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

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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.

Within Reach | A Taking Part community response to The Inheritance

“It’s been a wonderfully rewarding process. Not only have I learnt how to awaken my body through movement, but I’ve learnt that speech isn’t always needed to create a powerful, emotive performance.”

Created by a group of individuals who have a relationship to HIV and/or AIDS, Within Reach was inspired by the themes found within Matthew Lopez’s The Inheritance.

This poignant response piece used movement to physically explore participants experiences, memories, challenges and beliefs over the course of two months.

Within Reach image © Leon Puplett

Director Grace Gibson, supported through the Jerwood Assistant Director Programme at the Young Vic, told us more about this work:

“The topic of HIV and AIDS is huge and means different things to different people. We can only speak (or in this case move) from our own experiences. Each individual has brought their own story and energy to the process and it has been a true collaboration.”

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YV TP - Within Reach © Leon Puplett-08712

One of our amazing participants, Jill, recorded a poem alongside Sound Designer George Dennis as a personal reflection of her time working with us. Listen here:

Our Director Grace went on to explain why she chose movement as the means to tell the story:

“This is the first time the full group have used movement as a form of self-expression. Through exercises involving trust, contact and improvisation the company created a safe and generous environment in which they allowed each other to openly share and take risks.”

You can read some audience responses to the piece here:

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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Sadiq Khan visits the Young Vic | #LondonIsOpen

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan visited the Young Vic this week to meet our Artistic Director, David Lan and Executive Director, Lucy Woollatt and watch Simon Stone’s Yerma.

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Saadiya Khan, Executive Director Lucy Woollatt, Artistic Director David Lan and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

The Young Vic recently became the first Theatre of Sanctuary in London and we are thrilled to continue in this spirit by supporting the Mayor’s #LondonIsOpen campaign which reflects how the Young Vic’s doors are open to all. The #LondonIsOpen campaign reassures the more than one million foreign nationals who live in London that they will always be welcome.

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#LondonIsOpen at the Young Vic

Announcing #LondonIsOpen Sadiq Khan said, “Few if any other cities can rival London for arts and culture, and our West End shows are an enormous draw for visitors and talent from around the world. Together, we are sending the message, loud and clear, that London is open. We are open to the world’s performers, to businesses, to people and ideas, and I encourage everyone to join us in getting behind the campaign and remind the world that London is the greatest city on earth.”

Find out more about the campaign on london.gov.uk