★★★★ “Wonder-inducing, inspiring, pulls out all the stops” | Reviews for Life of Galileo

The reviews are coming in thick and fast for Life of Galileo. This stunning production by BAFTA award-winning film director Joe Wright sees Brendan Cowell star as Galileo with original music by The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands and out-of-this-world projections by 59 Productions.

Check out the reviews below and read what our audiences have been saying so far on Storify.

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★★★★
“Wonder-inducing, inspiring, pulls out all the stops”
The Telegraph | Read the full review

★★★★
“Joe Wright’s take on Brecht is inventive and absorbing”
The Evening Standard | Read the full review

★★★★
“Brendan Cowell is magnificent in the title role”
The Independent | Read the full review

★★★★
“This is a trip, and a good one at that.”
Time Out | Read the full review

★★★★
“Joe Wright’s visually stunning production”
What’sOnStage | Read the full review

Life of Galileo runs in the Young Vic Main House until 1 July 2017, make sure to snap up your tickets now.

Want more? Catch a behind the scene look at the cast in rehearsals, and production photography of the company on Lizzie Clachan’s phenomenal set.

Life of Galileo at the Young Vic. Photo by Leon Puplett Projections by 59 Productions (2)

Life of Galileo at the Young Vic. Photo by Leon Puplett, projections by 59 Productions.

Colm Meaney joins the cast of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

We are thrilled to announce that Colm Meaney will play Big Daddy in the Young Vic production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof directed by Benedict Andrews, alongside Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell. 

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Colm Meaney by Andrew H. Walker

Colm Meaney was last on stage in London alongside Kevin Spacey in Moon for the Misbegotten at the Old Vic, with the production subsequently transferring to Broadway. His other theatre credits include Breaking the Code, The Cider House Rules, Juno and the Paycock, and more. Earlier this year, Meaney won the Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role in Film for his portrayal of Martin McGuinness in The Journey, opposite Timothy Spall. Additional film credits include all three adaptations of Roddy Doyle’s The Barrytown Trilogy (The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van)Die Hard 2Dick TracyThe Last of the MohicansFar and AwayCon AirLayer CakeThe Damned United and Halal Daddy, to be released this summer.  He has also appeared in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa with Steve Coogan, as well as the comedy-drama One Chance, the story of Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts. Meaney voiced the role of the ‘Miles Standish’ in Free Birds and ‘Grandpa’ in Norm of the North. He is best known on television for his long-running role as ‘Chief Miles O’Brien’ in the hit series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Meaney also starred in AMC’s western series Hell on Wheels and will next be seen in TNT’s new period drama Will in the role of James Burbage.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  will play at the Apollo Theatre, 31 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES, 13 July – 7 October 2017. For more info and to book tickets, click here.

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11 Questions with the cast of Life of Galileo – Brendan Cowell

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1. Can you describe your character in Life of Galileo in three words?

Brave, wise and naive.

2. What’s it been like working with Joe Wright?

Joe’s a bit of a visionary. He has wild ideas but the uncanny ability to make them all assimilate effortlessly. And he has a big sweet heart!

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

Well, we rehearse a lot. On Yerma, the script was being written whilst we worked, whereas with Brecht it seems crucial to analyse the text thoroughly before experiencing it.

4. What can the audience expect from this production that’s different to anything else they are likely to have seen before?

We’ve taken a dense old play about science and tempted it into a sexy and visceral night of dreams and brutality.

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

Getting dressed! I never got into drama school so I lack proper preparation. I try and make people relax.

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

Hamlet (all three)

7. If you could travel anywhere in the universe, where would you go and why?

I am scared of the ocean and of anything beyond the earth, unlike Galileo. I’m happy with all I know to be real.

8. What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?
My sisters were singers and dancers growing up. Watching them made me want to make things up.

9. Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you ever met them?
I would have liked to meet Jeff Buckley and maybe drive along the coast of Spain with him.

10. If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
Will Power.

11. If you could relocate to another planet, which would it be and why?
No, I can barely control my feelings and curiosities for this weird and wonderful joint called Earth.

Life of Galileo runs 6 May – 1 July at the Young Vic directed by BAFTA Award-winning director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice).  Brendan Cowell plays Galileo following his acclaimed performance in Yerma.  Book tickets now.

Photo credit: Johan Persson

YV takes home Best Actress and Best Revival for Yerma at the 2017 Olivier Awards

We are overjoyed and honoured to have won two Olivier Awards at this year’s ceremony. Last night the talented Billie Piper won Best Actress for her role as ‘Her’ in Yerma, with the production itself taking out Best Revival. Our congratulations go out to all the winners across the categories.

Yerma-Olivier-Winner

Following a sold out run in 2016, Yerma returns to the Young Vic this July.  The two Olivier Awards adds to Billie Piper’s previous wins for this role of; Best Actress Evening Standard Theatre Awards, Best Actress Critic’s Circle Theatre Awards and Best Actress WhatsOnStage Awards.

If you missed out on Yerma tickets for its run at the Young Vic, the production will be broadcast from 31 August by NT Live. For tickets and info, click here.

Check out some behind the scene snaps below:

Billie Piper after her Best Actress win.

Artistic Director David Lan with the Best Revival Olivier.

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Best Actress winner Billie Piper on the red carpet beforehand.

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Holly Williams in discussion with David Lan

Young Vic production ofA Midsummer Night's Dream Directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins

It starts with a play – and a passion. The Young Vic may have developed a reputation as the home of so-called ‘director’s theatre’, offering radical takes on classic plays directed by the likes of Joe Hill-Gibbins, Ivo van Hove, Benedict Andrews, Carrie Cracknell and Simon Stone, but for artistic director David Lan, the really crucial component is still the play. The right director is the person who mounts a convincing case for urgently staging it right here, right now.

“What I start from is the premise that there’s no point doing the play unless we’re excited by what’s in the play,” he explains. “You’ve got to love it. With A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we’re doing it because Joe said, ‘I really really want to do it’.” It’s this compulsion to revisit a classic, looking anew at “how is this relevant now?” that often leads to the “most surprising and deep response.”

A surprising response to a well-loved play – including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with its magic, fairies and romance – can raise hackles, even if it does spring from a director’s own love affair with the material.

Lan recognises that unusual stagings of classic plays make some audiences anxious.

“Part of my job is to find a way to say ‘it’s fine: it may not be exactly what you think it’s going to be, but it’s good! It’s real.  You’re not being cheated out of anything.’” Indeed, the hope is that by shaking off the shackles of over-familiarity, the play comes into a sharp new focus – as was the case with van Hove’s A View from the Bridge, Cracknell’s A Doll’s House or Stone’s Yerma.

“People say, don’t you sometimes want to get out of the way and just ‘do’ the play? But you can’t just ‘do’ the play,” Lan suggests. To him, any production is a series of choices, from what the actors bring to their parts to the visual world a designer creates. Any performance that has a director is, in a sense, director’s theatre because they guide these choices. “With any production, you’re always going to see the particular director’s take on the play; it just might not be a very interesting director!”

The notion, especially when it comes to Shakespeare, that actors should simply speak the text or trust the language is also naive. “A robot could just ‘say the words’, but an actor can’t, because they’re a human being and what they’re responding to is the meaning those words have in the situation they’re in.”

And this response can be – should be – complicated and multifaceted. If there’s one thing Lan really wants a Young Vic production to do, it’s to explore the contradictions inherent in being human, contradictions which the best dramatists reveal. They’re certainly there in Shakespeare.

Young Vic production ofA Midsummer Night's Dream Directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins

“We’re trying to say, all human life is here. And audiences feel that, they’re not patronised, the characters in this play are as complicated and complex as they are. Everybody’s life is a complete mess, everybody is going ‘god I don’t know what to do’ – and that’s in the plays. Don’t try to resolve it. Stage the contradiction.”

That means allowing the play to be complex: A Midsummer Night’s Dream might turn out to be stranger than we expect. The material shouldn’t be treated with stuffy reverence but as an obligatory dose of cultural medicine.

“It’s not to do with simplifying, or saying ‘oh this is a bit like a druggy rave so let’s get a lot of polythene…’ No bullshit, [but also] no worthiness, no saying it’s good for us.” Just the question: is there actually something there for us, today, in a certain play?

In attempting to answer this question, the Young Vic has become known for its distinctive takes on familiar works (not that, as Lan points out, the theatre would be considered radical compared to most European theatres) but while he’s “delighted that people think that if you go to the Young Vic you will get something special, or unexpected, or surprising”, he also hopes that people think of the Young Vic as a place where you still “really get the play.” That’s where it starts – and that’s where it ends, too.

By Holly Williams

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is running at the Young Vic until 1 April. Find our more about the show and book tickets here.

YV Blind Date – Alice & Max 💕 – “Very good date night play”

Blind date

Alice on Max:

What were you hoping for?

An evening of good company, and a way of meeting someone new outside my normal social circle that enjoys the theatre and the arts.

First impressions?

Max was approachable, friendly and made me feel at ease.

What did you drink in The Cut Bar and was it a good place for pre-theatre mingling?

A G & T to calm my blind date nerves. The bar had a nice buzz about it and a relaxed atmosphere for a date.

What did you talk about before the show?

His job, which is fascinating, where we grew up and that someone he went to LAMDA with was in the play (a small world).
My job, and how I (try to) balance my social life and theatre/gig going schedule.
Pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones.

Any awkward moments?

I was 5 minutes late due to a Citymapper fail (map reading is not my strong point). Sorry!
Oh and we almost forgot to take the selfie.

Describe him in 3 words.

Intriguing, smiley, a gentleman.

What did you think of #YVDream and was it a good date night play?

I’d thoroughly recommend it as a date night play, the humour and muddy mayhem worked well.

Rate the date using as many emojis as you like.

🎭😂👍🏻📷

Would you meet again? (Romantically/as friends/as theatre companions)

As theatre companions, we had lots to talk about and he’d been to some interesting productions I haven’t seen yet.

Max on Alice:

What were you hoping for?

Love! Crazy love!

First impressions?

Very good.

What did you drink in The Cut Bar and was it a good place for pre-theatre mingling?

Tonic water, great place to meet- atmosphere, music, lively people, good vibe.

What did you talk about before the show?

Our interests/work and theatre/shows we’d seen before.

Any awkward moments?

I don’t feel awkwardness on dates, it’s a waste of time.

Describe her in 3 words.

Articulate, pretty, chilled.

What did you think of #YVDream and was it a good date night play?

Very good date night play- for Shakespeare fans, which we were.

Rate the date using as many emojis as you like. 

👁📸🎉🌘🍈🍸🎼🎭

Would you meet again? (Romantically/as friends/as theatre companions)

No.

Max and Alice met at The Cut Bar & Restaurant before watching A Midsummer Night’s Dream, running at the Young Vic until 1 April. Find our more about the show here, or let us know if you want us to carry on with #YVBlindDate and would apply yourself: marketing@youngvic.org.

World premiere announced: Paul Mason’s Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere

We are delighted to announce a new show Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere by Paul Mason and directed by David Lan, which will be performed 28 – 30 March 2017 in the Young Vic’s Maria studio. Tickets are free and will be allocated by ballot. The show will be filmed and broadcast at a later date by BBC Television as part of Performance Live.

“What kind of revolution is this?”

The world premiere of a play about revolution.

This is the story of the networked generation. How did we get from the optimism of the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement to Trump’s election and the dislocation of the present day?

Journalist Paul Mason teams up with Young Vic artistic director David Lan for this powerful and challenging new show based on Paul’s acclaimed book.

Performed by Paul Mason, Khalid Abdalla, Lara Sawalha and Sirine Saba in promenade with stunning video designs, the audience will interact with the company throughout the show.

Tickets for the limited run are one per person and available exclusively through our online ballot. More details below.

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The ‘How’, the Terms, and the Conditions:

  • Click through to our ballot form here to register for free tickets.
  • Fill out the required fields including which performance you would like to attend.
  • You must apply by 12pm Wednesday 22 March.
  • Winners will be contacted on Thursday 23 March by email.
  • If you don’t respond with confirmation by 12pm Friday 24 March your ticket will be assigned to another applicant.
  • If you are successful in getting a ticket, but are unable to attend the performance, the ticket is non transferable and will be assigned to another applicant.
  • You must bring photo identification with you that matches your name to the ballot entry.
  • Audience participation is a key part of the performance so please be prepared to have the company interact with you.
  • This performance is being filmed for the BBC. By ticking the filming permissions box on the ballot, you agree to be filmed for inclusion in the programme, and give all rights for use to the producers in perpetuity
  • The YV promises that you will not receive unsolicited mail by supplying your personal details.