11 Questions with the cast of Ah, Wilderness! – Lucas Pinto

Lucas Pinto in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

  Lucas Pinto in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

Lucas Pinto is currently playing Tommy Miller (also played by Rory Stroud) in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Here are his answers to our 11 Questions…

Can you describe your character in Ah, Wilderness! in three words?
Raucous. Annoying. Active.

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

What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?
Not sure. This play.

What is your favourite midnight snack?
I don’t get up at midnight.

What are you most passionate about?
Drama!

If days were 28 hours long, what would you do with the 4 extra hours?
Sleep for 2 more hours, play and read.

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
Universal Studios Florida.

Favourite city and why?
New York.

What is your favourite song?
Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen.

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
Now – because I don’t want my life to change.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
Flight as I have always wanted to fly.

Ah, Wilderness! runs at the Young Vic until 23 May. Head over to YouTube to see the trailer. Book now: www.youngvic.org/whats-on/ah-wilderness

11 Questions with the cast of Ah, Wilderness! – Eleanor McLoughlin

Eleanor McLoughlin in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

Eleanor McLoughlin in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

Eleanor is currently playing Norah in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Here are her answers to our 11 Questions…

Can you describe your character in Ah, Wilderness! in three words?
Clumsy. Cheeky. Young.

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

What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. 

What is your favourite midnight snack?
Red wine.

What are you most passionate about?
Prevaricating.

If you could be in a room full of any one thing, what would it be?
Prospects.

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
KnockanStockan.

Favourite city and why?
Dublin – I’d be in fierce trouble if I said otherwise.

What is your favourite song?
It’d be hard to say, I have so many.

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
Now is fine.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
The ability to make people laugh at my jokes.

Ah, Wilderness! runs at the Young Vic until 23 May. Head over to YouTube to see the trailer. Book now: www.youngvic.org/whats-on/ah-wilderness

4 Stars for Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic

The reviews are in for Ah, Wilderness!. Read below to find out what the critics think and click here to see the amazing audience response so far.

★★★★
“Natalie Abrahami’s haunting, witty production turns the piece into a dream-like memory play”
The Independent – read the full review here.

★★★★
“Bittersweet with wonderfully funny performances”
Financial Times – read the full review here.

★★★★
Sunday Express – read the review here.

“A visually seductive revival… George MacKay is excellent”
The Guardian

“George MacKay proves himself a stage performer of huge presence and skill”
The Times

“This revival boasts fine performances”
Daily Telegraph

Members of the company in in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

Members of the company in in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

“A stern but loving Janie Dee and a staunch but wry Martin Marquez are great as Richard’s parents”
The Times

“George Mackay is great: gawky, intense, silly, serious, vibrantly alive”
Time Out

“A visually seductive revival… Martin Marquez is wonderful, Janie Dee beautifully captures the mother, and there is first-rate support from Dominic Rowan and Susannah Wise”
The Guardian

“Rising star George MacKay excels as O’Neill’s teen rebel”
Evening Standard

“George MacKay is an absolute delight”
Daily Telegraph

“Extremely charming – O’Neill’s writing and director Natalie Abrahami’s production beautifully capture the ludicrousness of youth”
Time Out

Ah, Wilderness! runs at the Young Vic until 23 May. Book now.

11 Questions with the cast of Ah, Wilderness! – George MacKay

George MacKay in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson

George MacKay in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

George MacKay is currently playing Richard Miller in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Here are his answers to our 11 Questions…

Can you describe your character in Ah, Wilderness! in three words?
Brimming. Growing. Learning.

What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
Warming up and checking props.

What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?
I remember being really struck by Gecko’s The Arab and the Jew at the Lyric Hammersmith and both actors’ physicality. Seeing Blackwatch too at the Barbican by the National Theatre of Scotland was breath-taking.

What is your favourite word?
Domino.

What are you most passionate about?
Wanting to learn more about the whatever it is I am doing at the time.

If days were 28 hours long, what would you do with the 4 extra hours?
More of whatever it is I was doing on normal days.

If you could be in a room full of any one thing, what would it be?
Friends and family. Really old guitars. Or, stationary.

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
Going to Rome was amazing, I’d like to go back there and explore more.

Favourite city and why?
London. It’s home and there is still loads I don’t know about it.

What is your favourite song?
It changes regularly.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
The ability to fly.

Ah, Wilderness! runs at the Young Vic until 23 May. Head over to YouTube to see the exclusive trailer. Book now: www.youngvic.org/whats-on/ah-wilderness

11 Questions with the cast of Ah, Wilderness! – Yasmin Paige

Yasmin Paige / AH WILDERNESS

Yasmin Paige in rehearsal for Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

Yasmin Paige is currently playing Belle in Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Here are her answers to our 11 Questions…

Can you describe your character in Ah, Wilderness! in three words?

Strong. Skillful. Hungry.

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

Reading.

What is your favourite midnight snack?

Pitta bread and hummus.

What is your favourite word?

Boobee – and affectionate term.

What are you most passionate about?

People and reading.

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

Sleep.

If you could be in a room full of any one thing, what would it be?

Strawberry sweets from the cinema. 

Favourite city and why?

Paris – it’s really pretty.

What is your favourite song?

Elastic Heart by Sia.

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?

1920s.  It was a point of big change for society, it must have been a real revolution. 

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

Fly – so that I could be like a bird in the clouds and get anywhere. No more tube. 

Ah, Wilderness! runs at the Young Vic until 23 May. Book now.

11 Questions with the cast of Ah, Wilderness! – David Annen

AH, WILDERNESS!

David Annen in rehearsal for Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

David Annen can be seen on stage at the Young Vic from 14 Apr – 23 May. Here are his answers to our 11 Questions…

Can you describe your character in Ah, Wilderness! in three words?
Three letters! E G O – Eugene Gladstone O’Neill

What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
Checking the letters, cigarettes, matches, pencils, poetry books etc. are in the right place in my pockets

What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?
King Lear (in theory), Into The West (in practice)

What is your favourite midnight snack?
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

What are you most passionate about?
London

If you could be in a room full of any one thing, what would it be?
Puppies

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
Weyfest with my son

Favourite city and why?
Rome – culture, warmth, wine, ice cream, and history all over.

What is your favourite song?
Everything I Own by Ken Boothe

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
The next one. I’ll find out when I get there.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
Flight. I dreamed of it once and woke happy.

Ah, Wilderness! runs at the Young Vic from 14 Apr – 23 May. Book now.

A Q&A with Ah, Wilderness! Set Designer Dick Bird

shutterstock_232258486-smlWhat inspired your design for Ah, Wilderness!?Natalie and I talked a lot about the autobiographical basis of the play. Set in Monte Cristo Cottage, the beachside house where O’Neill spent his childhood holidays, Ah, Wilderness! treats the same material as Long Day’s Journey Into Night in a lighter, more optimistic tone. These two different excavations of a memory interested us greatly. As did photographs of the adult O’Neill with his own young family posed rather tensely around a picnic table on a beach.

I had been fascinated by pictures of a ghost town in Namibia called Kolmanskop. A once thriving diamond mining town, it had been abandoned since the 1950s, and sand had invaded the derelict houses. Great dunes had formed against the faded plaster walls creating surreal desert landscapes interrupted by incongruous architraves and seemingly giant doorways.

We were drawn to the idea of invading O’Neill’s location with sand, the magic dust that, sprinkled in our eyes, makes us dream of creating an uncertain, shifting, interior landscape that showed the passage of memory and time.

How do you get from the first idea to the final design?
Using a 1 to 25 scale model of the Young Vic, I began sculpting spaces in white card and paper. To begin with, wildly impractical volumes of sand creating vertiginous slopes and no playing areas whatsoever. We explored different ways of the sand entering the house, ratios of floor and slope. In a short space of time we went through five or six different models, graduating from paper to salt. The first model was very different to the last, but very informative to the process. Bernd, our production manager, brought in several tons of sand to the scene dock at the Young Vic, and we tramped around in that and then back to the drawing board. Having come to a design in white card, we had it costed, adjusted it and produced a final full colour model.

The model then goes to a workshop where it is drawn up, and discussions take place around practicalities and finishes. I work closely with the scenic artist to arrive at the final treatment, in this case peeling layers of fading paint. The Young Vic technical team work with the constructors to ensure the set’s smooth transition into the building, and then the cast’s smooth transition on to the set.8.-Kolmanskop-Namibia

Tell us about collaborating with Natalie?
To begin with we just read the play aloud to each other and talked. Natalie had compiled a vast array of material around the play, the biographical sources, and the poetry that means so much to the character of Richard and to O’Neill himself.

She came already with an archaeological approach to the text and was excited by the images of Kolmanskop, and by the coincidence that the mine had opened in 1908, around the time that the play is set, and closed in 1954, a year after O’Neill’s death.

What is it like to work at the Young Vic?
I have a very strong connection with the Young Vic.I made my first design in the old studio here in 1998 with Primitive Science, and since then I’ve designed five shows in the main house and one in the Clare.

I met my wife here in 2000, and had a job as an usher in 1985. I saw The Crucible and Romeo and Juliet at least thirty times each.

The building itself demands innovation of the people who come to work in it. The very breezeblocks seem to cry out for experiment. The temporary building put up over a bomb site in 1970 had an extraordinary spatial alchemy, and the rebuilt theatre has respected that, while making new spaces – not least the café/restaurant area which is a hub for theatrical activity in London. The Young Vic falls within a magic sector of the Venn diagram of London theatre, close enough to the edge to be edgy, close enough to the centre to be influential. It attracts wonderful people, and it’s an amazing place to work.

Ah, Wilderness! runs at the Young Vic from 14 Apr – 23 May. Book now.