Call Out For Artists | Forest: A response to Tree created by Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah

TP Forest 2019 call out landscape.jpg

Young Vic Taking Part are creating FOREST, a new show inspired by Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah’s Tree and we’re looking for people from Lambeth and Southwark to be part of it.

This is the first time we have joined together our three strands of work; Learning, Participation and Neighbourhood Theatre, to create a theatre experience which feels like it is for everyone, using live music and other media to tell stories from the people in our neighbourhood.

Project dates:

Rehearsals:  Occasional rehearsals in June/ July (Exact dates TBC). Then, 29 July –  17 August 2019.

Tech and shows: 19 – 24 August 2019

About Tree:

Tree takes you on a thrilling journey in search of the soul and spirit of contemporary South Africa.  Created by Idris Elba, whose album Mi Mandela provides the inspiration for the soundtrack, and Kwame Kwei-Armah, this major world-premiere production performed in the round, is also directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah.

Music, dance and film combine with an exciting cast to explore the past, present and future of this country at a crossroads – all through the eyes of one young man on a journey of healing. 

We would like to invite artists and companies to submit expressions of interest and a short description of how you think the community of Lambeth and Southwark can respond to Tree. We are looking to form a team of artists from multiple disciplines, so we would like to hear from collectives, companies, film makers, musicians, directors, writers, and designers.

Please tell us what you’d like to do in any of the following ways:

    • A letter (either on paper or emailed)
    • A video (no longer than 5 minutes) .mov or .mp4 good for us
    • A voice recording (no longer than 5 minutes) .wav or .mp3 good for us
    • A PowerPoint presentation (of no more than 10 slides)

Please email imogenbrodie@youngvic.org with your expression of interest by Friday 23 November at 1pm.  We will be meeting people to discuss ideas on 4 and 5 December.

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.

The Marbleous Route Home, Intro to Theatre and Something to Declare | YV Taking Part Summer update

It’s been an incredibly busy few months for the Young Vic’s outreach team, Taking Part. We’ve shared the playful, non-verbal production The Marbleous Route Home with SEND schools and young people over two weeks of performances, our YV Young Associates created an installation for Refugee Week, Something to Declare and Intro to Theatre, our week long programme of free workshops for young people interested in a career in theatre was attended by hundreds who enjoyed the talents and advice of some incredibly exciting artists.

The Marbleous Route Home

Our playful, non-verbal production, The Marbleous Route Home was our new Young Vic Taking Part production created as an original response to Fun Home aimed at children and young people who attend special schools.


Conceived by Natasha Nixon and Kirsty Harris, and devised by the company, Natasha Nixon’s production received some beautiful and excited reactions from audiences throughout our two weeks of performances set in our open and relaxed performance environment.

Intro to Theatre

Our week long programme of workshops for Young People got even bigger in May 2018. We hosted hundreds of Young People across 26 workshops held by exciting artists including directors Roy Alexander Weise, performers Yolanda Mercy, Serafina Bey, London Hughes and Michael Balogun, writer Luke Barnes and photographer Helen Murray as well as our very own Kwame Kwei-Armah and Nadia Latif.


If you’re interested in finding out more about the next Intro to Theatre then send an email to youngpeople@youngvic.org and they’ll let you know how you can sign up.

Something to Declare

The Young Vic Young Associates are local young people from Southwark who work at the YV, each joining a different department for 9 months of the year. Towards the end of their time at the YV they are given the opportunity to come up with some work on a theme of their choosing. This year’s team of Lanikai, Sandra and Patrick chose to create some work in response to the refugee crisis during Refugee Week.


Their installation, Something To Declare was developed through a series of interviews and workshops with LGBTQI+ refugees. Visitors were invited to listen to different narratives on headphones while inside the installation room, composed from interviews with workshop participants about their experiences in their home countries and in the UK. The second room offered a chill out space with music, films and food, and later featured moving performances from poets Belinda Zhawi and Tamara McFarlane. It was a great evening and we had a fantastic response from our audiences – big thanks to everyone who contributed to the project and to all of those who came.

All photos © Leon Puplett

 

In response to The Jungle, The Brothers Size and The Inheritance | YV Taking Part

It’s been a busy start to 2018 for our incredible education and outreach team, Young Vic Taking Part. Working in response to some stunning productions in the YV’s Main House including The Jungle, The Brothers Size and The Inheritance, they’ve been working with a wide range of people from Lambeth, Southwark and beyond.

The Tide

The Tide was our schools response to The Jungle and was met with some amazing feedback. Written by Eno Mfon, directed by Eva Sampson and performed by local teenagers, The Tide explored what is home, family and migration and was performed in the YV’s Maria space with a stunning design incorporating trampolines by Cecile Tremolieres.

The Brothers Size Parallel Production

Taking Part have also been working with HMP Wandsworth. At the beginning of February Jonathan Ajayi, Sope Dirisu, Manuel Pinheiro and Anthony Welsh performed Bijan Sheibani’s production of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brothers Size.  Forty men currently at the prison watched the sharing and were invited to take part in our project inspired by the theme’s explored in McCraney’s work. The script they develop with writer Luke Barnes will form a later production with young offenders, directed by Justin Audibert.

Neighbours Known. Neighbours Unknown.

In collaboration with the acclaimed The Choir with No Name who run choirs for homeless and marginalised people, on a singing project that brings together their members with people from our local boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. Members of the YV Taking Part’s Neighbourhood Theatre have been working on Neighbours Known. Neighbours Unknown. a singing project that celebrates singing, community and togetherness. They’ll be performing on Sat 17 March at The Workshop in Vauxhall.

Within Reach

Within Reach - TB TP 2018 invite v2

Taking Part have also had the first few rehearsals of Within Reach, a movement based response to Matthew Lopez’s The Inheritance, led by Grace Gibson. Working with people who have HIV or have been directly affected by the illness, the work will be shared in early May.

Arts in Schools Campaign

Taking Part has also been working hard on arts in schools and worked on the first London Theatre Consortium symposium on a future curriculum for drama education which YV AD Kwame Kwei-Armah spoke at. Find out more about the event and people’s responses on our video.

Sing Before You Speak Again | A Taking Part community response to Wings

“These are stories we don’t often get a chance to hear – indeed they are often the hardest stories for people who have had strokes to articulate until they are set to music. Music seems to tap into a part of the brain that sets language free, the rhythm allowing words to flow where they are normally stumbled over”

Written after a series of workshops with stroke recovery groups, Parkinson’s community groups and dementia healthy living clubs and inspired by Natalie Abrahami’s production of Wings by Arthur Kopit, Sing Before You Speak Again was staged this November.

 

Sing Before You Speak Again‘s director Thomas Martin explained a little more about the production which took the form of an original choral song cycle written by Deanna Rodger and Joseph Atkins.

Some of the text was verbatim, but most of it was poetic – in Deanna’s lyrical world, memories become motors, houses become ships tossed about on a cold sea, and brains become balloons to be popped or let go. Joe’s composition brings these images to life with rich and challenging harmonies, filled with cheeky echoes of our participants’ favourite artists – Bob Marley, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell.

 

Sing Before You Speak Again has taken us through a range of emotions with the hope that our audiences leave with a little more understanding of what having a stroke feels like and the often disorientating effects – Wendy, Participant

Following the week of performances some of the company took part in a series of special performances at community centres with Nunhead Dementia Cafe, time & talents and Stockwell Healthy Living Club who helped inspire the original songs that the creative team had met during their original workshops.

It was so brilliant to have such great entertainment and even more special to meet the singers. – Nunhead Dementia Cafe

We’re extremely grateful to some incredible local groups who opened their doors and allowed us to get involved. Our production wouldn’t have been possible without the workshops and support of the following organisations, Aphasia Re-Connect, Southwark and Lambeth Parkinson’s Support Group, Stockwell Healthy Living Club and Time & Talents.

Taking Part in 2017

It’s been a busy first half of the year for Young Vic Taking Part –  they’ve produced 7 shows, held workshops and courses for Young People and communities for people who live, work or study in Lambeth and Southwark and celebrated the 1st anniversary of Neighbourhood Theatre. Find out more below…  

See Me Now

A two year long project, the first 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 performance, created in collaboration with the company, saw them sharing their painful, touching and often hilarious stories from their work and personal lives. The culmination of this was See Me Now which was performed for a three week run in February in the YV’s Maria. See what audiences had to say about TP’s production on our Storify.

(10) See Me Now at the Young Vic. Photo © Matt Humphrey

See Me Now at the Young Vic. Photo by Matt Humphrey

Go Between

Go Between was a Taking Part community show inspired by Isango Ensemble’s A Man of Good Hope. A beautiful collaboration between director Anna Girvan, writer Archie Maddocks and participants who were homeless or had experienced homelessness in the past, it explored what home means to all of us. Go Between ran in the Maria in January. You can find out more about the rehearsal process and see portraits of our participants in our blog post.

A08_7485

Go Between at the Young Vic. Photo by Jordan Lee

Fable

Fable is our schools and colleges’ response to Isango Ensemble’s A Man of Good Hope. Directed by Maddeleine Kludje and written by Luke Barnes, Fable is a three-part film performed by three groups of children and teenagers in London, Brooklyn and Cape Town.

Fable Part One - filming. Photos by Leon Puplett-1

The filming of Fable Part 1. Photo by Leon Puplett

Start Swimming

The most recent Taking Part Parallel Productions, Start Swimming was written by Jamez Fritz in response to the Young Vic’s Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere, a show about occupation, revolution and the future of our youth. Directed by Ola Ince and performed by a cast of 11 young Londoners, Start Swimming was performed in the Clare at the Young Vic in April and continues at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer.

©helenmurray Start Swimming by James Fritz directed by Ola Ince, Young Vic Taking Part-99.jpg

Start Swimming at the Young Vic. Photo by Helen Murray

And Yet It Moves

Written by Molly Taylor and the company in response to the themes of Life of Galileo, And Yet It Moves was directed by Joseph HancockFocusing on Brexit they interviewed people who voted both leave and remain, as well as prominent MPs from across the campaign, and ran workshops with members of Two Boroughs’ Neighbourhood Theatre. The end result was a piece that addressed the questions of what country you want to live in and how hopeful you are of the future.

And Yet It Moves Production Photos - Leon Puplett-19

And Yet It Moves at the Young Vic. Photo by Leon Puplett

PRU Project

Laura Keefe directed a week-long project with school children at Kennington Park Academy’s pupil referral unit in the Clare in May. A response to Life of Galileo, the workshops featured some dazzling personalised projections by SDNA featuring all of the children involved. Teachers and parents were invited to a small sharing at the end of the week bringing all of their work together.

The Space Between

The Space Between was Taking Part’s annual production for audiences with special educational needs and disabilities. Aimed at children under 12, The Space Between was particularly tailored for those on the Autistic Spectrum. It told the tale of a young girl determined to run away, but who forms a caring relationship with The Creature. The show was written, directed and with a beautiful puppet created by Brunskill & Grimes.

TP SEND - The Space Between - Leon Puplett-19

The Space Between at the Young Vic. Photo by Leon Puplett


Intro to Directing & Intro to Design

Run yearly, these are week long courses that give 18 – 25 year-olds the opportunity to find out more about theatre directing and design. The introductory courses included practical workshops led by professional theatre directors and designers included practical sessions, backstage theatre tours and trips to see various productions at theatres across London.

Intro to Design Feb17-Jemima Robinson-9

Other workshops and talks run by Taking Part this year have included Preparing for Drama School AuditionsVocal Coaching, Off Stage and Schools Workshops. 

Only Young Events

Taking Part have run several Only Young networking events this year. These are evenings held at the Young Vic specifically for young actors, directors, writers, designers, producers and technicians to meet with other creatives. Only Young has been held predominantly for young people aged 18 -25, Taking Part had a great time bringing 14 – 18 year olds together for the first time at this event earlier this summer.

 

Backstage Pass

Nine young Londoners spent two weeks at the Young Vic learning the skills and secrets of stagecraft, as part of Taking Part’s Backstage Pass programme, culminating in a performance of an extract of a play, professionally directed and acted, which the participants plotted, built, designed and called.

Maria-production-workshop-LeonPuplett-3

Backstage pass participants learning rigging from the production department. Photo by Leon Puplett

 

Neighbourhood Theatre

Neighbourhood Theatre started in June 2016 and celebrated it’s 1st Birthday this year. Eighty neighbours officially became members of the new Young Vic company of local people. This company is at the heart of our work. They are ambassadors, creators, friends and supporters. Neighbourhood Theatre comes together to attend our shows enjoy Kitchen Conversations and Theatre Clubs.

Find out more about Young Vic Taking Part and how you can get involved.

Intro to Theatre | Young Vic Taking Part

Our Taking Part team welcomed over 200 new young people over October half-term with a series of Intro to Theatre workshops led by some great friends of the Young Vic.

Talks and workshops with Simon Stephens, Kayode Ewumi and Tyrell Williams, Thalissa Teixeira, Ashley Walters, Jemima Robinson, Toby Clarke, Shanika Warren-Markland, Arnold Oceng and Gbolahan Obisesan, gave a mix of 14-25 year olds a first look at careers in playwriting, acting, design, helped with audition techniques and held talks.

We also held a panel discussion with the heads of acting from RADA, LAMDA, Mountview, LIPA, East 15, Rose Bruford, Central, Drama Centre and the RCS on the process and future of applying to drama schools attended by 60 young people from Lambeth and Southwark.

To find out more about the Young Vic’s opportunities for young people head to youngvic.org and follow Taking Part on twitter.