For #LoveTheatre Day we handed over the reigns of our Instagram account to our fabulous Costume department so that we could peek into their mad world of costume changes, wigs, mid-show fixes and other behind the scenes action on our production of Twelfth Night.
We’re thrilled to announce a second season of shows from our artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah. From exciting world premieres to gripping adaptations of classics we have got it all coming up in 2019.
Death of A Salesman
By Arthur Miller | Directed by Marianne Elliott
Main House | 1 May – 29 June
“I don’t say he’s a great man…but he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.”
Award-winning director Marianne Elliott brings her unique vision to one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century, seen through the eyes of an African American family.
Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Suits, Selma) makes his UK stage debut as Willy Loman, with Olivier Award-winning Sharon D. Clarke as Linda Loman and Arinzé Kene (Misty, Been So Long) as Biff Loman.
Created by Idris Elba & Kwame Kwei-Armah | Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah
A Young Vic, Manchester International Festival and Green Door Pictures co-production
Young Vic | 29 July – 24 Aug 2019
Manchester International Festival | 29 June – 10 July 2019
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 soundtrack, and Kwame Kwei-Armah, this major world-premiere production, performed in the round.
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.
By Federíco Garcia Lorca, in a new version by Marina Carr | Directed by Yaël Farber
Main House | 19 Sept – 2 Nov 2019
We’re all curious about what might hurt us…
What do you do when the day that’s supposed to be the happiest of your life becomes a living nightmare?
A repressed, passionate love affair rears its head on the day two young people tie the knot. What is done cannot be undone.
Multiple award-winning director Yaël Farber (Les Blancs, Mies Julie, The Crucible), brings Federíco Garcia Lorca’s most famous tragedy Blood Wedding to the Young Vic in a new version by Marina Carr.
By Jackie Sibblies Drury | Directed by Nadia Latif
Main House | 28 Nov 2019 – 18 Jan 2020
“Dazzling and ruthless…a glorious, scary reminder of the unmatched power of live theatre to rattle, roil and shake us wide awake.” —The New York Times (Critic’s Pick)
Following a ground-breaking, sell-out run in New York, Jackie Sibblies Drury’sFairview is an interrogation of our subtly destructive preconceptions. This radical examination of power is directed by Young Vic’s Genesis Fellow / Associate Director, Nadia Latif.
It’s Grandma’s birthday and the Frasier family have gathered to celebrate. Beverly just wants everything to run smoothly, but Tyrone has missed his flight, Keisha is freaking out about college and Grandma has locked herself in the bathroom.
A Young Vic and Los Angeles Performance Practice co-production
Writer, Performer and Sound Designer Okwui Okpokwasili | Director, Visual and Sound Designer Peter Born
Maria Studio | 1 – 29 June
Part theatre, part dance and part visual art installation, Okwui Okpokwasili’sBronx Gothic delves into her memories of growing up in the Bronx, before emerging into a breathtaking exploration of girlhood.
Created in collaboration with Peter Born, in this UK premiere, Bronx Gothic draws on inspiration from West African griot storytelling and the epistolary style of the Victorian novel to ask what it means to be brown in a world that values whiteness.
Okwui Okpokwasili is a 2018 MacArthur ‘Genius Award’ recipient.
By April De Angelis | Directed by Lekan Lawal
Clare Studio | 6 – 16 February
This is some Interview.
Frank is nervous, his interview with Dr Jacqueline Pitt and Dr Marcia Gray is about to begin. If he can do this, it’s his ticket back to Russia.
But secret motivations reveal themselves as the three get caught in each-others’ crossfire during the course of questioning – and all under the ever-present eye of the higher-ups.
Outlandish and surreal, April De Angelis’Wild East artfully turns the most sterile of settings, a corporate job interview, into a sharp comedy about the permeation of human chaos.
Directed by Genesis Award winner Lekan Lawal.
“Wild East is possibly best described as the funniest play Ionesco never wrote, but even that doesn’t do justice to the job interview gone eccentrically, even apocalyptically haywire.” Variety
Ivan & The Dogs
By Hatti Naylor | Directed by Caitriona Shoobridge
Clare Studio | 10 – 20 July
All the money went and there was nothing to buy food with…So mothers and fathers tried to find things they could get rid of, things that ate, things that drank, or things that needed to be kept warm
…The dogs went first.
Four-year-old Ivan would rather face living on the streets of Moscow than stay home. Now, to survive he faces new challenges; from young gangs of boys to the police, and his own hunger.
But all is not lost as Ivan finds family amongst the other outcasts around him – the dogs.
Genesis Award winner Caitriona Shoobridge directs this one-person play exploring the need for kindness and trust, when despite being betrayed by the people around you, family can still be forged in the face of adversity.
“Hattie Naylor’s writing beautifully conveys the incredible way the boy and dogs connected to each other, and one leaves the theatre feeling disgust for those on two legs, but admiration for those on four.” The Telegraph
YV Unpacked: Spring Awakening
By Franz Wedekind |Adapted from the 1891 text by Caroline Byrne | Directed by Caroline Byrne
The Clare | –
He said roses in the flowerbeds have such meagre blooms every summer because they are over-protected and over pruned.
He said he was a weed.
Am I then the rose?
Moritz has been having dreams about legs in blue stockings again. Wendla wants to feel something, anything. Meanwhile, Melchior’s basically got it all figured out…
A vital, timeless tale exploring the consequences of a society which struggles to be open about sex and sexuality.
Featuring a cast including actor-musicians, Caroline Byrne’s timely adaptation is stripped bare by raw percussive energy composed by Tasha Taylor Johnson and Line Bech’s striking costume designs.
The Jumper Factory
Conceived by Young Vic Taking Part & Justin Audibert |By Luke Barnes |Directed by Josh Parr
Maria Studio | 27 February – 9 March
Created in collaboration with inmates at HMP Wandsworth and written by Luke Barnes, this intimate and powerful new piece explores the stories of people behind bars and the resilience they need to face a world that moves without them.
A preview of the National Theatre and National Film Board of Canada production, presented by the Young Vic.
Maria Studio | 21 January – 2 February
Draw Me Close blurs the worlds of live performance, virtual reality and animation to create a vivid memoir about the relationship between a mother and her son in the wake of her terminal-cancer diagnosis.
The experience is by award-winning playwright and filmmaker Jordan Tannahill, in a co-production between the National Theatre’sImmersive Storytelling Studio and National Film Board of Canada, in collaboration with All Seeing Eye, with illustrations by Teva Harrison.
A Young Vic and David Weale-Cochrane and Kwame Kwei-Armah Jr co-production
The 8 Club is a pioneering, free to access, video series investigating the subjects that really matter to young men. Provocative and often unspoken topics for men, such as mental health, ‘toxic masculinity’ and personal relationships are faced head-on.
Release dates to be announced soon.
Taking Part in 2019
Our work with young people and our local communities is a major part of our artistic life, offering free tickets, workshops, projects and the chance to make and perform in shows. Exciting things coming up in 2019 include…
YV Unpackedis a new strand of work, taking the highest quality theatre to people who don’t normally think that theatre is for them. We will be taking shows to refugee centres, prisons, community hubs and homeless shelters as part of this work. Our 2019 Unpacked, following Spring Awakening which will be taken out to the community isShe Ventures, and He Wins, by Ariadne.
The Wonderful Way to Marbleous Town returns in 2019 after a successful run for schools last summer. Directed by Natasha Nixon and designed by Kirsty Harris, this playful non-verbal performance welcomes you into a magical world, where we can discover our true selves. This is part of our work for children and young people who prefer an open and relaxed performance environment. Tickets will be available to SEND schools.
The Freedom Project: Working collaboratively as the UK’s first two Theatres of Sanctuary, The Young Vic and Leeds Playhouse will co-commission a new play exploring the idea of social freedoms.
Written in response to the words and stories of refugees and asylum seekers in London and Leeds, the project will begin at The Young Vic during Refugee Week 2019 and will culminate the following year with a co-production of a new play by Luke Barnes. The piece will be performed by local refugees and asylum seekers in both Leeds and London.
Forest will be our response to Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah’s production of Tree. For the first time, all three strands of Taking Part will come together to make a new show, including our neighbours and friends of all ages. There will be music, dancing, joy and a great story.
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By becoming a Friend you’ll get advance access to this new season of work and you’ll be supporting the Directors Program, our unique training program for emerging directors, and Taking Part, our deep rooted education and engagement program in our local area. Become a Friend
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!
Twelfth Night runs until 17 Nov at the Young Vic. Limited tickets from £10.
We’re thrilled to announce a new season of shows from our new artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah. In addition to this we’ve announced two exciting upcoming projects called My England and YV Unpacked. You can read more about these below.
Tickets are on sale now to YV Friends. Public booking opens at 10am on Monday 23 April.
A Musical Adaptation of William Shakespeare’s
Conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub
Music and Lyrics by Shaina Taub
Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Oskar Eustis
2 Oct – 17 Nov 2018
Shakespeare meets his match as brass bands and Beyoncé weave through this enchanting musical adaptation of Twelfth Night, with music and lyrics by the critically acclaimed songwriter Shaina Taub.
Young Vic Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah and Oskar Eustis co-direct this technicolour celebration of love in all its forms, following a run at the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park.
★★★★ “A rich and gripping drama” – Financial Times
Black Panther star and Tony-nominated writer Danai Gurira’s striking play explores the impact of colonialism and Catholicism on black identity.
It’s 1896 and Jekesai, a young woman fleeing forced marriage, finds herself working for a devout Catholic. Chilford dreams of being an English priest and relishes the opportunity to mould his new convert. But Jekesai’s salvation has its price as her individuality is slowly stripped away…
★★★★ “Shocking, shattering, stunningly well-written” – The Daily Telegraph “Like a shot of caffeine straight in the veins” – The Guardian
From Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis (The Motherf$%ker with the Hat), a dark comedy about the contradictory nature of faith.
Inside the lockdown wing of Rikers Island prison, a frightened young man accused of murdering a cult leader is confronted with a charismatic born-again serial killer and a sadistic guard.
Will one man’s redemption lead to another’s damnation?…
By Naomi Wallace | Directed by Debbie Hannan, 2018 Genesis Award winner
Clare Studio | 15 – 25 August 2018
★★★★ “A gorgeously written and philosophically rich celebration of a black Communist agitator in Depression-era South”
Time Out New York
The knock at the door. Because there is always a knock at the door…
Tice Hogan and his daughter Cali live a quiet life, keeping their heads down, reading the Bible, Karl Marx, and washing the rich folks’ laundry. Until one day an unknown white factory worker crashes into their lives.
Weaving the spiritual into the political, Things of Dry Hours interrogates the idea that humans cannot change; are we really all that black and white?
2018 Genesis Award winner Debbie Hannan directs this tantalizing, poetic play.
My England is a celebration of playwrights from across regions of England. The works look at what it means to be English. Video monologues will be recorded and shown on the Young Vic social media channels.
Confirmed commissions include work from: Leo Skilbeck, Omar El-Khairy, Polly Stenham, Barrie Rutter, Jack Thorne and May Sumbwanyambe.
YV Unpacked is a new strand of work, taking the highest quality theatre to people who do not normally think that theatre is for them. We will be taking shows to refugee centres, prisons, community hubs and home-less shelters as part of this work. The first work to be taken out to the community is:
Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind, directed Caroline Byrne.
Nick Gasson is currently starring in Wingsat the Young Vic. His character is struggling to rebuild his communication skills after experiencing aphasia – a condition that affects the brain and leads to problems with speech and language.
We caught up with Nick to ask him these 11 questions . . .
1. Can you describe your character in Wings in three words?
Recovering stroke victim
2. What can the audience expect from this production that’s different to anything else they are likely to have seen before?
Wings is an extra-sensory experience!
3. What’s the most exciting thing about being part of this Young Vic production?
Working with such an amazing team of actors and crew
4. Emily Stilson was a wing walker. What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Going on the ‘tea-cups’ ride at the funfair!
4. How do you think this show will make audiences feel?
Apart from hugely impressed at Juliet Stevenson’s performance, I think they will feel like they have a better understanding of what goes on in the head of someone who’s had a major stroke
5. What has it been like working with Natalie Abrahami?
Wonderful. Her approach is always collaborative and the final results are finely detailed
6. What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
Reading the papers!
7. What is your favourite play you’ve either seen, read or worked on?
There have been so many but in terms of taking part, playing the old tramp Davies in 3 tours of The Caretaker. Plays that really stunned me when I saw them include Bent and Angels in America, both at the National Theatre.
What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?
Writing and performing in play at primary school
8. What’s the funniest thing that happened to you recently?
I was in my local bar in Spain and Bobby Davro walked in. You have to be fairly old to know who he is, but he was a popular comedian / entertainer on TV in the 1980’s.
9. What’s the one thing you value most in life?
Got to be either health or the feeling of warm sun on your face
10. Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you ever met them?
No longer with us: David Bowie. I’d say ‘Fancy a pint?’. Alive: Judi Dench. I’d say ‘Fancy a cuppa and a chat?’
11. If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
I wish I’d been born in ’67 rather than ’57. So much changed for the better in those 10 years.
Wings runs at the Young Vic until 4 November. Juliet Stevenson stars as Emily, an aviator who suffers a stroke that destroys her sense of reality. Fragments of her life come together as she struggles to find her voice and sense of self.
The Young Vic is thrilled to announce that Kwame Kwei-Armah will become the new Artistic Director in February 2018.
Kwame Kwei-Armah will become the new Artistic Director in February 2018
Kwame Kwei-Armah is an award-winning director and playwright and the outgoing Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage where he directed extensively. Directing credits also include New York’s Public Theater, Signature Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Repertory Theatre. His production of One Night in Miami at the Donmar Warehouse was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play.
His works as playwright include One Love (Birmingham Rep), Marley, Beneatha’s Place (Baltimore Center Stage), Elmina’s Kitchen, Fix Up, Statement of Regret (National Theatre) and Let There Be Love and Seize the Day (Tricycle Theatre). Kwame was the Chancellor of the University of the Arts London from 2010-15, and in 2012 was awarded an OBE for Services to Drama.
Kwame will succeed David Lan further to the announcement that he would be stepping down in 2018 after 18 years in the role. Kwame will announce his first season of work as Artistic Director in the new year.
Kwame Kwei-Armah says: “To walk into the Young Vic is to come face to face with everything I love about theatre, so I am beyond humbled, if not a little scared. But to lead this magnificent theatre at this time in our nation’s history, after such a visionary as David, excites me beyond words. I can’t wait to get started.”
Patrick McKenna, Chair of the Board, says: “After meeting Kwame the panel was unanimous in its decision to appoint him as the next leader for this remarkable institution. Kwame’s wealth of experience directing, writing and working with the local community in Baltimore and beyond will translate beautifully to his new role leading the work on the Young Vic’s three stages as well as its pioneering outreach and education work in London.”
David Lan, outgoing Artistic Director, says: “The choice the panel has made is inspired. I welcome it wholeheartedly and will do whatever I can to support Kwame in the early days as he finds his own distinctive way to keep the Young Vic one of the great producing theatres of this country and the world.”
The reviews are in forNina: A Story about me & Nina Simone! Josette Bushell-Mingo, and her three piece band, mix story and song as she draws together tales from the life of Nina Simone, Josette’s own extraordinary career and the Black Lives Matter movement. This production is all sold out but you are welcome to join our returns queue from 6.45pm each night.
You can read the reviews below and check out what audiences have been saying so far in our Storify round up.
Josette Bushell-Mingo and band in Nina at the Young Vic. Photo by Simon Annand