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.

A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic.. Photo by Jan Versweyveld..jpg

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.

‘Shakespeare is a bit of a stirrer’ | Parallel Macbeth cast talk Shakespeare


Our cast of young people from across London enjoy starting afternoon rehearsals with an impromptu rap.

Our cast of young people currently devising a response to our main house show of Macbeth spent some time talking about their experience devising with director Caroline Byrne and how incorporating choreography is changing their perspective on Shakespeare and theatre.

What are you getting out of rehearsals and the project in general?

Calum: I have been exposed to physical theatre for the first time and how you can paint a story using your body instead of using words. This is something I haven’t had experience in before and it has really opened my eyes about how you can show something without even saying anything.

Ali: This project is actually helping me work a lot easier with other people and to work within a group of completely different ages… It doesn’t matter about age or where you come from, it’s just about what you can bring to the table.

Joshua: I have been able to use my imagination to form movement and also use movement to express myself and bring my imagination to life.

What do you think about Macbeth?

Jordi: I have done Macbeth about four or five times before and what I have done is mainly scripted performance. Now that we are doing a movement piece it’s not all about learning lines, it’s using movement to create the whole performance.

Have you experienced Shakespeare before and if so, in what way/ what do you think of him?

Django: What I think is interesting is that we are creating a movement piece based on a Shakespeare play, as Shakespeare is normally based on text and is very wordy. It’s interesting because most of the movement is based on violence, death and blood but we are creating a movement piece based on the things in between; sanity and the relationships between different people.

Kieran: I think William Shakespeare is a bit of a stirrer. He makes plays to comment on what’s going on in England at the time he does that really well and he does it in an admirable way.

Jordi: William Shakespeare is a cool dude.

What are you looking forward to the most in your show?

Neuza: I am looking forward to how we have interpreted it and how we can break the Shakespeare stereotype by using movement and bring new life to Macbeth.

Leticia: I am looking forward to the performance because we see how many people think Shakespeare is boring because of the text.

What do you think of the Young Vic?

Ali: I think they are really enthusiastic about young people and try to get fresh new ideas. It’s a really good and comfortable place to be in. Every time I come here I am really welcomed and people are really nice to me. It’s a really lovely place.

Kieran: Very nice place, five out of five stars

Our Parallel Macbeth will be shared with an invited audience in January 2015. To find out more about our Parallel Macbeth production and the young people involved take a look at our blog post.

11 Questions with the cast of Measure for Measure – Hammed Animashaun

Young Vic production of MEASURE FOR MEASURE by William Shakespeare directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins

Hammed Animashaun (left) in Measure for Measure at the Young Vic. Photo by Keith Pattison.

Hammed Animashaun is currently playing Provost in Measure for Measure at the Young Vic. Here are his answers to our 11 Questions…

Can you describe your character in Measure for Measure in three words?
Tries his best.

What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
Dancing! Or playing games on my phone.

What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?
One Man, Two Guvnors starring Tom Edden who is in the show. HA!

What is your favourite word?

What are you most passionate about?
Power Rangers.

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

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?

Favourite city and why?
Chicago because it feels like home.

What is your favourite song?
Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder

If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
1920s New York because of the fashion.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
Teleportation. I’d never have to pay for a plane ticket or train tickets or bus pass ever again!

Measure for Measure runs at the YV until 14 Nov. Book tickets and find out more on our website.

Two Boroughs Shakespeare workshop

TP m4m workshop

This week Two Boroughs participants have been given the chance to explore different approaches to putting on Shakespeare, from text to clown to design. The workshops have been led by five different practitioners including Jerwood Assistant Director, Jasmine Woodcock-Stewart (Assistant Director for our current main house show, Measure for Measure) and our associate director and Genesis Fellow, Gbolahan Obisesan.

Our participants had the chance to rehearse the opening scene from our Measure for Measure production on the stage, as well as get to grips with the stage management, sound, lighting and video elements to the show.

Participants have been drawn from across our members and include people who have been in past community shows including Flashes, The Events, The Trial, Turning a Little Further and The Brolly Project, as well as people who have never taken part in a workshops at the Young Vic before.

Find out more about Taking Part and follow @YVTakingPart for all the latest Schools, Young People and Two Boroughs activities, including our Cut Cart story collecting day.

★★★★ for Joe Hill-Gibbins’ Measure for Measure


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

“A fast and furious staging – elusive, slippery and unshiftingly dark”
The Observer – read the full review here.

“There are no half measures in Joe Hill-Gibbins’ radical version… an astonishing Romola Garai”
The Guardian – read the full review here

“The most scabrously funny take I’ve seen on Shakespeare’s profound comedy… Romola Garai in wonderfully impassioned form”
Independent – read the full review here

“Joe Hill-Gibbins is the perfect director to tackle Measure for Measure… side-splittingly funny… Romola Garai shines”
Time Out – read the full review here

“A bold, wildly unorthodox staging with an audacious aesthetic”
Financial Times – read the full review here

“Designer Miriam Buether creates…  a brilliant visual metaphor”
What’s On Stage – read the full review here

“A radical Young Vic production”
The Arts Desk – read the full review here

“Joe Hill-Gibbins is a madcap arch provocateur”
Sunday Times

“Electrifying… riveting theatre”

“A characteristically take-no-prisoners production from a directorial iconoclast”
New York Times – read the full review here.

“Director Joe Hill-Gibbins offers a bold, anarchic take. Fresh, strange and irreverent.”
Evening Standard

Measure for Measure runs at the YV until 14 Nov. For more info and to book tickets, go to: www.youngvic.org/whats-on/measure-for-measure
In the press: 
Joe Hill-Gibbins talks to The Independent on Sunday about the appeal of Measure for Measure

11 Questions with the cast of Sizwe Banzi is Dead – Sibusiso Mamba

SizweBanzi_imageRichardHubertSmith-7438After a sell-out run last year, Sibusiso Mamba returns to the Young Vic to play Sizwe Banzi in Matthew Xia’s production of Sizwe Banzi is Dead. Here are his answers to our 11 Questions…

Can you describe your character in Sizwe Banzi is Dead in three words?
Scared, optimistic and defiant. 

If you had to pick a favourite line from the play, which one would it be and why?
‘You must understand one thing, we own nothing but ourselves, this world and its laws allows us nothing, except ourselves.’ Because it says so much about the human spirit and our ability to see beyond current circumstances, whatever they may be.

What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?
The Tempest by William Shakespeare.

What is your favourite midnight snack?
Chicken wings. Or anything with chicken.

What is your favourite word?

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

Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
New Year’s Eve in Corsica.

Favourite city and why?
Manzini. It’s a tiny city in the centre of Swaziland. It’s where I was born and where I grew up. It holds so many precious memories and it was the cradle of all my hopes and dreams. Although, it must be said that I am falling in love with London all over again!

Dogs or cats?
It used to be dogs but now cats are working their way into my heart.

What is your favourite song?
Following the Light by Jonathan Butler.

If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
To be able to travel at the speed of thought. Wouldn’t it be nice to want to be some place and a thought later, you’re there!

Sizwe Banzi is Dead is on now until 15 March at the Young Vic. Returns available in person/by phone. Click here to find out more.