🌟🌟🌟🌟 “Deviant and dazzlingly imaginative” | A Midsummer Night’s Dream reviews

Director Joe Hill-Gibbins has teamed up with designer Johannes Schütz (Three Sisters) to dive into the subconscious of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, giving us a nightmarish #YVDream that everyone’s talking about.

See what the critics, press night guests and audiences alike have been saying in our round-up below.

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John Dagleish and Jemima Rooper as Lysander and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photo by Keith Pattison.

🌟🌟🌟🌟
“Lust and violence are never far away. Delves into the collective unconscious.”
The Guardian | Read the full review here

🌟🌟🌟🌟
“Deviant and dazzlingly imaginative”
The Independent | Read the full review here

 

“I loved so much about last night. All one wants is for people to speak with their souls present, and to remind us that this language and the contradiction of peoples’ personalities shines across 500 years.”
– Fiona Shaw

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Check out what else audiences have been saying over on our Storify and catch #YVDream while tickets last at Young Vic until 1 April .

11 Questions with the cast of See Me Now – Ric London

I am a sex worker and comfortable with it. Some say this makes me an interesting person. Others are shocked by the number of friends and acquaintances that know what I do. Some even regard me as brave. I came to the UK longer than I want to remember, on my own, diving into the unknown. I had many jobs; most bad, some nasty, a few were OK, none well paid. I am good at most things men are not meant to do, my ability at it has given me more recognition than my intellect ever did, although I think the latter is better, and still want to be a rock star. All I aim is to achieve happiness because in the end that’s the only success that is worth such name.

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

I much prefer savoury.

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

That we are all forced into it and are disgusted by it.

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

That some of us enjoy it.

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

No, it has been great.

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

Energy, synergy, fun.

What did you want to be growing up?

Film director or Rock star, and I still want to.

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

I want to think I would write more, but probably I would waste them surfing the net or listening to nonsensical people.

What’s your favourite song and why?

‘Love me till I die’ (Prom night 1980). It’s the perfect piece of music. The lyrics are rubbish though. It’s groovy, uplifting and makes me feel good. Better than Prozac!

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

Helsinki Napoli (an obscure German film from the 1908s). Law of Desire.

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

Ruling other’s minds with mine.

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

Sure!!!

Ric London 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

New Season Announcement: Young Vic 2017 Season – Time to make some noise.

We’re not doing 2017 by halves, we’re over the moon (you’ll get that in a minute) to announce seven new shows in our 2017 line up.

In the Main House it’s the season of creative returns: Joe Wright returns to the Young Vic with Life Of Galileo after his acclaimed production of A Season of the Congo.  Sell-out sensation, Yerma is back for a limited run. The incredible team behind Happy Days reunites for Wings, directed by Natalie Abrahami. And, The Suppliant Women brings back Ramin Gray, after Living with the Lights on. Over in the studios we have Taha, Nina and How to Win Against HistoryFind out more on all the shows below.

Life of Galileo ( 6 May – 24 Jun)

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BAFTA Award-winning film director Joe Wright (Atonement, Anna Karenina) returns to the Young Vic after his celebrated production of A Season in the Congo, with Brendan Cowell in the title role following his acclaimed performance in Yerma.

Galileo makes an explosive discovery about the universe with his new invention – the telescope. The establishment is in an uproar over his powerful challenge to their worldview and their entrenched religious beliefs.

Brecht’s masterpiece will be performed in-the-round on a stunning set designed by Lizzie Clachan (Yerma, A Season in the Congo) and with projections by 59 Productions (Feast, War Horse).

Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht, translated by John Willett, runs 6 May – 24 June 2017 in the Young Vic’s Main House. It is directed by Joe Wright with design by Lizzie Clachan, video by Lysander Ashton for 59 Productions, light by Jon Clark,  sound by Tom Gibbons, puppet direction by Sarah Wright and dramaturgy by Sarah Tipple. With Brendan Cowell and more to be announced.

Yerma (26 Jul – 31 Aug)

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★★★★★
‘An extraordinary theatrical triump’ – The Times

★★★★★
‘A shatteringly powerful reinvention of a familiar classic’ – The Independent

★★★★★ – The Observer, Evening Standard, Metro, Mail on Sunday, The Sun, iNews

2016’s biggest hit returns for a strictly limited run. The extraordinary Billie Piper plays Her, a woman driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child.

Simon Stone creates a radical new production of Lorca’s achingly powerful masterpiece.

Yerma by Simon Stone after Federico García Lorca runs 26 July – 31 August in the Young Vic’s Main House. It is directed by Simon Stone with design by Lizzie Clachan, costumes by Alice Babidge, light by James Farncombe, music & sound Stefan Gregory, video by Jack Henry James, casting by Julian Horan CDG. With, Maureen Beattie, Brendan Cowell, John MacMillan, Billie Piper and Charlotte Randle. 

Yerma is now sold out. We will be running returns queues on the day from an hour before each performance. Find more information on NT Live screenings here.  

Wings (14 September – 28 October) 

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Juliet Stevenson takes on yet another extraordinary role.  Emily was a fiercely independent woman, an aviator and a wingwalker, until a stroke destroyed her sense of reality. Fragments of her life come together as she struggles to find her voice and herself.

The hugely successful collaborators from  Happy Days reunites with director Natalie Abrahami.

Wings by Arthur Kopit runs 14 September – 28 October in the Young Vic’s Main House. It is directed by Natalie Abrahami with design by Michael Levine, light by Guy Hoare, sound by Gareth Fry and movement by Anna Morrisey. With Juliet Stevenson and more to be announced. 

The Suppliant Women ( 13 – 25 November)

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★★★★★
‘An epic, feminist protest song’ – The Guardian

“If we help, we invite trouble.
If we don’t, we invite shame.”

Fifty women leave everything behind to board a boat in North Africa and fl ee across the Mediterranean. They are escaping forced marriage in their homeland, hoping for protection and assistance, seeking asylum in Greece.

Written 2,500 years ago by the great playwright Aeschylus, one of the world’s oldest plays speaks to us through the ages with startling resonance for our troubled times.

Featuring a chorus of young women from London, this is part play, part ritual. Director Ramin Gray unearths an electric connection to the deepest and most mysterious ideas of the humanity – who are we, where do we belong and if all goes wrong – who will take us in?

An Actors Touring Company, Young Vic and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh co-production.

The Suppliant Women by Aeschylus, a new version by David Greig, runs 13 – 25 Novemeber in the Young Vic’s Main House. It is directed by Ramin Gray with music by John Browne, choreography by Sasha Milavic Davies, design by Lizzie Clachan andlight by Charles Balfour. With Callum Armstrong, Oscar Batterham, Ben Burton, Omar Ebrahim and Gemma May Rees. 

Taha ( 5 – 15 July)

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All my life, nothing came easy.
Not even becoming a poet.

A lyrical story of the life of Palestinian poet Taha Muhammed Ali, written and performed by Amer Hlhel.

Amir Nizar Zuabi (The Beloved, I Am Yusuf and This Is My Brother), founder of celebrated theatre company ShiberHur, returns to the Young Vic to direct this London premiere.

An Amer Hlehel, Young Vic and Shubbak Festival co-production.

Taha by Amer Hlehel, translated by Amir Nizar Zuabi, runs 5 – 15 July in the Young Vic’s Maria. It is translated and directed by Amir Nizar Suabi with light by Muaz Jubeh and music by Habib Shehadeh Hanna. With Amer Hlehel.

Nina (19 – 29 July)

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A STORY ABOUT ME & NINA SIMONE

★★★★
‘A searing tribute restarts Simone’s revolution’ – The Guardian

Backed by a brilliant band, Josette Bushell-Mingo mixes story and song as she draws together tales from the life of Nina Simone, her own extraordinary career and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Nina devised by Josette Bushell-Mingo and Dritëro Kasapi runs 19 – 29 July in the Young Vic’s Maria. It is directed by Dritëro Kasapi with design by Rosa Maggiora, light by Matt Haskins, musical direction by Shapor Bastansia and dramaturgy by Christina Anderson. With Josette Bushell-Mingo.

Nina is now sold out. We will be running returns queues on the day from an hour before each performance.

How to Win Against History (30 November – 23 December)

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★★★★★
‘This musical about being a cross-dressing Marquess is a work of genius’ – The Daily Telegraph

★★★★
‘Gleeful, luicrous – a larky collision of Gilbert & Sulivan and Monty Python’ – Time Out

The 5th Marquis of Anglesey was one of the world’s wealthiest men, until he lost it all by being too damn fabulous. A riches-to-rags story becomes a hilarious, ripped-up musical in an outrageous performance by Seiriol Davies.

An Aine Flanagan Productions, Seiriol Davies and Young Vic co-production.

How to Win Against History runs 30 November – 23 December in the Young Vic’s Maria. It is directed by Alex Swift with design by Verity Quinn, light by Dan Saggers, musical direction by Dylan Townley, music by Seiriol Davies and dramaturgy by Eve Leigh. With Matthew Blake, Seiriol Davies and Dylan Townley.

Tickets go on sale to the public on Wednesday 1 February  at 10am. You can become a friend and book today at www.youngvic.org

11 Questions with the cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Michael Gould

You may remember Michael Gould from our recent smash-hit “superbly acted” 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟(Metro) A View from the Bridge. Now he’s back playing Theseus/Oberon in Joe Hill Gibbins’ dark and nightmarish take on Shakespeare’s tale of betrayal and desire, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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Michael Gould with Mark Strong and the rest of the A View from the Bridge company at the YV in 2014

Describe your character in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in three emojis?

🗣 ⚡️ 💩

What’s it been like working with Joe Hill-Gibbins?

Fascinating and terrifying!

Which Dream character would you pick as your Valentine ❤ and why? 

I would pick Cupid, just to get his take on the whole Valentine thing, I know it is a busy day for him but it would be great to chat.

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

Believe it or not, a Young Vic production of Troilus and Cressida in 1975 (or so). I didn’t understand everything but the staging and the words were thrilling!

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

A View From the Bridge at The Young Vic.

You’re hosting a dinner party. Who are your 3 dream guests? 

I would like to invite three characters I have played and find out how the show was for them, did we miss anything, did they feel represented properly etc, did they have any opinions about our interpretation, questions they wanted to ask, did other actors get closer to their truth… – so Alfieri, Iago and, why not, Theseus/Oberon (I know that is four really or is it…?)

There’s a common conception that hearing about other people’s dreams are boring. Tell us about your least-boring dream. 😴 zzzz

Don’t be sad, it is a long time ago but my Dad died on Christmas day. That night I dreamt he hitched a ride in Santa’s sleigh, asking to be dropped off at a resting place in the sky!

If you hadn’t become an actor, what job would you be doing now?

Teaching has always appealed. I have done a bit and I always enjoy it.

Who is your ultimate hero and why?

I am not really a hero kind of person. I think we are a little bit too obsessed by individual glory. I admire great teams, so the 2016 Hockey team I would say are my heroes (currently) and, of course, the glorious ensemble company that is the A Midsummer Night’s Dream Team.

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

Very happy to be able to inhabit Oberon’s Invisibility at the moment, I hear some great gossip and I can influence events in a truly intriguing way.

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

On this show probably having a wee as we are going to be on stage throughout. I did the same on A View From The Bridge and I should probably list “bladder control” as a special skill on my CV.

5 Free Events this Black History Month

October is Black History Month, celebrating and commemorating the contribution made to our society over many years by the African and Caribbean communities. We’ve found 5 free events around London that we think you should check out. For full listings, including all the great theatre that’s going on, head on over to Black History Month.

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BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Now: Live

Monday 3 October, 11pm
BBC Glassbox, Riverside Terrace Cafe
Southbank Centre

This live broadcast features new music by vibraphonist Ralph Wyld, featuring his sextet Mosaic. Ralph, who won the 2014 John Dankworth Award and the 2015 Kenny Wheeler Prize for composition, is joined by a line-up of London’s brightest young jazz talent, including trumpeter James Copus, clarinettist Sam Rapley and cellist Celia Bignall. Also on the bill is the brilliant pianist Jason Rebello, a veteran of the bands of Sting, Jeff Beck and Tim Garland.

This event is free but tickets are required so please book your free ticket online, by phone or in person (no fees apply).

Africa on the Square
Saturday 15 October, 12 – 6pm
Trafalgar Square
Westminster

Africa on the Square returns to Trafalgar Square for the third time on Saturday 15 October. This popular event celebrates African arts and culture. There’ll be a range of activities highlighting communities from across the continent.
You can expect a fantastic line-up of entertainment on the day including live music, DJs, dancing and a talent show. Plus an African market, food stalls, fashion show and lots of fun stuff for kids.

Africa on the Square is organised by the Mayor of London for Black History Month 2016

Celebrating Black History & Craft Fair
Saturday 22 October, 3- 7pm
St Mary and George Hornsey Parish Church
Cranley Gardens

This event is open to the community, to come together, to learn and celebrate black history. There will be local businesses, organisations, charities designers and artists providing community information, stalls, illustrative arts, crafts and decorative items.

There will also live entertainment from unsigned artists.

Back in the Day: Reggae vibes and memories with David Katz
Tuesday 25 October, 7.30 – 9pm
Rye Wax, CLF Art Café
Peckham

Author and journalist David Katz will discuss his books Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae and People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, in an illustrated reading featuring the music covered in those books.
Further musical support will be provided by fellow journalist Angus Taylor, playing original reggae vinyl style.

Rye Wax bar and Taco Queen food facilities available. Signed copies of books available on the night.

BLACKwordsMATTER
Friday 28 October, 7.30pm
Brixton Library
Brixton Hill

Black words Matter.JPG‘Mother, mother. There’s too many of you crying. Brother, brother, brother. There’s far too many of you dying…’ (Marvin Gaye, What’s going on)

Black History Month couldn’t be complete in 2016 without reference to the Black Lives Matter movement happening in both the US and here. There are many ways to examine and rage about the reality of racism in society, whether through protest, song or the written word. Brixton Library is therefore throwing the microphone open to a poetic response to examining what’s going on. Poets and performers are coming together to speak through spoken word. If you would like to add your poem do get in touch.

For further information contact Tim O’Dell.

 

So get stuck in and enjoy as much of the upcoming month as you can! 

“Black History Month is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the myriad of contributions Black people have made to our country and to London.”
Sadiq Kahn, Mayor of London

Babes in Arms Performance for The Nest | 25 Nov 11.30am

We are pleased to announce our first ever Babes in Arms performance!

Here at the Young Vic we’re opening our doors to those with little ones. On Friday 25 November at 11.30am we’ve added a special performance of Ian Rickson’s production of Conor McPherson’s new translation of The Nest.

If you’re a parent or a carer with a baby under eighteen months we have an extra performance just for you. The actors will be aware that there may be additional noise from the auditorium and the house lights will remain up throughout. You’ll be welcome to move about the space should you need to settle your baby.

There will be space for buggies to be parked. Baby changing and milk-warming facilities will be available.

This performance is open to everyone but is specifically designed for audiences with babes in arms.

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The Nest

Parents-to-be Kurt and Martha just want the best for their baby. They’re not afraid of hard work – the latest buggy doesn’t come cheap. But when Kurt’s boss offers him a chance to make some easy money with a mysterious side job, his rashness catches up with him.

Conor McPherson has written a powerful new version of the German classic.

A fable about the moral and environmental cost of our materialistic nesting instincts, directed by Ian Rickson.

The Nest runs in The Maria at the YV from 28 October – 26 November. More information and how to book tickets here

Once in a Lifetime | Cast announcement

We are thrilled to let you know that Harry Enfield will play studio boss Herman Glogauer in Christopher Hart’s adaptation of Kaufman and Hart’s classic Hollywood comedy Once in a LifetimeEnfield is joined in the cast of Richard Jones’ production by John Marquez as George, Claudie Blakley as May and more!

 

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Harry Enfield by Charlie Carter

Harry Enfield is a BAFTA Award-winning writer, comedian, actor and director. His film credits include: Swallows and Amazons, Scottish Mussel, Acts of Godfrey, Churchill: The Hollywood Years and Tooth. His television credits include: The Windsors, Upstart Crow, Ruddy Hell! It’s Harry and Paul, for which he won a British Comedy Award and two BAFTA TV Awards, Bad Education, Psychobitches, Blandings, It’s Kevin, The Hunt For Tony Blair and Skins. His writing credits for television include: Saturday Night Live, Friday Night Live, Harry Enfield’s Television Programme, Harry Enfield And Chums, for which he won a Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award and Smashy and Nicey: End Of An Era.

 

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Claudie Blakley by Scarlet Page

Claudie Blakley returns to the Young Vic after appearing in Love and Money.
Other theatre credits include: Rules for Living, Peter Pan, The Cherry Orchard, Attempts on Her Life (National Theatre); Macbeth, Lear (Sheffield Crucible), Chimerica (Almeida, West End), The Painkiller (Garrick Theatre), All’s Well That Ends Well (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Seagull (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Kosher Harry (Royal Court Theatre).
Film
 credits include: Bright Star, Severance, Pride & Prejudice, The Cat’s Meow, Gosford Park and War Bride.
Television credits include: Larkrise To Candleford, Cranford, The Driver, Silent Witness, What Remains, The Night Watch and Marple.

 

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John Marquez by Wolf Marloh

John Marquez returns to the Young Vic following his appearances in Annie Get Your Gun and The Good Soul of Szechuan. His other theatre credits include: The Taming of the Shrew (Royal Shakespeare Company); Ding Dong the Wicked (Royal Court Theatre); The Emperor Jones, Market Boy (National Theatre); House of Games, The Hypochondriac (Almeida Theatre) and Privates on Parade (Noel Coward Theatre). His television credits include: Doc Martin, In the Club, Hotel Babylon, Death in Paradise and Suburban Shootout.

 

Daniel Abelson,  Okorie Chukwu, Lucy Cohu, Lizzy Connolly, Buffy Davis, Otto Farrant, Amy Griffiths and Amanda Lawrence will also join the company of Once In A Lifetime, with more wonderful talent to be named soon.

Once in a Lifetime by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, adapted by Christopher Hart, is directed by Richard Jones and runs 24 November – 14 January 2017 in the Young Vic’s Main House. It is designed by Hyemi Shin with costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, light by Jon Clark, sound by Sarah Angliss and casting by Julia Horan CDG.

Find out more and book your tickets today.