Behind the Scenes highlights from Stage Managers Day 2018

In the theatre world, sometimes those behind the scenes can get lost amongst the glamour and glitz of what’s on stage – so this year for Stage Manager’s Day we handed our wonderful stage managers the reigns to our Instagram account to reclaim the spotlight and show off what they do best.

See the highlights below!

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Twelfth Night runs until 17 Nov at the Young Vic. Limited tickets from £10.

Twelfth Night | Behind the Scenes with our Community Chorus

Come backstage with us, to the loud and bubbly atmosphere of the dressing rooms where our fantastic Community Chorus are getting ready for a performance of Twelfth Night.

Many have a pre-existing love of the theatre – some participating in previous Taking Part community productions, some totally new to the stage.

The 60-strong Young Vic Community Chorus for Twelfth Night spans many different backgrounds, generations and stories. The youngest chorus member is 18, whilst the oldest is in her mid-80s.

Cathy, 86, spent her working life in war zones for the United Nations. She can now be found on the Young Vic stage 4 nights a week. After a spell in Matthew Bourne’s company, Neil found himself homeless, which is how he came to be in Go Between, a Young Vic Taking Part production which was performed by a company who had all had some form of contact with homelessness, either directly or indirectly. Neil now works for St Mungo’s, and brought a group from the hostel to see him perform.

They share the stage with 18, 19 and 20 year-olds who come from our local boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth.

Amongst the backstage hubbub, we captured some quieter moments to gain an insight into what happens behind the scenes of our “joyous and dazzlingly colourful musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy at the Young Vic.

Young Vic Twelfth Night - Community Chorus © Leon Puplett-02208

Community chorus preparing for the stage. Photo by Leon Puplett.

Young Vic Twelfth Night - Community Chorus © Leon Puplett-02249

Community chorus preparing for the stage. Photo by Leon Puplett.

Young Vic Twelfth Night - Community Chorus © Leon Puplett-02278

Lending a hand. Photo by Leon Puplett.

Young Vic Twelfth Night - Community Chorus © Leon Puplett-02294

Doing hair in the dressing room. Photo by Leon Puplett.

Young Vic Twelfth Night - Community Chorus © Leon Puplett-02310

Final checks backstage. Photo by Leon Puplett.

Young Vic Twelfth Night - Community Chorus © Leon Puplett-02346

Some extra curricular. Photo by Leon Puplett.

Young Vic Twelfth Night - Community Chorus © Leon Puplett-02348

Seeing it from the audience’s perspective. Photo by Leon Puplett.

Young Vic Twelfth Night - Community Chorus © Leon Puplett-02424

Backstage excitement of some of our Community Chorus. Photo by Leon Puplett.

Young Vic Twelfth Night - Community Chorus © Leon Puplett-02517

The community atmosphere, on stage. Photo by Leon Puplett.

Young Vic Twelfth Night - Community Chorus © Leon Puplett-02520

Watching from the wings. Photo by Leon Puplett.

Twelfth Night runs at the Young Vic until 19 Nov. Book Tickets now.

Head to our website to find out more about Taking Part and how you can get involved in their future projects, workshops and productions.

First look inside the Twelfth Night rehearsal room

Take your first look inside the rehearsal room for our upcoming musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night which opens for previews in just two weeks time.

Directed by our Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah and Oskar Eustis, this production is set to be an injection of joy for audiences this Autumn and we can’t wait!

This celebration of love in all its forms features an awe-inspiring community chorus from Southwark and Lambeth with music and lyrics by the critically acclaimed songwriter Shaina Taub.

Twelfth Night runs at the Young Vic from 2 Oct until 17 Nov. Tickets from £10.

Find out more and book tickets now.

Paul Willcocks (Fabian) & Gbemisola Ikumelo (Maria) inside the rehearsal room
Paul Willcocks (Fabian) & Gbemisola Ikumelo (Maria) / Photography by Johan Persson
Silas Wyatt-Barke (Sir Andrew Aguecheek) inside the Twelfth Night rehearsal room
Silas Wyatt-Barke (Sir Andrew Aguecheek) / Photography by Johan Persson
Gabrielle Brooks (Viola) inside the Twelfth Night rehearsal room
Gabrielle Brooks (Viola) / Photography by Johan Persson
Gbemisola Ikumelo (Maria), Gerard Carey (Malvolio) & Natalie Dew (Olivia)
Gbemisola Ikumelo (Maria), Gerard Carey (Malvolio) & Natalie Dew (Olivia) / Photography by Johan Persson

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Director Kwame Kwei-Armah and Melissa Allan (Feste) / Photography by Johan Persson

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Gbemisola Ikumelo (Maria) / Photography by Johan Persson

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Jyuddah Jaymes (Sebastian) / Photography by Johan Persson

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Gerard Carey (Malvolio) and choreographer Lizzi Gee / Photography by Johan Persson

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Musical Director Sean Green / Photography by Johan Persson
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Gerard Carey (Malvolio) / Photography by Johan Persson
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Rupert Young (Duke Orsino) / Photography by Johan Persson
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Jonathan Livingstone (Antonio) / Photography by Johan Persson
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Natalie Dew (Olivia) / Photography by Johan Persson
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Martyn Ellis (Sir Toby Belch) / Photography by Johan Persson
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Gabrielle Brooks (Viola) / Photography by Johan Persson
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Kwame Kwei-Armah (director) / Photography by Johan Persson

Shakespeare gets a shake-up as soulful melodies and R&B beats weave through this enchanting musical adaptation of Twelfth Night.

This celebration of love in all its forms features an awe-inspiring community chorus from Southwark and Lambeth with music and lyrics by the critically acclaimed songwriter Shaina Taub.

Book tickets now: https://www.youngvic.org/whats-on/twelfth-night

Behind the scenes with The Jungle cast 👀

This week we let Ammar Haj Ahmad from the cast of The Jungle loose on our Instagram Story while the cast were in tech rehearsals. We’ve rounded up some of the best behind-the-scenes footage that he caught backstage here at the Young Vic.

The Jungle opens at the Young Vic from 7 Dec. A powerful world premiere set in the Calais jungle refugee camp. Book tickets from £10:
https://www.youngvic.org/whats-on/the-jungle

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The Jungle runs at the Young Vic from 7 Dec – 9 Jan. Book tickets from £10.

A Young Vic and National Theatre co-production with Good Chance Theatre. Commissioned by the National Theatre

“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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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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