“The laundry bill must be incredible” – How DO our wardrobe team cope with #YVDream Mud?

The Young Vic costume department have been both complimented and commiserated with, by critics and audience members alike as to how they have to deal with our A Midsummer Night Dream mud every night. Especially those white pants…. come on! We talked to Head of Costume Catherine Kodicek about how this is done. 

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“Over the years we have been challenged by lots of productions when it comes to the laundry and maintenance of the costumes; oodles of blood from all kinds of injuries, bags of vomit made from soup and other food items, bottles of ink, water with brown dye in it which the actors fall in to, sticky champagne that gets sprayed over them, paint which they cover themselves in, make-up and even a food fight with trifle, but nothing has really compared to the mud in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Not since the *blood rain* in A View From The Bridge has every single item of costume come up completely covered and needing to be transformed back to its clean self.

The key to survival is to have doubles of as many of the costumes as possible so that they do not get washed every single day. Washing and drying can wear out even very robust fabrics. There will always be items from vintage shops and markets that you cannot buy a second version of so if possible make replicas of these. The more duplicates you have the fewer times each item will be washed and the longer they will look good. Some of the actors in the show have between 2 and 6 versions of their costumes.

  • Before we let any actual costumes get muddy we did a wash test with some old clothes to see how washable the mud was- the answer was *not very washable on natural fibres*. On man made fabric such as polyester and nylon the mud comes out relatively easy. On natural fibres such as cotton and linen the fabric wants to hold the mud particles and so the mud is harder to get out.
  • Using the same method we used successfully on the Wardrobe staff doing the laundryblood rain did not help us. Every
    heavily soiled item needed rinsing or soaking, scrubbing then washing, rinsing and washing again before it was clean. In the end the magic ingredient to dislodge the mud particles was washing up liquid!!  (an old trick recommended by Upstage Theatrical Dry Cleaners who we use regularly for dry cleaning).
  • Every item still needed to be scrubbed and then washed, but the washing up liquid proved to be more successful that any of the oxy action or other *stain removal* products. We discovered that the cheaper the detergent the better, as it produces fewer bubbles and makes rinsing easier.
  • We found that drying the suit trousers first and brushing off the surface mud prior to surface washing gave the best results. Finally we also ran the whites through an ecological bleach to freshen them regularly and let the lighting do the rest.”

So there you have it. How to clean a entire company’s costumes every night post mud-roll.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs in the YV Main House until 1 April. For more information and to book, click here.

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YV Blind Date – Alice & Max 💕 – “Very good date night play”

Blind date

Alice on Max:

What were you hoping for?

An evening of good company, and a way of meeting someone new outside my normal social circle that enjoys the theatre and the arts.

First impressions?

Max was approachable, friendly and made me feel at ease.

What did you drink in The Cut Bar and was it a good place for pre-theatre mingling?

A G & T to calm my blind date nerves. The bar had a nice buzz about it and a relaxed atmosphere for a date.

What did you talk about before the show?

His job, which is fascinating, where we grew up and that someone he went to LAMDA with was in the play (a small world).
My job, and how I (try to) balance my social life and theatre/gig going schedule.
Pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones.

Any awkward moments?

I was 5 minutes late due to a Citymapper fail (map reading is not my strong point). Sorry!
Oh and we almost forgot to take the selfie.

Describe him in 3 words.

Intriguing, smiley, a gentleman.

What did you think of #YVDream and was it a good date night play?

I’d thoroughly recommend it as a date night play, the humour and muddy mayhem worked well.

Rate the date using as many emojis as you like.

🎭😂👍🏻📷

Would you meet again? (Romantically/as friends/as theatre companions)

As theatre companions, we had lots to talk about and he’d been to some interesting productions I haven’t seen yet.

Max on Alice:

What were you hoping for?

Love! Crazy love!

First impressions?

Very good.

What did you drink in The Cut Bar and was it a good place for pre-theatre mingling?

Tonic water, great place to meet- atmosphere, music, lively people, good vibe.

What did you talk about before the show?

Our interests/work and theatre/shows we’d seen before.

Any awkward moments?

I don’t feel awkwardness on dates, it’s a waste of time.

Describe her in 3 words.

Articulate, pretty, chilled.

What did you think of #YVDream and was it a good date night play?

Very good date night play- for Shakespeare fans, which we were.

Rate the date using as many emojis as you like. 

👁📸🎉🌘🍈🍸🎼🎭

Would you meet again? (Romantically/as friends/as theatre companions)

No.

Max and Alice met at The Cut Bar & Restaurant before watching A Midsummer Night’s Dream, running at the Young Vic until 1 April. Find our more about the show here, or let us know if you want us to carry on with #YVBlindDate and would apply yourself: marketing@youngvic.org.

YV Blind Date – Zoe & Dan 💘 – “Catching sight of my terrible red wine lips in the mirror!”

Zoe and Dan

Zoe on Dan:

What were you hoping for?

An interesting person, a good laugh, and some good theatre.

First impressions?

Positive, felt quite at ease. Neither of us ran away, so that was good.

What did you drink in The Cut Bar and was it a good place for pre-theatre mingling?

We both went for wine, white for me. The Cut is great pre-show – lively, buzzing atmosphere.

What did you talk about before the show?

Mainly acting – we’re both actors, figures!

Any awkward moments?

Selfie-taking was a bit of an ordeal, not big on selfies in any context. Also, probably finding out he has my ex on Snapchat…

Describe him/her in 3 words.

Genuinely nice guy.

What did you think of #YVDream and was it a good date night play?

Definitely the darkest, dirtiest Dream I’ve seen. Good for discussion, probably not for romance.

Did you stay on after the show to discuss?

We did indeed, over a Midsummer-themed cocktail. Got a bit distracted by Ben Whishaw at the bar at one point.

If you could change one thing about the date, what would it be?

Nothing really, had a great time overall.

Rate the date using as many emojis as you like.

🍷+🎭+🍸+📸=👌

Would you meet again? (Romantically/as friends/as theatre companions)

Sure, he made a great theatre buddy.

 

Dan on Zoe:

What were you hoping for?

Spellbinding theatre and perhaps spellbinding company

First impressions?

She seemed pretty chilled at meeting a random stranger! Also lovely eyes.

What did you drink in The Cut Bar and was it a good place for pre-theatre mingling?

I had a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and she had a glass of white. There’s a great atmosphere to the place whilst also feeling cozy and intimate, kudos to whoever designed the warm low lighting.

What did you talk about before the show?

As we’re both actors conversation inevitably circled towards that. The difficulties of the Edinburgh fringe. Post- drama school life.

Any awkward moments?

Conversation flowed pretty easy but I did feel embarrassed after catching sight of my terrible red wine lips in the bathroom mirror.

Describe her in 3 words.

Witty, intelligent, composed.

What did you think of #YVDream and was it a good date night play?

I enjoyed the bold choices that were made but it  is a very dark version of the play that doesn’t leave you optimistic about love and romance so maybe not! On the other hand all the mud on stage leaves you feeling a bit dirty so there is that….

Did you stay on after the show to discuss?

Yes, we grabbed a couple of cocktails in the bar upstairs. I’d recommend the Peckham Pelican.

If you could change one thing about the date, what would it be?

Would have chosen white instead of red wine.

Rate the date using as many emojis as you like. 

  🍷🍹🎟🦆🐜🐙🌷

Would you meet again? (Romantically/as friends/as theatre companions)

She’s the first person I’ve met whose even a more avid theatre goer than me. Would definitely meet again for theatre trips and speculating on how much washing the stage manager has to do.

Zoe and Dan met at The Cut Bar & Restaurant before watching A Midsummer Night’s Dream, running at the Young Vic until 1 April. Find our more about the show here, or let us know if you want us to carry on with #YVBlindDate and would apply yourself: marketing@youngvic.org.

Meet the rest of the A Midsummer Night’s Dream Cast

The rest of the casting for Joe Hill-Gibbins’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream is in! Rehearsals have started and joining an already great line up is: Geoff Aymer (Tom Snout), Sam Cox (Robin Starveling), Aaron Heffernan (Francis Flute), Lloyd Hutchinson (Puck/Egeus), Douggie McMeekin ( Snug) and Melanie Pappenheim (Philostrate/Fairy). Find out more about the new cast members below.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs at the Young Vic 16 Feb – 1 Apr. £10 tickets available. Book now.

Geoff Aymer geoff-aymer
For the Young Vic:
 Hamlet and Macbeth.
Theatre includes: Driving Miss Daisy (Canal Café Theatre/ Frinton-on-Sea Summer Theatre), Albatross 3rd & Main (Emporium Theatre, Brighton), To Kill a Mocking Bird (Barbican/ Regent Park Open Air Theatre), Cheese and Crackwhores (Soho), The Lightning Child, Macbeth (The Globe), Neighbors (Hightide Festival / Nuffield), That Old Feeling (The Mill at Sonning), Angel House (Eclipse Theatre, National Tour), Anansi Trades Places (Talawa Company / Shaw Theatre), Marking Time (Frinton-on-Sea Summer Theatre), Weights (Blue Elephant), Brixton Stories (Lyric Hammersmith), What’s in the Cat (Contact Theatre, Manchester / Royal Court), The Big Life (Theatre Royal Stratford East / Apollo), Pirandello’s Henry IV (Etcetera Theatre), Revolution (C-1 Venue, Edinburgh Festival), Evolution (C+3 Venue, Edinburgh Festival), Gagging for It (Gilded Balloon II, Edinburgh Festival), Newsrevue (The Canal Café), Assorted Foolishness (National Tour). Film includes: The Last Tree, Sket and RagTag. Television includes: Guerrilla, Eastenders, The A Force and The Real McCoy. Writing credits include: Anansi and The Magic Mirror (Talawa/Hackney Empire), The Oddest Couple (Theatre Royal Stratford East), What a Wonderful World (Blue Elephant) and Celador (Television Pilot).

sam-coxSam Cox 
For the Young Vic: Man – The Strangest Kind of Romance and My Dad’s a Birdman. Theatre includes: Macbeth, The Winter’s Tale, Pericles, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Doctor Scroggy’s War, Julius Caesar, Gabriel, The Tempest, Henry V, Anne Boleyn, All’s Well That End’s Well, Henry VIII (The Globe), The Crucible (Manchester Royal Exchange), The Twits  (Royal Court), The Trojan Women (Gate Theatre), Lovesong (Frantic Assembly Tour), The Deep Blue Sea (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Inherit the Wind  (Old Vic), Arcadia (Duke of Yorks), Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness  (Headlong Theatre), Oedipus (National Theatre), God in Ruins, Macbeth, King John  (RSC), Festen (Almeida Theatre/West End). Film includes:  Anna Karenina, The Look of Love, Wall, Agora and Hippy Hippy Shake. Television includes:  Father Brown, Borgia, Doctors, New Tricks, The Commander and Doctor Who. 

aaron-heffernanAaron Heffernan 
Theatre credits include: The Picture of Dorian Gray (The Abbey Theatre), Tender Napalm by Philip Ridley (Sugarglass Theatre), ‘Andorra, Lovers’, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Wonderful World of Dissocia: Equus, The Seagull, Tiny Dynamite (Samuel Beckett Theatre); The Threepenny Opera (Gate Theatre), The Little Shop of Horrors (Players Theatre), Oklahoma (Mill Theatre), Obama Mia (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). Aaron has also performed in three sell-out Edinburgh Fringe runs with comedy sketch group A Betrayal of the Penguins and 3 sell-out runs with the puppet musical comedies Monster Clock, Human Child and Bears in Space with his company Collapsing Horse Theatre. Film credits include: Alpha Papa: The Alan Partridge Movie, ‘Love, Rosie’, The Long Walk and The Titan. Television credits include: Love/Hate, Discovery Obsessions and BBC2’s Mum.

Lloyd Hutchinson.jpgLloyd Hutchinson
For the Young Vic:  A Respectable Wedding, also directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins, in 2007.
Theatre  includes: Plough and The Stars, Husbands & Sons, Collaborators (National Theatre), The Joke (Fuel Theatre), The Beaux’s Stratagem, The Observer (Royal National Theatre), A View From The Bridge (Liverpool Playhouse), Little  Revolution, Measure for Measure, The Lightening Play (Almeida Theatre), Particle of Dread (Signature Theatre/Field Day/ The Playhouse Derry), Boris Godunov, The Orphan of Zhao (RSC), The Birthday Party (Lyric Hammersmith), Twelfth Night (Wyndhams Theatre) and Rhinoceros (Royal Court). Film includes: Florence Foster Jenkins, Anonymous, Mrs Henderson Presents, Gladiatress, Boxed and With or Without You. Television includes: Catastrophe, White Gold,Silent Witness, Utopia, Casualty, Hatfields & McCoys, Hustle, Titanic, The Fades, Silk, The Bill, Midsomer Murders, Pulling Moves, Murphy’s Law, Lloyd & Hill, Rebel Heart and In Defence.


Douggie McMeekindm

Theatre includes: Wendy and Peter Pan (RSC), Rabbit, As you Like It, Boys, Macbeth, The Walmorth Farce, Uncle Vanya, For Emma, A Trip to Scarborough, The Duchess of Malfi, Under The Blue Sky (LAMDA). Television  includes: Harlots, The Crown and A Gert Lush Christmas. Film includes: The Call Up.

melanie-pappenheim

Melanie Pappenheim
Theatre includes:  Here All Night (Gare St Lazare Ireland), Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra (The Globe), Peter Pan (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Saint Joan, The Skriker (National Theatre), Dr Dee (Manchester International Festival/ENO). Opera includes: A Ring A Lamp A Thing and Ingerland (Royal Opera House). Film soundtracks include: Gangs of New York, Eyes Wide Shut, Jane Eyre, Pan and Everest.
Television soundtracks include:  Doctor Who. Film includes: The Alien, Strange Fish and Warren Beatty’s Coat.

Just announced: A Midsummer Night’s Dream + See Me Now

We have just announced 2 exciting new shows for 2017! Joe Hill-Gibbins returns to the Young Vic with a dark production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream designed by Johannes Schütz. And See Me Now shares the true stories of sex workers – a collaboration between Young Vic, Look Left Look Right and HighTide.   

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (17 Feb – 1 Apr 2017) 

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Joe Hill-Gibbins returns to the Young Vic with a thrillingly nightmarish take on Shakespeare’s Dream.

The dark heart of Titania and Oberon’s domain is explored as Joe Hill-Gibbins returns to the Young Vic’s Main House stage with a bold new production. In a world of grotesque transformations and sexual provocation, repressed conflicts between young lovers and their parents are released. There’s no magic in this place – manipulation leads to complications and desire becomes dangerous.

Design and light for A Midsummer Night’s Dream is by Johannes Schütz, with costumes by Michaela Barth, sound by Paul Arditti, movement by Jenny Ogilvie and dramaturgy by Zoë Svendsen.

Joe Hill-Gibbins follows his Measure for Measure with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other credits at the Young Vic include: The Changeling (The Maria , Main House), The Glass MenagerieThe Beauty Queen of Leenane and A Respectable Wedding.  Joe was Genesis Fellow at the Young Vic between 2010 and 2012. Other theatre credits include: Little Revolution (Almeida); Edward II (National Theatre); The Village Bike (Royal Court); and The Girlfriend Experience (Young Vic and Royal Court / Drum Theatre Plymouth). His opera credits include Powder Her Face (ENO).

Internationally acclaimed set designer Johannes Schütz returns to the Young Vic theatre after Three Sisters in 2012. His other theatre credits include: The Merchant of Venice (Royal Shakespeare Theatre), Big and Small (Barbican); On the Chimborazo (Münich Kammerspiele); Mama and the Whore (Schauspielhaus Bochum); Katherine of Heilbronn, Summer Folk (Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, In the Greifswald Street (Deutsches Theater Berlin); Schiff Der Träume, Hysteria and Macbeth (Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus). Johannes also worked on numerous productions for the Salzburg Festival and Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe in Paris. His publications include: Stages 2000-2007 and Johannes Schütz: Models & Interviews 2002-2015. His opera credits include: Orpheus and Eurydice and Ariadne on Naxos, works by Brecht and Schiller in Bochum and Mainz.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare runs 17 February – 1 April 2017 in the Young Vic’s Main House. It is directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins with design and light by Johannes Schütz, costumes by Michaela Barth, sound by Paul Arditti, movement by Jenny Ogilvie and dramaturgy by Zoë Svendsen.

 

See Me Now (11 Feb – 4 Mar 2017) 

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Photo by Damien Frost 

A new Young Vic, Look Left Look Right and HighTide co-production, See Me Now is created and performed by those who have been, or currently are sex workers.

Based on workshops and testimony given by the performers, writer Molly Taylor weaves together a series of moving and funny true stories in a production directed by Mimi Poskitt.

Neither victims nor villains but everything in between, See Me Now challenges the stereotypes and stigma around sex workers and celebrates the group of male, female and transgender performers who share their stories on stage.

Director Mimi Poskitt said: “Sex workers are one of the most marginalised groups in the world. This project was born out of wanting to work with and understand more about who sex workers are. The industry is multi-faceted, often invisible, yet shrouded in controversy. Over the past year we have been fortunate enough to work with an awesome group of performers who have shared their own deeply personal histories. They are writers, teachers, musicians, cleaners, parents; they work in IT, in public services. By no means definitive, what they are creating reflects a kaleidoscope of life experiences; some touching, some tough, some hilarious.

A version of See Me Now was originally performed as part of The Brolly Project in August 2015, a Young Vic Taking Part project. The team worked closely with outreach projects across London to find a company of participants who have, or do work in the sex industry. The aim was to make an original performance created by the company, formed by whatever they chose to share. A reading of The Brolly Project took place in September as part of the 2016 HighTide Festival.

Molly Taylor is a writer and theatre-maker and an Associate of Look Left Look Right. Her other theatre credits include: The Neighbourhood Project (The Bush Theatre), What We Talk About When We Talk About Food (commissioned by the Wellcome Trust), My Desert Island (Old Vic New Voices) and Make We Waka (Lagos Theatre Festival/British Council). Molly developed her writing practice when on attachment at the National Theatre of Scotland; her one-woman play Love Letters to the Public Transport System had a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012 and has since been performed at the Royal Court and internationally.

Mimi Poskitt is the Founder and Artistic Director of Look Left Look Right. Her directing credits in theatre include work at the Royal Court, Roundhouse, Lyric Hammersmith, Covent Garden, Coney and the Old Vic New Voices. In addition, Mimi’s work has toured across the UK and worldwide including Sri Lanka, Australia and Nigeria. As an Assistant Producer for ITV and the BBC, she won a Royal Television Society Award for a documentary about 9/11 and was nominated for The Hospital Club’s h.Club 100, which recognises the most innovative and influential people in the British creative and media industries.

See Me Now created by Mimi Poskitt, Molly Taylor and the company and directed by Mimi Poskitt runs in the Young Vic’s Maria theatre 11 February – 4 March 2017. Sound is by Emma Laxton with music composed by Tom Parkinson.

Tickets go on sale to the public on Wednesday 28 September at 10am. You can become a friend and book today at www.youngvic.org