11 Questions with the Vocal Coach of The Suppliant Women | Mary King

The “outstanding” (★★★★★ The Telegraph) The Suppliant Women has received wide-spread critical acclaim, not least for the power of the “choral power unleashed” (★★★★★ Whatsonstage) from the chorus of 27 young women recruited from local communities of South London who sing and dance their way through Aeschylus’ 2500 year old text. It seems fitting, therefore, that Mary King – Vocal Coach to finest of London’s musical theatre and opera stars, and who has coached these young women since their recruitment in September – should be in the hot seat for our 11 Questions today:

1. Can you describe your job in three words?

Fascinating, energising, varied!

2. What’s it like working with a community chorus of 50+ ?

All of the above (Answer 1) – stimulating and never dull

3. What was it that first got you interested in singing/music?

Been interested my whole life, but remember being absolutely awestruck by hearing Kathleen Ferrier on a recording singing Blow the wind Southerly – I must have been about 8, and I’d never heard anything like it

4. If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

My super power would be the ability to get on a magic carpet at the end of a rehearsal / day’s work, and to be home in seconds…..(and a bonus if it could also be used for getting to work, or even making trips to seaside / countryside / parks and gardens…)

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

Either doing a vocal warm up with the cast, or sipping a dry white in the bar…

6. What is your favourite show you’ve seen, read or worked on?

Too many to mention, so it would change every day of the week – Bernstein’s Mass in 2010 was pretty amazing!

7. What’s the best thing about teaching?

Seeing / hearing people develop over a rehearsal period, and accomplish things which are a) amazing and b) that they didn’t necessarily know they could…

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

Hopefully it will be thought provoking; touching and exciting

9. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Stick in there… never give up

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

Not sure I have an ultimate hero / heroine… I met Bobby McFerrin once, (who would be on my list, if I had one) and could only mumble…

11. Confession time. This is a safe space: tell us something you’ve never told anyone before

I cannot change my new light bulbs….

★★★★★ “A timeless, fantastical production of colour, song, and movement” | The Suppliant Women reviews

The fantastic reviews are rolling in for The Suppliant Women, which is currently storming our Main House with a chorus of over 50 people from our local communities.

★★★★★
“A timeless, fantastical production of colour, song, and movement” 

The Independent | Read the full review

★★★★★
“Outstanding…pungent modern resonances” 

The Telegraph | Read the full review

★★★★★
“Remarkable…choral power unleashed” 

Whatsonstage | Read the full review

YOUNG VIC - THE SUPPLIANT WOMEN 2017

The chorus of The Suppliant Women led by Gemma May. © Stephen Cummiskey

★★★★
“An experience of overwhelming potency…awakens a renewed faith in the future” 

The Times | Read the full review

★★★★
“Pulsating urgency…rousingly topical” 

The Evening Standard | Read the full review

★★★★
“A fierce, beautiful staging of Aeschylus’s drama” 

Financial Times | Read the full review

★★★★
“A community chorus gives tremendous power to this witty adaptation of Aeschylus’s ancient play” 

Time Out | Read the full review

The Suppliant Women runs until 25 November with very limited availability on a few nights and a returns queue operating for all performances. Click here to find out more and book tickets.

 

Captioning Awareness Week – 11 Questions with Caption Hero Miranda Yates

Here at the Young Vic this week, we’re celebrating Captioning Awareness Week, spreading the word about captioned performances to the 1 in 6 people in the UK who are currently deaf, deafened or hard of hearing.

Enter, Miranda Yates, who has long been captioning the Young Vic’s productions and also happens to be our Caption Hero (I mean, how could she not be?!). Whether you’re a captioning regular or you didn’t know the word existed, we hope Miranda’s 11 questions will give you a little insight into accessible theatre…

1. Can you describe your job in three words?

Self-contained, persnickety, silent

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

Trying to be calm – finishing off a takeaway coffee!

3. What was it that first got you interested in captioning and access?

A long time back now  whilst working at the Almeida Theatre (I still am!) I was inspired by the work of Graeae Theatre Company to look at ways of extending access for Deaf and disabled audiences. This led to setting up a regular programme which included captioned and audio described performances. Later following a successful funding application we trained with Stagetext to caption in house and I became a captioner.

4. What’s the funniest thing that’s happened at captioned performance?

I did a show recently in the West End where the lead character because of illness swapped to their understudy half way through the show – that was a surprise!

5. Have the actors ever gone off script or tried to test you?

At this very venue not so long ago in the Life of Galileo – not naming names – but they’re definitely regretting not being on my Christmas card list this year – ha ha!

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

Passion at the Donmar Warehouse – I didn’t caption it but worked on the audio description for it. Sondheim all the way – genius!

7. What’s your favourite thing about being part of the wonderful world of theatre captioning?

It’s great to do a job that reduces the barriers that D/deaf and disabled people face and promotes access to the magical world that theatre is.

8. Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you could meet them?

Joni Mitchell – unlike the Caption Hero I’d be a bit lost for words if I ever go that opportunity!

9. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Think less – do more! (I don’t always manage it!)

10. What would you say to someone who had never been to a captioned performance but secretly wanted to?

Just go – what’s to lose?!

11. Confession time. This is a safe space: tell us something you’ve never told anyone before.

I think I accidentally cooked a hamster once – the cage was outside and it was a hot day! When I went to check the hamster had gone quite stiff – we buried it in our back garden … #BadPetOwner

Find out more about Captioning Awareness Week and Stagetext‘s work. See our upcoming accessible performance schedule on our Access for All page.

Casting announcement: meet cast of The Jungle

We’re thrilled today to announce the cast for The Jungle – a co-production between Young Vic and the National Theatre with Good Chance Theatre, commissioned by the National Theatre. Running at the Young Vic from 7 Dec 2017 – 6 Jan 2018.

This is a truly global cast which includes actors from Afghanistan, Algeria, Eritrea, Iran, Sudan, Syria, the UK and Zimbabwe, including many from refugee backgrounds, some of whom came through the Calais ‘Jungle’.

raphael-acloque.jpg

Raphael Acloque makes his Young Vic debut in The Jungle. 
Theatre includes:
As You Like It, Rabbit, Fast Labour, Nell Gwyn, Macbeth, Hindle Wakes, The Lady’s Tragedy, The Rivals, Death and the Maiden, The Comedy of Errors, The Duchess of Malfi (LAMDA)
Television includes:
24: Legacy, Knightfall, Humans, Tyrant, The Secret Agent, Versailles, La Maison D’Alexina
Film includes:
Allied, Burnt, The Danish Girl

Ammar Haj Ahmad makes his Young Vic debut in The Jungle.Ammar-Haj-Ahmad.jpg
Theatre includes: LOVE (National Theatre / Birmingham Repertory); The Great Survey of Hastings (Ladie’s Parlour); Goats/Told From the Inside (Royal Court); Kan Yama (Cockpit Theatre); Mawlana (Mosaic Rooms); The Knight and the Crescent Hare (UK tour); Babel (Caledonian Park); One Thousand and One Nights (The Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, Toronto / Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh)
Television includes: Agatha Raisin, Letters from Baghdad plus many other Arabic television credits
Film includes: London Tomorrow, ALEGNA, Wall, Round Trip, Maqha Almawt, Wada’an, Monologue

Aliya Ali makes her Young Vic debut.

Mohammad-Amiri.jpg

Mohammad Amiri makes his Young Vic debut in The Jungle.
Theatre includes:
Boy (Almeida)
Television includes: Unforgotten 2
Film includes: Fighting With My Family, City of Tiny Lights

 

Alyssa Denise D’Sousa makes her Young Vic debut.

Elham Ehsas makes his Young Vic debut.

trevor-fox.jpgTrevor Fox makes his Young Vic debut in The Jungle. 
Theatre includes:
People Places & Things (UK Tour), Common (National Theatre), Billy Elliot, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time (West End); The Pitman Painters (National Theatre / New York); The Tempest, Cymbeline, The Oresteia, Measure For Measure, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Globe); Children’s Children, King Lear (Almeida)
Television includes: The Moonstone, Beowulf, Joe Maddison’s War, The Walk Daddy’s Girl, Our Friends In The North
Film includes: Bridget Jones – The Edge Of Reason, Billy Elliot

Moein Ghobsheh makes her Young Vic debut.

michael-gould.jpgMichael Gould returns to the Young Vic after appearing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A View from the Bridge (also West End / Broadway), Hamlet, Cruel and Tender. 
Theatre includes:
Waves, Women of Troy, Earthquakes in London, Our Class (National); The Audience (Apollo); The Ugly One (Royal Court); Othello (RSC); King Lear (Shakespeare’s Globe)
Television includes: Man Down, The Trial, Decline and Fall, The Bletchley Circle, Silent Witness, Wallander,
Film includes: Darkest Hour, Rogue One, Our Kind of Traitor, Crocodile, Private Peaceful, Room 8 (BAFTA Best Short)

Ansu-Kabia.jpgAnsu Kabia makes his Young Vic debut in The Jungle. 
Theatre includes: 
Hamlet (RADA), Romeo and Juliet, Harlequinade, The Winter’s Tale (Garrick); To Sir With Love (Royal & Derngate / Tour); The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Mouse and His Child, Mojo, Little Eagles, Antony and Cleopatra, King Lear, As You Like It (RSC); She Rode Horses Like The Stock Exchange (Old Vic) and A Few Man Fridays (Cardboard Citizens)
Television includes: Wizards Vs Aliens, London’s Burning, Utopia, The Bill, 10 Days To War and Casualty
Film includes: Murder On The Orient Express
Bruk Kumelay makes his Young Vic debut.

Alex-Lawther.jpgAlex Lawther makes his Young Vic debut in The Jungle. 
Theatre includes:
Crushed Shells and Mud (Southwark Playhouse); The Glass Supper, Fault Lines (Hampstead Theatre); and South Downs (Harold Pinter/Chichester)
Television includes: The End of the Fucking World, Howards End, Black Mirror
Film includes: Ghost Stories, Goodbye Christoper Robin, Freak Show, Old Boys, Departure (winner, Best Actor – Dublin International Film Festival), The Imitation Game (winner, Young British Performer – London Film Critics’ Circle) and X+Y

Jo McInnes 1 (1).jpgJo McInnes makes her Young Vic debut in The Jungle. 
Theatre includes
Wastewater, Fleshwound, Bluebird (Royal Court); The House Of Bernarda Alba, The Children’s Hour (National Theatre); M.A.D (Bush); On Blindness,dirty butterfly (Soho Theatre);
Television includesEternal Law, Five Daughters, Material Girl, Recovery, Afterlife, Sorted, The World Of Impressionists, Spooks, Living It, Playing The Field
Film includesMe and Orson Welles, The New Romantics, My Wife is an Actress, Birthday Girl, Gangster No. 1
Jo also works extensively as a director.

John-Pfumojena.jpgJohn Pfumojena makes his Young Vic debut in The Jungle.
Theatre includes: Bent, Peter Pan (National Theatre); Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe); Workshop Negative (The Gate); I Am Thomas (National Theatre of Scotland); Beasty Baby (Theatre Rights/Polka Theatre); Now You See Me (Immediate Theatre); The Maids (Zimbabwe tour); Water, Bread And Salt (Tangle Café and UK tour); Dream Nation (UK tour); Much Ado About Nothing (Reps Theatre Zimbabwe); The Coup, Waiting For Constitution (Theatre In The Park, Zimbabwe) and Diary Of A Madman (Spear Theatre Zimbabwe)

Rachel-Redford.jpgRachel Redford makes her Young Vic debut in The Jungle.
Theatre includes: The Crucible (Manchester Royal Exchange); Luna Gale (Hampstead Theatre); Closer (Donmar Warehouse); A Ghost From A Perfect Place (Arcola); Adler & Gibb (Royal Court); Not The Worst Place (Sherman Theatre / Theatr Clwyd); Parallel Lines (Chapter Arts Centre); A Family Affair (Sherman Theatre); The Acid Test, Blue Stockings, King Lear (RADA) and Romeo & Juliet (The Gate, Cardiff)
Television includes: Gap Year
Film includes: Testament Of Youth, The Riot Club and Nights

 

Rachid-Sabitri.jpgRachid Sabitri makes his Young Vic debut in The Jungle.
Theatre includes: Aladdin (West End); Romeo and Juliet (West End); I Call My Brothers (Off Broadway and Arcola); Twelfth Night (Westport Country Playhouse and Northampton Theatre Royal); Rafta Rafta (Old Globe, San Diego & National Theatre UK tour); The Tale of the Allergists Wife (La Marida Playhouse, LA)
Television includes: Homeland, Criminal Minds, Madam secretary, Generation Kill, Dr Who, The Odds, The Walk, Wannabes, The Bill, Casualty, Family Business, Blue Murder 
Radio includes: Silver Street, Together

Mohamed Sarrar makes his Young Vic debut.

ben-turner.jpgBen Turner returns to the Young Vic after appearing in Soldier’s Fortune.
Theatre includes: The Kite Runner, As You Like It (Wynham’s Theatre / UK tour); The Iliad (Royal Lyceum Theatre); Maiden Voices From The Uprising (Royal Court); Richard II, Caligula (Donmar Warehouse); Awake And Sing (Almeida) Measure For Measure/Habeus Corpus (tour) The Merchant Of Venice (RSC / tour)
Television includes: The Coroner, WPC 56, Death In Paradise, Casualty, The Bill, Dr Who, Love Soup
Film includes: Six Days, 300: Rise Of An Empire, The Fifth Estate, Adulthood, Syriana

Nahel-Tzegai.jpgNahel Tzegai makes her Young Vic debut in The Jungle.
Theatre includes: How It Ended (Bush Theatre); Ring (BAC); The Ship’s Name (Royal Court); You Are Currently The Highest Bidder, Block 9, Virtually_Real (Roundhouse) and Isilwanyana Esoyikekayo (Trinity College)
Radio includes: Black Dog, Cuttin’ It and The Brave Little Tailor

The Jungle is directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, and written by Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy – the joint-artistic directors of Good Chance Theatre which was originally based in the ‘Jungle’ in Calais and then in the north of Paris next to the refugee welcome centre for the first half of 2017.

10% of tickets for The Jungle will be offered to refugees.

Find out more about the show and book your tickets here.

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 . . .

nick-gasson

 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.