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.

 

11 Questions with the cast of The Bear / The Proposal – Rebecca Root

You may recognise her from Trans Scripts, The Danish Girl or Boy Meets Girl  amongst other things … It’s Rebecca Root’s 11 Questions on eating gin (eating?) and more below. 

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Rebecca Root 

1) Describe your stage presence in three emojis or words?

Spirited, unexpected, present.

2) What’s it been like working on a Young Vic Genesis show?

Hard work, exhilarating, enervating, joyful.

3) What is one thing you would like people to know about the gender-fierce*/gender queer community? 

We’re just like you.

4) What are you usually doing 10 minutes before a show begins?

Doing final checks (props, make up etc); running through a scene in my head; reciting Shakespeare’s 29th Sonnet as a personal talisman.

5) What is your favourite part of the rehearsal process?

Coming off book for the first time. Like riding a bike without stabilisers.

6) What did you want to be growing up?

A female actor.

7) If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Gin. Wait, does that count? Sunday roast if not. Chicken, trimmings, the lot. And gin.

8) What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?

Doing the school nativity play when I was 4.

9) What’s your favourite play you’ve seen, read or worked on?

Hamlet.

10) If you could be a superhero who would it be and why?

Wonder Woman. Because of the pants.

11) Would you rather have the hiccups for the rest of your life, or always feel like you have to sneeze but not be able to?

Sneeze. There’s so much drama in the anticipation.

Rebecca stars in The Bear / The Proposal   which runs 15 – 25 Mar in the Young Vic’s Clare. Tickets for this production are all sold out but you are welcome to join our returns queues from an hour before each performance. Find more information on The Bear / The Proposal here

Young Vic nominated for 4 Oliviers!

We are absolutely thrilled to have been nominated for 4 Olivier Awards for Yerma and Cuttin’ It. The biggest congratulations to all the cast, crew and creatives involved. 

The ceremony to announce the winners will be on Sunday 9 April, we hope you’ll join us in crossing your fingers and toes until then. More details on the nominated awards below.

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Best Revival
Yerma

Best Director
Simon Stone, Yerma

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Best Actress
Billie Piper, Yerma

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Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre
Cuttin’ It

You can watch the full Olivier Award Nomination ceremony here.

*Yerma photo credits: Johan Persson. Cuttin’ It photo credit: David Sandison.

TBT – Tarell Alvin McCraney at the Young Vic

On Sunday 26 February 2017, Tarell Alvin McCraney made history by becoming the third African-American writer to win an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Moonlight. The film, based on his play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, also took home the Academy Award for Best Picture.

The Young Vic’s Maria theatre was home to the 2007 UK premiere of Tarell’s The Brothers Size which was also nominated for an Olivier Award. In 2008, Tarell returned to the Young Vic to remount the production and to stage the European premiere of his work In the Red and Brown Water in the Main House. That same year, he won the Evening Standard’s Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright.

‘The Young Vic has shown so much faith in my work.’ Tarell McCraney interview with TimeOut

In honour of this huge win and his amazing talent, we wanted to post a few quotes celebrating Tarell’s work at the Young Vic:

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Ony Uhiara and Adjoa Andoh in In the Red and Brown Water. Photo by Keith Pattison.

‘No piece of total theatre could have better lived up to the promise of its title than Tarell Alvin McCraney’s extraordinary In the Red and Brown Water… McCraney is a distinctive voice in American theatre.’  The Evening Standard review of In the Red and Brown Water read the full review here

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The set of In the Red and Brown Water. Photo by Keith Pattison.

‘Tarell Alvin McCraney is a name to remember… the virtue of McCraney’s play lies in the clarity of its storytelling and its ability to yoke different cultures.’ The Guardian review of In the Red and Brown Water read the full review here

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Ashley Walters in In the Red and Brown Water. Photo by Keith Pattison.

‘McCraney has a talent for painting pictures and characters with words.’ The Daily Mail review of In the Red and Brown Water

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Nathaniel Martello-White, Nyasha Hatendi and Obi Abili in In the Red and Brown Water. Photo by Marc Brenner.

‘An instant hit with critics and public alike.’ The Evening Standard on The Brothers Sizeread the full article here

11 Questions with the cast of See Me Now – Flynt

flyntFormer development executive Flynt (née Daniel Inglés, née Gabriel) was reborn in Paris in 2012 under the instruction of Madame Paula, a legendary Latina courtesan, following a slight misunderstanding near a towpath. After some time perfecting his craft amongst wealthy ladies around the continent, Flynt returned to his home town of London, where he had to relearn everything, because the English still don’t seem to know what they want. A bi-lingual, multi-instrumental, adventure-seeking polymath, Flynt lists his hobbies as mixing us the perfect pink gin, giving you foot rubs, and always remembering exactly where we left the car.

If you could only eat one ‘Penny Sweet’ for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Probably Jelly Beans. A least there’s variety.

What is one common misconception about the sex industry you would like to change?

There is nothing seedy or wrong about paying for sex, as long as your provider has made that decision for themselves. Though I appreciate that ‘decision’ in many contexts is a complicated issue, which is why these things need talking about, and not be buried under bizarre legislation or moral posturing.

What is one thing you would like people to know about sex work? 

It comes in more flavours than there are Jelly Beans. I didn’t appreciate that until I got to know my fellow cast members. We all appear to have found our respective niches and then worked the hell out of them for whatever reason, be that good or bad. But sex work does seem to be necessarily solitary. It sounds like a contradiction given the physical exchange of the job, but there you go. And yes, many of us care very much about our clients – the nice ones, anyway (so I guess that’s more than one thing).

Is this your first time working in theatre? What’s it been like?

I’ve worked in both television and publishing, but never theatre, which forces collaboration like no other. Your deadline is a live space, and the feedback from audiences is immediate, and unpredictable, and intoxicating.

Describe the See Me Now rehearsal room vibes in three words (or emojis).

“Shitload of doors” (You really need to see the show to understand this!)

What did you want to be growing up?

A writer, actor or director. Professionally speaking, I have accomplished the first two, and only one of those also involved having sex for money …

If days were 28 hours long, what would you do with the 4 extra hours?

I’d cook! I love to cook and I never have time. My beautiful fiancee is from the Brazilian state of Bahia. She produces the most fantastic quick food with cheap ingredients and a pressure cooker. I need to get back in the kitchen.

What’s your favourite song and why?

It changes all the time, but in the show I play the blues piano for Dee, another cast member. She’s a pleasure to accompany, has a phenomenal voice, and her tune is really catchy. We all go home humming it.

What’s your favourite play or movie you’ve ever seen? 

Macbeth, Jaws, The Book of Mormon, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Big Leboswki .. a lot of the usual suspects. But I remember having dreams after seeing The Cherry Orchard  as directed by Sam Mendes with Simon Russell Beale in about 2009, that really affected me. I have a BA in English Lit but Chekov was a bit lost on me until then. My guiltiest pleasure is And Then There Were None  by Agatha Christi, which I saw as a fourteen year old boy somewhere in Ontario, Canada. It still amazes me that she could employ such broadly wooden characterisation and murder almost her entire cast in quite silly ways over ninety minutes or so, yet modern audiences, myself included, remain credulous and hypnotised. Theatre magic.

If you could have one supernatural power which would you choose and why?

Flight. But only while invisible.

Do you think you will want to continue being involved in theatre after this production?

Yes , at least with the Young Vic. It is a remarkable place to work, a worthwhile place to think, and has a fine bar in which to make friends and people-watch. Should it not happen, I will cherish the memory.

Flynt stars in See Me Now  which runs 11 Feb – 4 Mar in the Young Vic’s Maria. Tickets for this production are all sold out but you are welcome to join our returns queues from an hour before each performance. Find more information on See Me Now here

Behind See Me Now – Interview with Imogen Brodie and Kirsten Adam

A 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 aim was to make an original performance created by the company, formed by whatever they chose to share.  The project has been developed over the last 2 years, and is now playing as See Me Now in the YV Maria.

Imogen Brodie , Director of Taking Part, and Kirsten Adam, Two Boroughs & Directors Program Project Manager, talk about the process behind the project below.

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Governess Elizabeth in See Me Now –  Photography by Matt Humphrey

How did the concept for See Me Now come about?

Imogen Brodie (IB): The first thing was that we had been thinking about how to do a project alongside Measure for Measure which was in the Main House a couple of years ago. We did a project with Look Left Look Right at the Maudsley (Hospital), and it came about from conversations we’d had about wanting to make a show with sex workers. And the fact that the representation of sex workers in Measure for Measure, well it’s Shakespearean, so it’s really old and abusive, and quite comical.

Kirsten Adam (KA): And sex workers don’t have a voice in it at all. They’re an integral part of the story but they don’t have a voice, so it was an interesting way to flip that and give them a voice.

See Me Now and Now We Are Here have both been TP community/parallel shows that have been opened up to the public, Why do you think it’s important to share these stories?

IB: I think with both of those plays they’re very marginalised groups of people, that everybody feels they have knowledge of. Particularly with sex workers, and more recently with refugees, people think they know what the story is, but really the stories are much more broad, and rich, and individual.

KA: Sex workers are depicted a lot in fiction, in films and TV and things, but very seldom are those stories developed from real experience, or they’re developed from one experience. One thing we were really keen with for See Me Now in the first place was to go there is not one story, there is not one ‘this is what the life of a sex worker is’, but to look at the range of experiences and opinions.

IB: And also remembering people who are part of a group are just people. They happen to be a refugee or a sex worker but they’re just people with all of the same concerns as people who don’t fall into those categories. We wanted to show that as well, that is was about the humanity of people who happen to work in the sex industry. That we have all of the same life issues like paying bills and sorting out their tax.

KA: A lot of See Me Now is about work that’s actually not specific to sex work. It’s about what it’s like to earn a wage, and a lot of it’s about life. As we went through the process a lot of the stuff that was interesting and that we found most revealing, wasn’t about sex work, it was about people as human beings.

IB: I think we also found out that the group felt there were kind of two stories, it was either Happy Hooker or Trafficked Victim. And that the majority of them didn’t fall into either of those categories and wanted to say that there’s more to it than that. That actually it’s a profession that will be around forever and ever but that you can’t say you’re a sex worker as a valid life choice. That you still have to keep it hidden and a secret, we wanted to expose that.  Also the group are very keen to decriminalise, that’s the only unifying thought amongst them. Like any group they have lots of different opinions, but that one thing about safety and decriminalisation is really important to communicate as well.

How did you go about finding the participants for this kind of project?

KA: We worked with a lot of partner organisations such as SWISH and the Terrance Higgins Trust, Ugly Mugs, Praed Street Project, and we worked with a woman called Emily Elgar who had been an outreach worker at SWISH. So we did lots of work going to sexual health clinics, or support services. Meeting people in those places, so that we were coming to them rather than expecting them to come to us straight away. There was quite a lot of interviewing people in those places, especially the more vulnerable or street based sex workers, who are not living lives where they can come in and do a workshop every Saturday. Imogen went to an outreach service.

IB: It’s this really brilliant service called Open Doors and they particularly look after street sex workers. From 10 o’clock in the evening till 3 o’clock in the morning they drive the streets of Hackney, and they know everyone, so they stop at everyone who’s working and give out condoms, Kit Kats and tea – just things that will keep everyone going. That service has now been cut, the funding has been cut for it, and so has another amazing service called Praed  Street Project, their funding has been cut and also some of SWISH.  It’s one of the hidden things that have happened over the last couple of years, since the Tories have got their claws in, those services are disappearing really fast.

KA: There’s a lot of amalgamating those services with services for those who were trafficked or with alcohol and drug dependencies. And there is a lot of cross over but being a sex worker doesn’t mean you are a drug addict or trafficked. You can be a sex worker and still need the support that those services offered. But it’s just a way to balance the budget really rather than to do what’s best by the people.

IB: Emily was brilliant because she’d done that job herself of supporting people. She already had a level of trust in those services. So it meant that our way into that was based on good faith.

KA: We had quite a gentle beginning. The first thing we did was have a tea party for the people that might be interested, that was back in April 2015, that was a chance for them to meet us, Mimi and Molly and find out what it might be like. Because for anyone, this is not specific to sex workers, anyone who hasn’t worked in theatre before ‘come and do a workshop’ doesn’t mean anything.  What’s a workshop? So we did that and had nice baked goods and then we started the series of workshops.

IB: I don’t think we talked about sex work for about 3 months. Everyone knew that’s why we were together but the stuff we did was much more about getting to know each other, working out what people were interested in in terms of writing, performing or what things they wanted to share with the group. The first version of this show, when it was Brolly Project, had much less about sex work in it than See Me Now does because I think that was the last thing that came out. So all of those relationships were made before the sex work questions happened.

KA: I think a lot of the sex work stuff when it did come up was a lot of us just talking. We did an exercise about ‘What were health and safety instructions for your workplace?’. So that was about the sex industry being their workplace, but it wasn’t about going ‘So tell me about…’. We met someone early on who said the first thing people always asked her was how much she charged. And she said ‘Would you ever ask someone how much they earn the first time you meet them?’. It’s just so rude.  So I think we wanted to get know people and actually see what the show could be coming out of that. It could have been that the first version had nothing about sex work in it. If that’s what they’d wanted to say, that’s what we would have played.

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Peter and company in See Me Now –  Photography by Matt Humphrey

You’d talked about trust and relationships, how did you build those?

IB: It’s about being interested in other people. Making sure that when they come here, the experience they have is comfortable and friendly. That you’ve got all the things that make you feel welcome: food and drink, and an atmosphere that feels like we’re all in one thing together. The breaking down of the hierarchy in that room was really important. Because one group of people in there have a certain experience and another group of people in there have a completely different one. Sharing experiences that we do have in common was really important; being children, being parents, being partners, being all of the things that are unifying. It was a very open space. We did a lot of work particularly with this group about anonymity and about us not sharing it outside the room. I think that made a big difference. I think we just got on very well, it was about it being fun and not asking people to relive trauma. Sometimes that happens, because that’s what people want to talk about but that wasn’t our driving force.

KA:  We did a lot of other stuff around the workshops. Going to see shows here, going to see shows other places, and just keeping people involved in what we were doing. Especially after the Brolly Project had been on, that was on in August 2015 so there’s quite a big gap between then and now. So we’ve all worked really hard to keep in touch.  That might be just having a cup of tea with people or chatting on the phone or walking the dog in Battersea Park.

IB: It’s about being aware if you want people to carry on working with you that you have a responsibility to them. We don’t feel like we’re giving anything to them, we’re in a dialogue and it’s a two way relationship. We’ve done loads of fun things together and I think that really builds a foundation. We went to Latitude together, to do a really early version of Brolly and we went to HighTide last year. It’s about the consistent friendship, which obviously has some boundaries but is very generous on both sides. I think because they’re naturally such a generous group of people it was really easy for us to do that. But certainly needed to be consistent; doing little gatherings, making sure that when they came to the theatre they were always invited together so that it was easy to keep in touch with each other.

KA: And we’ll continue you do that after the show as well. You have such a downer after a show finishes anyway, and I imagine a lot of them will just go back to whatever they were doing before, so you want to feel like it has a legacy rather than just going ‘Thanks guys, see you later’.

IB: Also we started the development for See Me Now really early on. We’ve been working workshops and development sessions since July last year, and since then we’ve met most Saturdays.

And is that a different process to other TP projects?

KA: Not really. Just over a longer period of time, because we’ve had the two incarnations.

IB: But the form and the structure’s the same. I think we really hit a rich vein of storytelling with this group of people. Because of the work they have done, they’re very open minded and good at socialising. They have to be good at making other people feel comfortable, that’s part of the job that they either have done or still do.

KA: And they’ve all been very naturally good performers, which is not that surprising really. When you think about working to make someone else feel comfortable, that’s kind of what they’re doing with an audience.

IB: So it has almost been an easier process.

Is there anything else you want to say about the project?

KA: It’s been really jokes.

IB: Really hilarious, full scale hilarious, the whole way through. So resilient and so fun. Super smart. Anyone who’s had to navigate the sort of experiences they have has to be proper savvy.  They’re all really interesting on a really deep level as people, so it’s just been fascinating and I feel really privileged to have worked on it. It’s been such an incredible experience and we’ve learnt so much about sex and sexuality.

KA: And the span of people’s sexuality. It does make you reassess your own prejudices  – about the clients I would say more than the workers. Even a lot of people who are very open minded about sex workers, still go ‘Oooh clients = bad’.  But actually, they’re so generous about their clients and honest – there are awful people but also people that they are building a relationship with.

IB: It’s shifted all that understanding and that’s what I hope it does for people who watch it. Shifts the understanding of sex, sexuality, relationships and people.

See Me Now  runs 11 Feb – 4 Mar in the Young Vic’s Maria. Tickets for this production are all sold out but you are welcome to join our returns queues from an hour before each performance. Find more information on See Me Now here