Meet Caitriona Shoobridge | Director of Ivan and the Dogs

Genesis Future Directors Award winner Caitriona Shoobridge has recently directed Hattie Naylor’s Ivan and the Dogs which runs in The Clare studio until 20 July.

This one-person play with Alex Austin as Ivan explores the need for kindness and trust in the face of adversity.

We sat down with Cat to find out more about her career and her Young Vic debut.

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into directing?

I belonged to a youth theatre from quite a young age and just became obsessed with theatre. I didn’t really find my ‘thing’ at school and so didn’t do higher education but theatre I always kept coming back to. It’s been the constant thing in my life and has opened my eyes to many different worlds, cultures and possibilities. 

What do you love about the play ‘Ivan and the Dogs’ by Hattie Naylor?

It is such an extraordinarily unique piece of writing. My favourite thing about it is that it feels both ancient and familiar to us as fairytales do but at the same time is also incredibly pertinent to the world right now. 

Alex Austin in Ivan and the Dogs. Designer Basia Bińkowska. Lighting Designer Elliot Griggs. Photo by Anthony Lee

Can you describe Ivan and the Dogs in just 5 words?

No, it is too epic!

What has been your best moment while directing this show?

I don’t think I can pick out a single moment as the whole journey from start to finish has been brilliant. One of my favourite things about making it has been collaborating with an extraordinary creative team and company. That has been pure joy. 

The sound design is really integral part of this production. Can you tell us more about that? Who are the voices we can hear?

Yeah, there are 19 offstage characters that Ivan encounters in his story who are given to us in a soundscape in Russian dialogue. We used the idea of the soundscape as the central part of the concept for design and thought; what is the most we can do with this? What if we made the entire world from sound?

Have you learnt anything new from this experience?

There are so many things! A big one is definitely having a creative team around you that you trust to share your biggest ideas with and who you can take a risk with. Another would be holding your nerve when executing that idea. And finally the ability to zoom out from it at the end of the process and understand that your work consists of everything you’ve done on the journey and not just what happens on the night. 

Alex Austin in Ivan and the Dogs. Photo by Anthony Lee.

What are your top tips for anybody reading this who is interested in becoming a director?

Really think about who you are as person and what you as an individual you bring to your work. I find that theatres are only interested in finding out who you are and not listening to what you may think they want to hear. Oh and join the Young Vic Directors Program!

Tell us about how it felt to be a 2019 Genesis Foundation Future Directors Award Recipient? 

Best feeling ever.

What has it been like working at the Young Vic? What’s been your favourite part?

The Young Vic is undoubtedly one of my favourite theatres. It’s incredibly supportive of emerging directors from the core artistic team to production to front of house everyone is brilliant and there’s something to learn from everyone. I’ll remember this experience for a long time. 

What are you looking forward to doing after this production?

Spending time with my daughters and hopefully making another one? 

Ivan and the Dogs runs at the Young Vic until 20th July. Availability is limited but returns are released online. A returns queue is open from one hour before each performance.

Director Caitriona Shoobridge
Designer  Basia Bińkowska
Lighting Designer  Elliot Griggs
Sound Designer  Xana
Casting Director  Lotte Hines
Movement Director  Natasha Nixon
Voice Coach Anne-Marie Speed
Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Directors Tian Brown-Sampson, Grace Duggan

With Alex Austin

❄️ Winter is coming | 2018 Genesis Future Directors Award Winner

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It is with great pride that we announce today the recipient of the 2018 Genesis Future Directors Award is John R. Wilkinson. He will direct Winter by Jon Fosse (14 – 24 February 2018). Tickets are now on sale! 

We are thrilled that all performances of Winter will be audio described; visit our access for all page for more information.

by Jon Fosse
Direction John R. Wilkinson

An ordinary businessman meets a volatile stranger in a park. So begins a fugue of splintered desires and mistaken meanings.

An everyday encounter unspools with enduring consequences.

Genesis Award winner John R. Wilkinson directs this riveting and hypnotic play.

When performed at the Young Vic in 2011, Jon Fosse’s I am the Wind was described in the Independent as “Some of the greatest theatre I have ever witnessed”.

For more info and to book tickets:

John R. Wilkinson made his directorial debut in 2013 with Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down (York Theatre Royal).  Dramaturgical credits include: You Have Been Watching (Dark Horse) and To Kill a Mockingbird (York Theatre Royal). He is Associate Artist at York Theatre Royal, being mentored by Third Angel. In 2016 he was co-assistant director to Rufus Norris during a four-day intensive workshop and worked as a Connections Director (National Theatre). He trained at Bretton Hall College.

Established in 2012, the Genesis Future Directors Award was created to nurture emerging directors by providing them with an opportunity to explore and develop their craft while creating their first fully resourced production at the Young Vic, recognised for its engagement with young directors. The Award will provide John R. Wilkinson with mentoring and support from the theatre’s unique creative network, which includes Artistic Director David Lan, Genesis Fellow Gbolahan Obisesan, Lead Producer Daisy Heath and Associate Artistic Director Sue Emmas.

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 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.



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 with THE GENESIS FUTURE DIRECTORS AWARD in the subject box.


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

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.


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 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.





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.


trade | Cast announcement

The cast for trade are here! We are very excited to tell you that Ayesha Antoine and Jo Martin will make their Young Vic débuts, and we’ll be welcoming back Sharon Duncan-Brewster, in Bryony Shanahan’s production of trade by debbie tucker green.



Ayesha Antoine by Anna Nightingale

Theatre credits include:The Suicide (National Theatre); Red Velvet ( Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, Garrick Theatre); The Wolf in the Snakeskin Shoes, The House That Will Not Stand (Tricycle); The Ghost Train (Royal Exchange / Told By An Idiot); Venice Preserv’d (The Spectator’s Guild); We are Proud to Present… (Bush Theatre); Tartuffe (Birmingham Rep); Surprises and Absurd Person Singular (Stephen Joseph Theatre); Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Madblud and Familyman (Theatre Royal Stratford East); and The Thirteen Midnight Challenges of Angelus Diablo (RSC).
Film credits include: Pompidou, Bellamy’s People, Skins, Mouth to Mouth and Doctor Who.
Television credits include: Operation Gadgetman.




Sharon Duncan-Brewster by Bader Hower

Theatre credits include:
A Streetcar Named Desire (Manchester Royal Exchange); The Iphigenia Quartet, Yerma (The Gate Theatre); Swallow (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Liverpool Everyman); Hope and Babies (Royal Court); The El Train (Hoxton Hall); A Few Man Friday’s (Riverside Studios) ; The Swan and There is a War (National Theatre); Tiger Country (Hampstead Theatre); Detaining Justice, Seize the Day and Category B, Let there be Love, Fabultion – Premiere Production and Playboys of the West Indies (Tricycle); The Horse Marines (Theatre Royal Plymouth); The Bacchae (National Theatre Scotland); Black Crows (Clean Break/Arcola Theatre); and Dirty Butterfly (Soho Theatre).
pera credits include: Gaddafi   (English National Opera).
 work at the Young Vic includes: A Season in the Congo.
Film credits include: Three and Out, A Blues for Nia (Short film) and The Child (Short film).
 credits include: Unforgotten, Cuffs, Cucumber, The Mimic, The Bible, Top Boy, Doctor Who, EastEnders, Shoot the Messenger, Waking the Dead and Bad Girls.



Jo Martin by Marylin Kingwill

Theatre credits include:
The Rolling Stone (Orange Tree); The Westbridge (The Royal Court); Everything Must Go (Soho Theatre); Family Man, Ready or Not, Funny Black Women on the Edge and Eldarado (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Frontline (Shakespeare’s Globe); Noughts and Crosses, Don Carlos and Oronooko (RSC); Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (Dende Collective/ Lyric  Hammersmith); and Coyote on a Fence  (Royal Exchange, Manchester/Duchess Theatre).
 credits include: A Hundred Streets, Dragonfly, Chalet Girls, 4 3 2 1, Batman Begins and Jolly Boys Last Stand.
Television credits include: Still Open all Hours, Together, EastEnders, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, Casualty, Top Boy, Wizards vs. Aliens, Holby City, The Culshaw and Stephenson Show and Katy Brand Big Arse Show.



Established by John Studzinski 15 years ago, the Genesis Foundation works in partnership with the leaders of prestigious UK arts organisations such as the Royal Court, The Sixteen, Welsh National Opera and the Young Vic. Its largest funding commitment is to programmes that support directors, playwrights and musicians in the early stages of their professional lives.

In addition it awards scholarships to exceptional student actors at LAMDA and commissions stimulating new works, from choral compositions to light installations.

In 2015 the Genesis Foundation launched its first partnership outside the UK, funding residencies for playwrights at New York’s Signature Theatre.

Bryony Shanahan is the seventh recipient of the Genesis Future Directors Award, following Ola Ince (2016), Rikki Henry (2015), Finn Beames (2014), Tinuke Craig (2014), Matthew Xia (2013) and Ben Kidd (2012).

trade by debbie tucker green is directed by Bryony Shanahan and runs 16 – 26 November in the Young Vic’s Claire. Find out more and book your tickets today.  

Ola Ince on Dutchman, race and research

We caught up with Dutchman director, Ola Ince, to discuss how she found Dutchman, why she chose it for the Genesis Future Directors Award and why the play is still so relevant today, over 50 years on from it being written by Amiri Baraka.

Ola shared some of her research with us; the documentaries, videos and articles she explored with the cast and her creative team whilst researching and rehearsing Dutchman. The breadth of research demonstrates how much information goes in to bringing a script to life and the inspiration behind staging the characters and their relationships.

The Sixties – The Years That Shaped a Generation, 2005
Storyville, Black panthers – On BBC iplayer
The African Americans, Many Rivers to Cross, Rise 1940 – 1968
Beat Generation, The Source
Thelonious Monk: Staight No Chaser
Black Power mixtape
Legends, The Motown Invasion
White people, MTV

Amiri Baraka

New York Underground, 1960’s archive footage


Cartoons – for Clay’s attraction to Lula


Dutchman runs at the Young Vic until 16 April:
Find out more about the Genesis Future Directors Award on the Young Vic Directors Program.

Casting Announcement | Dutchman


Lula and Clay meet on the subway on an oppressively hot New York day. Flirtation and conversation quickly turn to violent attraction. As the train ride comes to an explosive end, who will make it out unscathed? Amiri Baraka’s cry of rage, written in 1964, is as crucial today.
Dutchman opens in the Clare on 6 April and we’ve got casting for you. Clare Dunne, Solomon Israel and Renato Paris will feature in Amiri Baraka’s play directed by Ola Ince, winner of a 2016 Genesis Future Directors Award.

Take a look below and get to know the cast.

Clare Dunne.jpgClare Dunne makes her Young Vic debut. Her theatre credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Three Sisters (Lyric, Hammersmith); Detroit, Juno & The Paycock (National Theatre); Henry IV, Julius Caesar (Donmar Warehouse/St. Ann’s Warehouse, New York); Grounded (Tiger Dublin Fringe); 24 Hour Play, Major Barbara (Abbey); Cripple of Inish Maan (US Tour), Druid 35, Playboy of the Western World, UK Tour (Druid) CRUNCH (Nabakov at Latitude Festival); The Silver Tassie (Druid UK and Irl tour) and Babel (Elan Wales). Her film credits include: The Cherishing and Outside and her radio credits include: The News From Home and Her Majesty’s Service.


Solomon Israel makes his Young Vic debut. His theatre credits include: I Know All The Secrets In My World (Tiata Fahodzi), Octagon (Arcola Theatre), Chigger Foot Boys (Ovalhouse Theatre), The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company), Twelfth Night (Royal Shakespeare Company), Comedy Of Errors (Royal Shakespeare Company), Taking Steps (Old Laundry Theatre/Tricycle Theatre), Redemption Over Hammersmith Broadway (Lyric Theatre Hammersmith) and Tuff Love (Bullion Theatre). TV credits include: Josh (BBC), Brothers with No Game (BWNG/London Live), Law and Order (Kudos/ITV), Holby City (BBC) and Quick Cuts (BBC).


Renato Paris makes his Young Vic debut. His theatre credits include: Close To You (West End) and What’s It All About (Menier Chocolate Factory). Renato Paris ALCM graduated with a triple distinction star at The Brit School for Performing Arts and Technology and has recently completed his first year at Trinity Laban Conservatoire pursuing a Jazz Degree.




Dutchman is directed by Ola Ince, winner of a 2016 Genesis Future Directors Award and the show runs at the Young Vic from 6 – 16 April. For more info / to book tickets:
“Dutchman is designed to shock – its basic idea, its language and its murderous rage”The New York Times