YV Unpacked: Spring Awakening

Launched in Kwame Kwei-Armah’s Season 1, YV Unpacked is our new strand of work that is free and open to everyone, taking the highest quality art to places where theatre doesn’t normally happen.

Franz Wedekind’s Spring Awakening was our very first YV Unpacked which saw our Young Vic Taking Part team take Caroline Byrne’s adaptation to new audiences across Southwark and Lambeth before returning home to play to audiences at the YV.

Unpacked’s company of Olivia Caley, Charles Furness, Archie Rush, Harold Addo, Oliver Cudbill, Ged Simmons and Barbara Marten spent 4 weeks in rehearsals at the YV in Line Bech’s stunning costumes and working alongside composer Tasha Taylor Johnson,  before heading out into our local neighbourhood. The team went on to visit places including Millwall FC Community Trust, Walworth Academy, St Mungos and Pembroke House over a busy two weeks on the road.

Ali Kaviani who is Director of Projects at Pembroke House said – ‘Thank you for the magical moment that just happened in Pembroke House. The audience looked moved, provoked, challenged and entertained’. “I could watch that for hours” one of them said. Wonderful! Please come back.

We shared our new production with 681 people over the two week tour before bringing it back to the Young Vic where audiences from past Young People’s workshops and events enjoyed it alongside Neighbourhood Theatre members and the general public.

After an incredible first run we can’t wait for YV Unpacked to return in 2019 with Ariadne’s She Ventures and He Wins where we’ll be visiting more refugee centers, schools, community hubs and homeless shelters. To hear all the latest news from Young Vic Taking Part and future YV Unpacked projects sign up to our mailing list at youngvic.org

All photos © Leon Puplett

Safe House – A note from Jeremy Herbert

In my head this project began in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt in about
1984. The memory has become blunted by recollection, but the gist is

It was the end of the day. Somehow I had arrived just as the tombs were
closing. Almost all the tourists had departed. A few stragglers were
being rounded up. Desperate to see inside at least one of the tombs I
negotiated with a guide for a few minutes alone.

I remember the change of temperature as I descended the steeply
sloping passage down into the rock, and my eyes straining to adjust to
the fading light from the narrow entrance that barely illuminated the
unlit burial chamber. It was so silent that I could hear only my heart
beating and the rush of blood in my ears.

Deep inside the earth I was completely still; out of time; my senses
heightened. I imagined, in this place of absolute nothing, what would
happen if I were able to re-introduce sensations, one by one; a particular
quality of light; a temperature; an exotic scent; the sound of the waves;
a thread of music…

I wondered whether it would be possible in this way to evoke whole
landscapes, an entirely new sense of time and place, other moments. A
kind of sensory alchemy.

Since then, I have had some sort of a career as a set designer, creating
spaces that contain narratives, create atmospheres, solve problems.
Always (often) it has been my ambition to do more with less, take away
the noise and replace it with what seems most open and evocative
Hence the silent wind machine. Safe House is on one level designed to
work in this way. A haven surrounded by chaos in which the sensory
elements are stripped back and heightened. The feeling of being both
absolutely in the moment, and absolutely out of time.

Of course it may fail to achieve this, or work only for some people and
not for others. It is by nature an experiment. (I’m naturally resistant to
being told what to think and I hope that Safe House will be something
to explore and inhabit without being directed.) There is no right way of
encountering it, and no correct interpretation.

Safe House is free to the public and now open until 17 May. To learn more visit our website.

5 Stars for Sound&Fury’s Going Dark + Extra Performance Added!

Audience members and critics alike are raving about Going Dark, the story of an astronomer and single dad losing his sight.  Created by immersive theatre company Sound&Fury, don’t miss your chance to see this sold out show with the extra performance we’ve added. Book your tickets here.

‘Sound&Fury are going boldly where few companies have gone before… this is a dazzling achievement that deserves a rich scattering of critical stars’
The Telegraph (full review)

‘A pulse-quickening poem… a wonderful piece of theatre’
The Independent (full review)

‘Exceptional… imaginative… a technical feat’
The Guardian (full review)

‘The audio and visual trickery is first rate, but tellingly the play’s soul lies in Hattie Naylor’s beautifully understated text and actor Jon Mackay’s delicate, heartbreaking performance’
Time Out  (full review)

The Times

Financial Times (full review)