Wings: 11 Questions with Nick Gasson

Nick Gasson is currently starring in Wings at the Young Vic. His character is struggling to rebuild his communication skills after experiencing aphasia – a condition that affects the brain and leads to problems with speech and language.

We caught up with Nick to ask him these 11 questions . . .

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 1. Can you describe your character in Wings in three words?

Recovering stroke victim

2. What can the audience expect from this production that’s different to anything else they are likely to have seen before?

Wings is an extra-sensory experience!

3. What’s the most exciting thing about being part of this Young Vic production?

Working with such an amazing team of actors and crew

4. Emily Stilson was a wing walker. What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Going on the ‘tea-cups’ ride at the funfair!

4. How do you think this show will make audiences feel?

Apart from hugely impressed at Juliet Stevenson’s performance, I think they will feel like they have a better understanding of what goes on in the head of someone who’s had a major stroke

5. What has it been like working with Natalie Abrahami?

Wonderful. Her approach is always collaborative and the final results are finely detailed

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

Reading the papers!

7. What is your favourite play you’ve either seen, read or worked on?

There have been so many but in terms of taking part, playing the old tramp Davies in 3 tours of The Caretaker. Plays that really stunned me when I saw them include Bent and Angels in America, both at the National Theatre.

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

Writing and performing in play at primary school

8. What’s the funniest thing that happened to you recently?

I was in my local bar in Spain and Bobby Davro walked in. You have to be fairly old to know who he is, but he was a popular comedian / entertainer on TV in the 1980’s.

9. What’s the one thing you value most in life?

Got to be either health or the feeling of warm sun on your face

10. Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you ever met them?

No longer with us: David Bowie. I’d say ‘Fancy a pint?’. Alive: Judi Dench. I’d say ‘Fancy a cuppa and a chat?’

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

I wish I’d been born in ’67 rather than ’57. So much changed for the better in those 10 years.

Wings runs at the Young Vic until 4 November. Juliet Stevenson stars as Emily, an aviator who suffers a stroke that destroys her sense of reality. Fragments of her life come together as she struggles to find her voice and sense of self.

Click here to book tickets from £10

 

The Jungle Safe Space performance

Last year we introduced our first set of inclusive performances.  These included a Safe Space performance for those who have experienced mental health problems, a dementia friendly performance and a ‘babes in arms’ performance.  All of these were highly successful and rewarding.

We are pleased to offer a new inclusive performance.  Like the previous events, it is open to all audience members and has been created in partnership with the show’s creative and technical teams.

The Young Vic Safe Space performance of The Jungle particularly welcomes people who have experienced trauma, along with their families, friends, carers, as well as anyone who feels this relaxed atmosphere would be beneficial to them. It will be on 3 January at 2.30pm.

Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, the co-founders of Good Chance Theatre, originally conceived their dome in Calais as a place for people to share their highly traumatic experience and to escape or, if they chose to, to confront the situations they found themselves in. The Jungle Safe Space performance is a continuation of this vision and has been developed through conversations with In Place of War and Freedom from Torture.

There will be a dedicated ‘break-out’ room outside of the auditorium available throughout. During the performance, it will be possible to come and go as you wish. For example, it might be helpful to take some time out to relax in the ‘break-out’ room or bar, use the bathroom or get some fresh air outside.

There are a selection of tickets available to buy online but if you require something more specific or want to talk through your seating options, just contact the Welcome Team via email welcometeam@youngvic.org or give them a call 020 7922 2922.

For the past thirteen years, In Place of War has worked with creative communities in some of the most challenging contexts in the world. In Place of War is a support system for community artistic, creative and cultural organisations in places of conflict, revolution and areas suffering the consequences of conflict. Find out more about their work.

Freedom from Torture provides counselling, group therapy and ongoing support for survivors of torture in the UK, tailoring the support they offer to suit each person. Read about their projects, campaigns and fundraising work.

For a full list of all our upcoming accessible performances, visit our Access for All page.  If you’re coming to see a show and have specific access requirements, please contact us in advance so that we can make your visit as enjoyable as possible. For more information please call us on 020 7922 2922 (Textphone 18001 020 7922 2922).

Kwame Kwei-Armah announced as Young Vic’s new Artistic Director

The Young Vic is thrilled to announce that Kwame Kwei-Armah will become the new Artistic Director in February 2018.

A photo of Kwame Kwei-Armah taken outside the entrance to Baltimore Centre Stage

Kwame Kwei-Armah will become the new Artistic Director in February 2018

Kwame Kwei-Armah is an award-winning director and playwright and the outgoing Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage where he directed extensively. Directing credits also include New York’s Public Theater, Signature Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Repertory Theatre. His production of One Night in Miami at the Donmar Warehouse was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play.

His works as playwright include One Love (Birmingham Rep), Marley, Beneatha’s Place (Baltimore Center Stage), Elmina’s Kitchen, Fix Up, Statement of Regret (National Theatre) and Let There Be Love and Seize the Day (Tricycle Theatre). Kwame was the Chancellor of the University of the Arts London from 2010-15, and in 2012 was awarded an OBE for Services to Drama.

Kwame will succeed David Lan further to the announcement that he would be stepping down in 2018 after 18 years in the role. Kwame will announce his first season of work as Artistic Director in the new year.

Kwame Kwei-Armah says: “To walk into the Young Vic is to come face to face with everything I love about theatre, so I am beyond humbled, if not a little scared. But to lead this magnificent theatre at this time in our nation’s history, after such a visionary as David, excites me beyond words. I can’t wait to get started.”

Patrick McKenna, Chair of the Board, says: “After meeting Kwame the panel was unanimous in its decision to appoint him as the next leader for this remarkable institution. Kwame’s wealth of experience directing, writing and working with the local community in Baltimore and beyond will translate beautifully to his new role leading the work on the Young Vic’s three stages as well as its pioneering outreach and education work in London.”

David Lan, outgoing Artistic Director, says: “The choice the panel has made is inspired. I welcome it wholeheartedly and will do whatever I can to support Kwame in the early days as he finds his own distinctive way to keep the Young Vic one of the great producing theatres of this country and the world.

★★★★ “Mesmerising” | Reviews for Wings

Wings opened last night at the Young Vic and the reviews are coming in fast.

This stunning production by Natalie Abrahami stars Juliet Stevenson as Emily, a one-time fiercely independent aviator and wing walker who suffers a stroke that profoundly changes the way in which she sees the world.

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★★★★
“Mesmerising – Juliet Stevenson takes us to another plane”
The Evening Standard | Read the full review

★★★★
“A remarkable performance from Stevenson in Abrahami’s sensitive and daring production”
The Independent | Read the full review

★★★★
“Thrilling theatrical magic”
WhatsOnStage | Read the full review

★★★★
“A thrilling dramatic realisation – gloriously liberated”
The Financial Times | Read the full review

★★★★
“The unflinching authenticity that makes Wings fly”
City AM | Read the full review

David Emmings and Juliet Stevenson in Wings at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson.

“Stevenson deserves nothing but praise for her performance”
The Guardian | Read the full review

“Juliet Stevenson gives an extraordinary performance”
The Observer | Read the full review

“Juliet Stevenson is a transcendent force”
The Telegraph | Read the full review

“Dazzling – a fascinatingly different play”
Time Out | Read the full review

Wings runs until 4 Nov at the Young Vic. Tickets are available to book here.

Directors Program talks Dramaturgy

The Young Vic Directors Program has recently been deep diving into the world of dramaturgy in British theatre. David Lougmair, who’s facilitating the project, has been joined by David Lan and Bryony Kimmings so far and has upcoming talks with Stewart Pringle and Lyndsey Turner.

David Lan in a workshop at the Young Vic

David Lan in a workshop at the Young Vic. © Leon Puplett

Whilst examining the many ways dramaturgy is practiced and used by established artists working in our theatrical ecology, each workshop has explored different elements of the craft including dramaturgy on productions, dramaturgy in venues, dramaturgy in international work, alongside wider conversations surrounding how the craft is evolving and why the visibility of the role is increasing.

We chatted to theatre maker and dramaturg Zoë Svendsen earlier this year for our Off Book podcast to discuss the important role dramaturgy plays in theatre and how she discovered dramaturgy was part of what she wanted to do. Have a listen below and subscribe on iTunes and Soundcloud.

The Young Vic has been running it’s Directors Program for over a decade, offering young directors a unique opportunity to exchange experiences with peers and be part of a network of talented younger directors, producers and designers.

Find out more about the Directors Program and the opportunities offered across the country.

An evening with Peter Brook at the Young Vic

The legendary Peter Brook, ‘our greatest living theatre director’ (The Independent), will join the Young Vic’s Artistic Director David Lan to discuss his new book Tip of the Tongue: Reflections on Language and Meaning and his remarkable career on Wednesday 13 September.

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Peter Brook by Régis d’Audeville.

In Tip of the Tongue, Peter Brook takes a charming, playful and wise look at topics such as the subtle, telling differences between French and English and the many levels on which we can appreciate the works of Shakespeare. Brook also revisits his seminal concept of the ’empty space’, considering how theatre – and the world – have changed over the course of his life.

After the talk and audience Q&A session, Peter will sign copies of his new book.

Following the book signing, there will be a special screening of The Tightrope (2012). In this revealing behind-the-scenes documentary, director Simon Brook – Peter’s son – takes us into the rehearsal room to witness Brook’s inspiring, powerful and intimate rehearsal process.

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An evening with Peter Brook will take place at 6pm in the Maria studio at the Young Vic Theatre on Wednesday 13 September. Tickets are available to book here. Tip of the Tongue: Reflections on Language and Meaning by Peter Brook is available to buy from nickhernbooks.co.uk

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “An electric storm of a performance” | Nina reviews

The reviews are in for Nina: A Story about me & Nina Simone !
Josette Bushell-Mingo, and her three piece band, mix story and song as she draws together tales from the life of Nina Simone, Josette’s own extraordinary career and the Black Lives Matter movement. This production is all sold out but you are welcome to join our returns queue from 6.45pm each night.

You can read the reviews below and check out what audiences have been saying so far in our Storify round up.

Josette Bushell-Mingo in Nina at the Young Vic. Photo by Simon Annand (2).jpg

Josette Bushell-Mingo and band in Nina at the Young Vic. Photo by Simon Annand

 

★★★★
“An electric storm of a performance”
Time Out | Read the full review

★★★★
“Amid this darkness, there’s also much light. Bushell-Mingo inhabits instinctively the union of joy and protest in Simone’s sound.”
The Times| Read the full review

★★★★
“Josette Bushell-Mingo’s searing one-woman show pushes the boundaries of theatre.”
The Stage| Read the full review

Nina: A Story about me & Nina Simone runs in the Young Vic Maria studio until 29 July before it heads to the Traverse Theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.