11 Questions with the cast of Yerma – Maureen Beattie

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Maureen Beattie in Yerma. Photo by Johan Persson.

Maureen is currently staring in Yerma at the Young Vic. She plays Helen in Simon Stone’s adaptation of Lorca’s classic. Here are her answers to our 11 questions:

Can you describe your character in Yerma  in three words?

A terrible mother.

What’s it been like working with Simon Stone?

Bliss.

How did you find the rehearsal process in comparison to other productions you’ve been in?

Unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.

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

Finishing off my make-up.

What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?

Medea, in a version by Liz Lochhead after Euripides. I was Medea.

What is your favourite midnight snack?

Fried egg sandwich.

What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?

I was always a show off! Also, my father was a variety artiste.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

The Island of Bute, in the Clyde Estuary.

Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you ever met them?

My darling brother, who has battled mental illness for decades and yet remains a kind and courteous man.

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?

I’m pretty happy with now.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?

I’d like to be able to de-materialize and re-materialize anywhere in the world at will.

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11 Questions with the cast of Yerma – Thalissa Teixeira

Thalissa Teixeira (Des) in Yerma at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson

Thalissa Teixeira as Des in Yerma. Photo by Johan Persson.

Thalissa is currently staring in Yerma at the Young Vic. She plays Des in Simon Stone’s adaptation of Lorca’s classic. Here are her answers to our 11 questions:

Can you describe your character in Yerma  in three words?

Plenty.Of.Time

What’s it been like working with Simon Stone?

What work?

How did you find the rehearsal process in comparison to other productions you’ve been in?

It never felt like a rehearsal. 4 weeks went by and suddenly we had a play.

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

Looking for a baby to play with.

What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?

Pomona at the Royal Welsh College/The Gate. It was initially written for our year before getting published and transferred.

What is your favourite midnight snack?

I’m usually asleep by then. And if not, I’m awake till 4 – which means a full on donna dinner. (Lamb, obviously)

What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?

All things. Even the things I hate. But mostly the things I don’t understand.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

Whenever all my mates are at that time. Hopefully on a beach.

Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you ever met them?

The 20 plus land activists whom have been killed in Brazil so far this year due to conflicts over logging and agribusiness. I would thank them for their work and say I hope one day minds change.

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?

Ancient Egypt – for the architecture.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?

To speak every language in the world. Or to be able to be in two places  at once … speaking different languages.

 

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If You Kiss Me, Kiss Me | FLASHBACK!

With Jane Horrocks on stage on our main house singing her own gritty and soulful versions of the new wave music she grew up with, we’re throwing it back with these blast from the past snaps of our If You Kiss Me, Kiss Me cast and creative team from way back when.

But can you tell your Rat Scabies from your Kipper? Answers are at the bottom of this post!

Bunny Christie  Version 2

Rat Scabies 2 - c. Gavin Watson Michael Walters - USE Jane Horrocks

Kipper Fabienne-Debarre  Joe Hancock  Conor Doyle  Aletta-Collins Lorena-Randi  Andreas-Fuchs

From top, left to right: Bunny Christie, Daniel Hay Gordon, Rat Scabies (Photo by Gavin Watson), Michael Walters, Jane Horrocks, Kipper, Fabienne Debarre, Joe Hancock, Conor Doyle, Aletta Collins, Lorena Randi and Andreas Fuchs.

If You Kiss Me, Kiss Me plays at the Young Vic until 16 April. To book or find out more, click here.

The Sound Of Yellow – written by Mike Clarke, a participant in Taking Part’s community show

The Sound of Yellow

The Sound of Yellow

Way back at the start of the year, a group of hopefuls auditioned for the chance to be in a new play. We were told that it was about Synesthesia, a condition in which people can see colours or experience tastes by simply hearing a certain word. It’s bizarre, yet truly magical and much harder to explain than I originally thought so here is a proper description.

That video is the very same shown to us by our director Matthew Xia at our audition. In fact, it was after watching that video that two members of our cast discovered that they too were synesthetes.  The energy was buzzing! The Sound of Yellow was already reaching out, and had already infected us all. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

We were also informed that the play was going to be ‘verbatim’, which means that some of our lines were going to be quotes from actual synesthetes. We were going to be playing real people. So, no pressure!

In the weeks that followed our ‘Two Boroughs’ group met, and played games and bonded. We saw shows together; the splendid A View from the Bridge and the show that inspired our own, The Valley of Astonishment by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne. We were very privileged to meet them both along with the cast and fellow synesthetes. They continued to visit us over the weeks to give us their insight into their process and help us translate our script to an unsuspecting audience.

It was only a week before the play when we met up with the other groups participating in this event; Kairos Community Trust, Foundation 66, St Mungo’s Broadway & the Open Voices Choir. We finally got to see the bits of the play we had only read on paper come to life. Each group had been working on a different section, so seeing the whole thing come together was exciting!

Over the weeks we had been teased with images and models of the set. With tales of ever changing lights, smells of beef and disinfectant, 3D glasses, lights and sounds all in one tent. Well, the stage guys at the Young Vic did not disappoint. Our stage was an ever changing canvas, painting different colours, smells and sounds in a fully interactive space. It’s hard to explain (closest thing I could get was the holodeck from Star Trek) but was a wonder to experience. The play had street performances, it had audience participation, it had sounds, tastes, and lighting to affect as many senses as possible. It had a choir! It had moments of happiness and pure joy. It also had moments of utter gut wrenching sorrow. It was able to take you there safely and bring you back to the safety of yourself. By looking at your own reflection, you saw (we hoped) a whole new you. Not the you who had started watching this play as, but the new ‘enlightened’ one.  That wasn’t supposed to be as pretentious as it read. Oh well.

I remember getting ready to go, the show was over it was time to get back to reality via a few celebratory drinks at the bar, when I was stopped by one of the members of Foundation 66. He asked me simply, “What I was going to do now?” I replied with, “Go to the bar and hang for a bit”. He corrected me with, “No I mean, what are you going to do now? Now this is all over?” I replied, “I don’t know what I’m going to do now.” That’s when it hit me. This wasn’t just some play; this had been a life force and life line to so many people.

The Sound of Yellow was never going to be a straight forward play. Over the weeks it had become a piece of organic material. A living breathing thing, that kept evolving and growing, needing our sustenance, wanting to be much more than just a performance piece. And in that final moment, I think it achieved it.

11 Questions with the cast of Happy Days – David Beames

HAPPY DAYS by Beckett,Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days opens at the Young Vic next week and David Beames will play Willie alongside Juliet Stevenson as his wife, Winnie. David took some time out from rehearsals to answer our 11 Questions…

Can you describe your character in Happy Days in three words?
Depressive, coarse, sad.


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

What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?
Death of a Salesman – played Happy years ago.

What is your favourite midnight snack?
I never eat late.

If days were 28 hours long, what would you do with the 4 extra hours?
Spend them with my/our four sons

If you could be in a room full of any one thing, what would it be?Organic natural yoghurt.

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
With family in Cornwall near Surfing Beach.

Favourite city and why?
London, all life is here.

Dogs or cats?
The family whippet Sylvie, she’s beautiful. 

What is your favourite song? 
I’ll See You in My Dreams Joe Brown, Concert for George.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
To contact Samuel Beckett on the Other Side and read his mind.

Happy Days returns to the Young Vic on 13 Feb 2015. Call 020 7922 2922 or click here to book now.

11 Questions with the cast of Beauty and the Beast – Mat Fraser

BB8 low resBeauty and the Beast’s Mat Fraser, actor, writer and leader in the disability arts world, answers our 11 Questions…. 

Can you describe your character in Beauty and the Beast in three words?
Beastly: Perfectly Deformed.

What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
Vocal warm up, stretching, chatting and peeing.

What is your favourite midnight snack?
Dark Chocolate.

What are you most passionate about?
The social injustice of disabled people’s lack of equality.

If days were 28 hours long, what would you do with the 4 extra hours?
Have sex, sleep, write, train.

If you could be in a room full of any one thing, what would it be?
Members of the Wirtz family in Wuppertal, Germany, ready to sign their agreement for adequate compensation. That or Julie, naked. That or dark chocolate… no, I know, naked Julie covered in dark chocolate, with the Wirtz family having to watch what happened next, before signing.

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
New Zealand’s North Island for 10 days in 2010

Favourite city and why?
New York, because it’s exciting, it gets me and Julie lives there.

What is your favourite song?
That’s tough, so many. Today it’s Rainbow Connection by Kermit, yesterday it was Tomorrow She Goes Away by The Ramones, tomorrow it’ll be Skanga by Rupy Edwards.

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
The next one, because it sounds fun!

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
Telekinesis. Because then I could travel to and from international cities without flying, polluting, paying, and waiting.

Beauty and the Beast runs at the Young Vic from 4 – 21 December. Click here to book tickets or to find out more.

Behind the scenes with Beauty and the Beast

Along with our exciting 2014 season announcement, we have also revealed that this December, Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz will star in surprising new take on classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beastdirected by Improbable’s Phelim McDermott.

We caught up with the company on set of a photo shoot for the show. The chemistry between our Beauty (Julie Atlas Muz) and her Beast (Mat Fraser), a couple in real life as well as in this new production, was electric. We also managed to sneak some behind the scenes shots of Mat and Julie in action in front of the camera…

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Thousands of rose petals as well as props and costumes the cast have been using in rehearsals set the scene and we got some great shots. We also chatted to the company about what they’d been getting up to in rehearsals so far. Click
here to watch our interview with Mat Fraser as he reveals all about Naked Wednesdays in the rehearsal room…

The final shots from the photo shoot will be revealed soon, so watch this space.

Beauty and the Beast
runs from 4 – 21 December and tickets are on sale now. To book or find out more, click here.