, Darren Aronofsky’s Mother!, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread.

Richard Hanseel by Nicholas Dawkes BW

Richard Hansell’s more recent theatre credits include Lazarus at the King’s Cross Theatre, the Young Vic’s production of A View From the Bridge which transferred to the West End and then to Broadway and Macbeth at the Trafalgar Studios.  His other theatre credits include Tonight at 8.30 for Chichester Festival Theatre, The Madness of King George III at the Apollo Theatre, The Bridge Project at the Old Vic and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Troilus and Cressida for Shakespeare’s Globe, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, School for Scandal and Hamlet all for English Touring Theatre and A Patriot For Me and Two Gentlemen of Verona for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  His television credits include And Then There Were None, Downton Abbey, Spooks, The Royal, Miracle Landing on The Hudson and E=MC2, and on film his credits include Shine, The Wolfman and Hamlet.

Michael Shannon by Robert Kazandian

Michael J Shannon’s theatre credits include The Dining Room and The Glass Menagerie, both at Greenwich Theatre, Artichoke for the Tricycle Theatre, Totally Foxed at the Theatre Royal Bath, The Price at the Leicester Haymarket, The End of the World at Nuffield, Southampton,  A Thousand Clowns at the Palace, Watford and A Delicate Balance at the Nottingham Playhouse.  His television credits include We’ll Meet Again, Boston Legal and Brothers & Sisters.

 

 

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  will play at the Apollo Theatre, 31 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES, 13 July – 7 October 2017. For more info and to book tickets, click here.

 

 

20th Anniversary JMK Young Director Awards

Josh Roche at the 2017 JMK Awards. Photo by Dan Usztan.

Josh Roche wins the 20th anniversary James Menzies-Kitchin Young Director Award with My Name is Rachel Corrie.

Josh beat a record-breaking number of applicants to win the £25,000 award in the now-legendary JMK selection process which has been described as being almost like a training scheme in itself. He will be directing My Name is Rachel Corrie, the celebrated piece of verbatim theatre created from the writings of Corrie herself and jointly edited by the late, great Alan Rickman and journalist Katherine Viner, who is now editor-in-chief of The Guardian.

The runner up this year was Nathan Crossan-Smith with a proposal for a production of debbie tucker-green’s random and will receive a £2,000 award.

My Name is Rachel Corrie was first staged to equal acclaim and controversy in 2005 at the Royal Court, directed by Alan Rickman. It is based on the vivid diaries and emails of American peace campaigner Rachel Corrie who was killed by an Israeli tank while protecting Palestinian homes from demolition at the age of 23. It went on to gather awards and further controversy, particularly in the US, where the premiere was withdrawn after objections were raised about its portrayal of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. It is a testament to the quality of Rachel Corrie’s skill as a writer and passionate commitment to her cause that this monologue drama has stood the test of time with numerous revivals worldwide since its premiere.

The production will be staged at the Young Vic later this year; production dates to be announced soon.

On winning the award, Josh said: “I’m stunned and delighted to win the JMK award. It’s hard to express quite what it means to me. The chance to direct at the Young Vic is extraordinary in any context, but to be working on this play makes the opportunity even more remarkable.

“Rachel Corrie and I were born only ten years apart. Her legacy is our inheritance. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to tell her story on the Young Vic stage, and hugely indebted to the JMK Trust”.

Josh Roche

Josh Roche. Photo by Rob Logan.

27-year-old Josh Roche has worked as a reader and literary associate of theatres including Shakespeare’s Globe, Soho Theatre and for Sonia Friedman Productions and is founder of Fat Git Productions, discovering new approaches to new writing for the theatre through the commissioning and editing processes. He was resident assistant director at Soho Theatre, assisting Joe Murphy and Steve Marmion, and also assisted Joe Murphy at Shakespeare’ Globe (The Taming of the Shrew). He has assisted John Dove (Eternal Love for ETT and Dr Scroggy’s War at Shakespeare’s Globe, and – more recently – Farinelli and The King at the Duke of York’s). In 2015-16 Josh was assistant director at the RSC for Gregory Doran on Death of a Salesman and Shakespeare Live!; Polly Findlay on The Alchemist and Maria Aberg on Dr Faustus, as well as several one-off projects. Among the productions Josh has directed for his own Fat Git Productions are i feel fine, A Third and Magnificence at venues in London and at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The JMK Trust was founded in the memory of James Menzies-Kitchin, a young director of great promise, who died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 28, to give opportunities to theatre directors of similar ability and vision. Each year it gives one prestigious award to enable an outstanding applicant aged 30 or under to create their own production of their choice of classic text, currently at the Young Vic. Find out more here

 

The Genesis Future Directors Award 2018 is now open for applications!

Applications are now open for the Genesis Future Directors Award 2018, and this year we are specifically looking to strengthen our commitment to diversity by calling for applications from D/deaf or disabled emerging directors, and emerging directors who want to work with a cast that includes D/deaf or disabled actors. If you’re interested in applying please read on for guidelines and a step by step overview of the application process! 

George Ikediashi, Kamari Romeo & Rebecca Root in The Bear The Proposal at the Young Vic © Ellie Kurttz (2)

2017 Genesis Future Directors Award winner Lucy J Skilbeck’s The Bear/The Proposal at the Young Vic. Photo by Ellie Kurttz.

The Genesis Future Directors Award at the Young Vic 2018

The close relationship between the Genesis Foundation and the Young Vic dates back over more than 10 years. The generous support we have received has been crucial to establishing and maintaining our work with directors which is at the heart of everything we do.

The Genesis Future Directors Award enables us to identify, support and nurture a director to explore their craft and stage a production in the Clare Theatre. The Award is aimed at young and / or emerging directors who have demonstrated a talent for, and commitment to, directing but have had limited opportunity to make work.

THE AWARD

The Young Vic has a deep commitment to diversity. This is seen in the shows we create and present, as well as in the people we work with. We know that UK theatres have a long way to go to engage with and speak to the full range of experience of the people living in this country. We want to do what we can to change that.

To help us be as inclusive as possible, our programming aims to embrace diversity, difference, ambition and excellence. In 2018, the Genesis Future Directors Award will be an opportunity for the Young Vic to meet and work with D/deaf and disabled directors, designer and / or actors.

We would like to receive proposals from:

  • D/deaf or disabled emerging directors
  • Emerging directors who want to work with a cast that includes D/deaf or disabled actors

Non-disabled directors should be able to demonstrate a commitment to diversity and access in their previous work, even if they have not yet directed a piece of fully integrated theatre.

The selected director will have the opportunity to rehearse for four weeks on a play for the Clare Theatre. The production will be part of the Young Vic’s programme and will be fully supported by the Young Vic’s creative, administrative and production teams. The director will receive a fee and the actors will be paid a Young Vic company wage. The award will conclude with 12 performances to a paying audience in spring 2018.

The director will be supported by a full creative team including producer, designer, lighting designer, sound designer and stage management team, as well as a casting director. They will also be mentored through the full preparation and rehearsal process by the core creative team at the Young Vic, as well as an external mentor.

Where appropriate, directors should consider creative approaches to making the show accessible.

The emerging director (whether D/deaf, disabled or non-disabled) should:

  • Have already demonstrated a talent for and a commitment to directing
  • Have directed at least one professional production but are at an early stage of their development as a director
  • Demonstrated a commitment to originality and a desire to expand their understanding of theatre practice
  • Be fascinated by the actor’s process and the director’s role in it
  • Be resident in the UK
  • Be available to direct the production in spring 2018

You do not have to be a member of the Young Vic Genesis Directors Network to apply but we encourage you to join.  You can find more information on the Directors Program at the Young Vic here.

HOW TO APPLY

STAGE ONE

Please choose a play and provide a single A4 page that covers the following:

  • Your initial ideas for a production of the play
  • Your ideas for your creative team and how they would help deliver your vision

The play should be an existing text with a production history. It should not be a new play, an adaptation or a play that needs dramaturgical work. You will need to achieve your production with a maximum of three actors. The production should not require supernumeraries, a community chorus or equivalent.

We are most interested in your initial ideas for the production – please feel free to express your ideas in notes, bullet points, diagrams, stream of consciousness etc. We encourage you to use whichever form best suits your ideas and approach.

Please also send CV (see below for format).

The deadline for applications is noon on Monday 12 June 2017.

If you have any availability issues please let us know at this stage and we can do our best to accommodate your needs.

Please send your application addressed to Sue Emmas at directorsprogram@youngvic.org with THE GENESIS FUTURE DIRECTORS AWARD in the subject box.

STAGE TWO

Directors are invited to present a Lightning Talk; this is a presentation that gives each director 10 powerpoint slides for 15 seconds each with accompanying commentary.

The Lightning Talk should give a flavour of:

  • Your past work
  • Your response to, and initial ideas for, your chosen play

If you are D/deaf or disabled and a Lightning Talk is not a format that will best communicate your ideas please let us know and we will discuss with you the most effective way for us to find out about your proposed play.

Also let us know if there are adjustments we should consider making. This might include: hearing loop, BSL interpreter, quiet environment, longer presentation time, for example.

We will confirm time slots for Lightning Talks on Wednesday 14 June.

The Lightning Talks will take place between 10am and 5pm on Friday 7 July. If you have specific availability issues please let us know in your Stage One application.

You will need to submit your Lightning Talk by midday on Monday 3 July. This should be sent to Kirsten Adam at directorsprogram@youngvic.org.

You will also need to send an electronic copy of the script and ideally, you should know that the rights for the play are available in principle.

STAGE THREE

Following the Lightning Talks a small group of directors will then be invited to meet with David Lan, Sue Emmas and other members of the Young Vic team on afternoon of Thursday 20 July.

If you have any questions or queries please contact Kirsten Adam on directorsprogram@youngvic.org or Textphone 020 7922 2805. 

We are very happy to talk through the process and if you would like to discuss the format or the timeframe of the application process please get in touch. 

If you would like the guidelines in a different format please let us know.

Clare Dunne and Solomon Israel in Dutchman at the Young Vic. Photo by Richard Hubert Smith.jpg

2016 Genesis Future Directors Award winner Ola Ince’s Dutchman at the Young Vic. Photo by Richard Hubert Smith.


About the Genesis Foundation

The Genesis Foundation has supported the Young Vic for nearly 15 years, including the Young Vic’s director’s program since its inception. The Genesis Foundation is pleased to fund the Genesis Fellow and Genesis Fellow Production Fund, the Genesis Future Directors Awards and the Genesis Directors Network at the Young Vic.

Established by John Studzinski in 2001, the Genesis Foundation works in partnership with the leaders of prestigious UK arts organisations such as LAMDA, the National Theatre, Royal Court, The Sixteen and the Young Vic.  Its largest funding commitment is to programmes that support directors, playwrights, actors and musicians in the early stages of their professional lives.

The theme of art and faith increasingly characterises aspects of the Foundation’s work with choral commissions including James MacMillan’s Stabat mater.

Genesis_logo_blk

 

 

 

About the Young Vic

The Young Vic based in Waterloo in London produces classics, new plays, forgotten works, musicals and opera, and tours widely in the UK and internationally. It has deep roots in its neighbourhood and extensive co-producing relationships with leading theatres all over the world. The Young Vic’s Directors Program provides support for professional directors at the early stages of their career.  It offers free skills workshops and peer-led projects, paid assistant directing roles through the Jerwood Assistant Director Program and Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director Program on Young Vic productions, and our online network, the Genesis Directors Network.

 

★★★★ “Wonder-inducing, inspiring, pulls out all the stops” | Reviews for Life of Galileo

The reviews are coming in thick and fast for Life of Galileo. This stunning production by BAFTA award-winning film director Joe Wright sees Brendan Cowell star as Galileo with original music by The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands and out-of-this-world projections by 59 Productions.

Check out the reviews below and read what our audiences have been saying so far on Storify.

log-blog

★★★★
“Wonder-inducing, inspiring, pulls out all the stops”
The Telegraph | Read the full review

★★★★
“Joe Wright’s take on Brecht is inventive and absorbing”
The Evening Standard | Read the full review

★★★★
“Brendan Cowell is magnificent in the title role”
The Independent | Read the full review

★★★★
“This is a trip, and a good one at that.”
Time Out | Read the full review

★★★★
“Joe Wright’s visually stunning production”
What’sOnStage | Read the full review

Life of Galileo runs in the Young Vic Main House until 1 July 2017, make sure to snap up your tickets now.

Want more? Catch a behind the scene look at the cast in rehearsals, and production photography of the company on Lizzie Clachan’s phenomenal set.

Life of Galileo at the Young Vic. Photo by Leon Puplett Projections by 59 Productions (2)

Life of Galileo at the Young Vic. Photo by Leon Puplett, projections by 59 Productions.

Springboard – a week in the YV Directors Program

This past week the Young Vic’s Directors Program held Springboard, a week long series of workshops led by Genesis Fellow Gbolahan Obisesan for emerging directors from across the country.  

During the week participants took part in a series of practical workshops led by experienced directors. These asked participants to consider the balance between their creative ambition on the one hand and the skills and responsibilities of a director on the other.

” The week was curated to allow access to established theatre makers with the broadest approach toward making theatre, allowing the directors to cultivate an eclectic practical knowledge of how different artists utilise their unique artistic and technical talents to make great theatre.”
        – Gbolahan Obisesan

Workshops were led by Ramin Gray, Nadia Fall, Kirsty Housley, Sacha Wares and Richard Twyman, with topics ranging from the director/designer relationship, devising, verbatim theatre and more. The directors visited Bijan Sheiban’s rehearsal room at the National Theatre and observed rehearsals for Barber Shop Chronicles. They also attended Life of Galileo at the Young Vic and Salomé at the National Theatre.

“As the years roll by, connecting with young directors coming innocently at the problem of how to make theatre fresh and powerful is a healthy corrective. It’s a springboard not only for them but also, I found, for myself as I walked back up The Cut, invigorated.”
        – Ramin Gray on the Directors Program

David-Lane-Springboard-May-2017-by-Leon-Puplett-1

David Lan in session at Springboard. Photo by Leon Puplett

The week finished with a workshop led by our artistic director David Lan who led a conversation about what it means to be an artistic director, what he looks for in his programming and whether the term ‘director’s theatre’ actually means anything.

“I want the voices heard here to need us. If they can be heard at other theatres, let them be heard at other theatres. I want to do the things that if we don’t do them here, they won’t be done.”
         – David Lan on programming for the Young Vic.

The Young Vic has been running it’s Directors Program for over a decade, offering young directors a unique opportunity to exchange experiences with peers and be part of a network of talented younger directors, producers and designers.

Find out more about the Directors Program and the opportunities offered across the country.

Gbolahan Obisesan is generously supported by the Genesis Foundation.
About the Genesis Foundation
The Genesis Foundation has supported the Young Vic for nearly 15 years, including the Young Vic’s director’s program since its inception. The Genesis Foundation is pleased to fund the Genesis Fellow and Genesis Fellow Production Fund, the Genesis Future Directors Awards and the Genesis Directors Network at the Young Vic.
Established by John Studzinski in 2001, the Genesis Foundation works in partnership with the leaders of prestigious UK arts organisations such as LAMDA, the National Theatre, Royal Court, The Sixteen and the Young Vic.  Its largest funding commitment is to programmes that support directors, playwrights, actors and musicians in the early stages of their professional lives.
The theme of art and faith increasingly characterises aspects of the Foundation’s work with choral commissions including James MacMillan’s Stabat mater.
genesisfoundation.org.uk