Refugee Week – An interview with Abdi Ali

This week as part of Refugee Week we spoke to Abdi Ali about his experiences of leaving Somalia for Canada, and having to claim asylum in England. Abdi is one of our Two Boroughs members and was a participant in Young Vic Taking Part’s production Go Between. What’s below is his story…

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Abdi Ali. Photo by Jordan Lee 

Tell us what your experience was of coming here?

When I left Africa everything was like a dream. It didn’t hit me until I landed in Gatwick airport, and I was thinking shit what am I going to do.

I don’t think it sank in till I got here and I was 14 and I was at the airport, loads of people passing by, don’t speak the language, and I have to find a certain gate for my aeroplane going to leave from, and obviously I was travelling with this guy and the plan was I wasn’t going to talk to him. He was sitting a couple of seats in front. And I said OK. I will only speak to you if I have to and the plan was we walk off the plane and we walk up to gate 38. And I couldn’t find it, because to me I was just a kid and I just panicked. I couldn’t find it. I didn’t see him.  He just disappeared into the crowds.

And I wandered round the airport from one place to another and before I knew it the immigration got the attention of this young boy wandering around the airport, and they called me and tried to get my attention, but I didn’t speak any English. This was in the 80s there wasn’t a lot of Somalis in the country, so they had to resort to this old British army guy and they had to get him all the way from Brighton and bring him over. And he spoke good Somali but the sort that my granddad would speak. I was kind of struggling as my language is kind of mixed up with slang, he was like proper Somali, and he interpreted for me and he says, “why are you here?” and I said I was going to Canada – and where am I anyway? – as I wasn’t even sure what country I was in. And he said, “You’re in England, and I said “I am going to Canada and this is my passport and this is my ticket.” And the minute I showed the passport they all laughed and said “Well, this isn’t yours.” The guy hadn’t even changed the picture. The plan was he was given money and he could have made efforts. But he didn’t. So the picture in my passport was of a forty something year old man from Tanzania. And immediately immigration said “well this is illegal. We can’t allow you to travel further. “

They said, “You have two choices- we know you have come from Somalia, and we know there are problems there so you can ask for asylum. Or we can send you back…” Staying here wasn’t an option for me. It was a weird scenario because they would bring us back to the airport in the morning and then take us back to a detention centre at night. For 30 days and every morning the same interview. Asking “do you accept your stay here?”, and I was like “no, I don’t know anybody here, I don’t speak the language who is gonna look after me?”  A lot of people who I speak to, they think that as an asylum seeker or refugee you have already calculated what kind of benefits you are going to get. For me it was like – these people are telling me to stay here, and who is going to look after me, and that was my main concern. When I went back to the detention centre there were lots of other people who were staying there for all sorts of different reasons; some getting deported, and there was another Somali guy who could speak English and he interpreted for me, and there were a couple of Jamaican guys who were asking lots of questions – “why are you here?”  And I was like, “I don’t want to stay here. I want to go to Canada and they won’t let me”, and they said “well, will they allow you to stay here?” and I said yes, and they said “Are you crazy ? Just accept it!” They are here trying every trick in the book not to be deported and I was actually refusing to stay in England.  And I said “who is gonna look after me?”, they says, “oh they will look after you and you will get money and housing and stuff.”

After 30 days I went to the last interview and they got really serious – either we deport you back or you sign this document saying that you want to stay here – and I said “OK, I am gonna stay here.” But the night before they [the people at the detention centre] told me not to say I was 14. Which was completely the biggest mistake I made. “Say you are 20. Because obviously the documents you are travelling with are not yours, because if you say you are 14 they will put you in care and you’ll be abused and all kind of things… “ So they had given me the wrong information. So I went there the next day and said I am 20. They looked at me. And the whole panel didn’t believe me, but because they were stuck with me for 30 days and they just wanted to get rid of me. So they were just like OK.

They gave me this ELR letter and an address of a hostel in Wembley, and three pounds, and a travel card and that was it. And got me out of Gatwick airport and showed me the train and were like – bye! And I am like how am I meant to work out where to go? So it wasn’t just me there was a whole group of us and a couple of them spoke English. But at that time the Somalis were coming here because the civil war was quite raw, and there was that kind of division, and I come from a very minority clan so I find myself … and the ones I can identify with abandon me because I am from the wrong clan and I find myself alone in London and couldn’t find the hostel.

So I slept around Victoria for two nights, one morning I just came up with this idea. I was like, well, I speak five African languages, I am bound to find someone I can communicate with. So I was standing outside Victoria station and any black person, I would just throw words any language. Some were looking at me just passing not understanding what I was talking about. Some were thinking I was mad. And then there was this particular woman who responded and I was like “Fantastic, you have got to take me to this hostel”, and it was like 8am in the morning, and she said “No, I have to go to work, and Wembley is like miles away”, and I said “I don’t care, you speak my language and I have been speaking rough for two nights and you have got to take me to this hostel.” She said “I am going to work, and if you can wait outside I can take you this evening”, and she thought I would disappear after about an hour, but I just camped out outside her work and just sat there. She came out for her lunch break and I was still sitting there – she bought me a sandwich, and then at about 6/7pm she came out and took me to Wembley. And went to this hostel and the rest is history.

I stayed in the hostel and got into a bit of trouble, basically because when you go to a hostel environment and you are quite naive and don’t speak the language. I was taken advantage of by a certain group of people there – getting me involved in criminal activities which I wasn’t happy with.

How did you meet your wife?

I met her in the African Centre watching a band, and I remember, I was at a crossroads in about 1996. I came out of prison. I was confused. Did not want to stay here any more. My life hadn’t been great since I came here, and I didn’t want to go back to East London and I was watching this band – a Congolese band, and Lucy was there with her friend, and there was a group of guys who were like really harassing them and all over them, and I was somehow finding the whole thing amusing – I don’t know why. And I was just thinking how are they going to get out of this as there are five guys just being really blokey, trying to push it, and then Lucy came over and sat next to me and was like “do you have a lighter?” And I said “Are you a student ?” “Why are you asking me that?” And I said “well, typical student, they don’t have cigarette or they don’t have a lighter – one or the other.” And then we got talking and then we became friends.

We have been together for 18 years. That was the turning point, as well as living in a squat, because when I came out of prison I was living in a squat. They sent me to a hostel, and the hostel where I was going was with people who were involved in crime that I knew, and I knew if I went back there I would go back to drugs, so I met a group of squatters. They had this house. I used to see them in the park and we used to play football and talk, and one of the guys said, “I live in a big squat . I see your situation. We have strict rules there – if you bring someone into this community you have to talk to everybody, and also you have to respect other people’s property and stuff like that” – and I was like “yeah, that’s fine.” And I moved in with them and I think my life changed from that point, meeting Lucy and having a family.

But I think the first five years were very difficult, and I also hated my dad and spent a lot of time feeling angry, because to me leaving Somalia wasn’t my choice, and personally that’s why my asylum was confused, was that you have to fit into a category of five. And I didn’t fit into any of them. Because to me, when they ask… “why are you here?”  “My dad sent me.” “Why did your dad send you?” “Because he didn’t want me to get involved in the madness”. That doesn’t fit the box….. I was sent against my wish. I never saw anybody killed. My dad had this foresight. My dad is an avid news listener he had his ears open, he knows what’s happening. So he knew Somalia was going to kick right off. And he sold everything he owned and sent us away.

But I didn’t see it that way. I saw that he had just took the easy life and got rid of me.  And also sent me to a country where I don’t understand the language or the culture so it wasn’t easy. So I just had to go and make peace in 1995, to go and see him and confront him and ask him why he did it, And he said, “I saved your life”.  But to me it was like he ruined my life. He sent me to a place where I have been to prison. I have been to madness… It’s like countless….  have had suicidal thoughts. All kinds of stuff. Because it’s not easy to integrate. Because you are told to assimilate from the people and community you live around. But the community I lived around at that particular time where people who were involved in a lot of mad stuff, and I didn’t have any other choice. And I kind of hated it, but there was nowhere to run to and I came out stronger.

I can see that now, becoming a dad, I can see what my dad did, but I never thought it was very high morally, and I kind of hated him for many years after, and wanted to make him feel guilty – you just wanted an easy life getting rid of us- but I saw it from his perspective, he knew the country was going downhill. You do try to save your children, and so he saved the youngest two. He kept the oldest which made me even more angry- I was thinking I am the youngest you should have kept me. There’s one thing that my dad told me which I still disagree with him about, even though he is kind of adamant.  He said every parent knows his children, and he said “your eldest brother, he never would have survived like you would have” and I thought, how do you know, how can you tell that. And he says, because I know my children- he needs more support. So that’s the reason he gave, but I just don’t buy it. But I think he’s my oldest brother how can he be weaker than me. So I kind of resented that.

With the British passport, I was kind of entitled to it in 1992 and never applied for it . I think in a way I kind of self-sabotaged myself, because to me I never accepted this journey. I didn’t want to be here, and when I tried to explain to people, some people say how ungrateful – and you know I am not ungrateful. To me, it was a journey that was planned for me, it wasn’t something I had planned myself, and I didn’t come here to get a British passport. And a lot of people say to me, your wife is British, your children are British, why are you not British? But it’s up here [points at forehead]. And also I have this fear….what if I change my nationality, and then Somalia becomes better, and they say well, we don’t want you. And I always had this idea that I would go home. And I still have that somewhere, and it’s getting to a point when I only realise when I go there how I have changed. I have this romantic idea one day I will go and live there, but when I go there I find I am used to systems, and things, and the bus coming when to supposed to, and I get irritated about things and people say “oh relax Abdi, what’s wrong with you” and I say no you shouldn’t relax. Things should work. And I think people there are more relaxed. It’s not as urgent and there’s no rush to go anywhere.

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Abdi Ali in Go Between at the Young Vic. Photo by Jordan Lee. 

How did you learn English? Just from the people around you?

I have never been to school. The only formal education I have had is only about 2 or 3 years in my entire life. I have learned it all myself. When I lived in the squat there were a lot of clever people in there, and they helped me a lot and taught me how to… and you can tell by the fact the way I write and the way I speak are very different. And a lot of people when I talk to them are like “what university did you go to” and I say I never even went to college let alone university. Because I have been here 27 years you know, and you know I think what helped me was because I travelled most of my life, and I like spoke different languages, so it’s easy to learn languages.

And what made you take part in Go Between?

I was working at St Mungo’s and I met John, and he told me he was doing this project, and he thought I might enjoy it so that’s why I came– and I have always liked theatre. When I worked for Nacro, we used to get a lot of tickets from this small theatre in Shepherds Bush, The Bush, and we used to go there with some of the young people I used to work with and I kind of enjoyed it, I really enjoyed it. I want to do more – I think it helped me in terms of my confidence and stuff like that. It’s good, I enjoyed it.

How did you find telling some of your story on stage?

I am constantly telling people. I never stop talking about it. My missus tells me Abdi, we have had enough of your stories. Let’s talk about something else.

And yeah it’s not… in a way it’s therapeutic to talk about it and get it out.

Refugee Week runs 19 – 25 June 2017. Find out more about the events going on in your neighbourhood. #OurSharedFuture

 

11 Questions with the cast of Life of Galileo – Billy Howle

We know you’ve been waiting for it, it’s 11 Questions time with Billy Howle. Currently on stage at the Young Vic until 1 July in Life of Galileofind out what Billy thinks needs inventing right now 👇🏽. 

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Billy Howle in Life of Galileo. Photo by Johan Persson

1. Can you describe your character in Life of Galileo in three words?

Inquisitive. Dedicated. Trusting.

2. What’s you’re favourite thing about working with Joe Wright?

Forgetting everything I thought I knew.

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

Wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.

4. What invention do you think the world is lacking right now?

Truth-o-meter: Bullshit detector, namely for politicians.

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

Singing / Dancing / Sleeping / Eating

6. What is your favourite project you have worked on as an actor?

I don’t have favourite – but this is pretty darn lush.

7. If you could travel anywhere in the universe, where would you go and why?

Boldly go where no man has gone before (with Patrick Stewart).

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

Doing funny voices and fancy dress parties.

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

“Unhappy is the land that needs heroes”

10. What is your favourite midnight snack?

Semolina.

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

70’s/80’s so I could see who my parents were before me.

Life of Galileo runs 6 May – 1 July at the Young Vic directed by BAFTA Award-winning director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice). Book tickets now.

Director / Writer ‘speed-dating’ with Theatre 503 ❤️️

This month the YV Directors Program ran a ‘speed-dating’ event in collaboration with our friends at Theatre 503Directors who had directed one to two shows were encouraged to apply and were paired up for short conversations with writers from Theatre 503’s development programme.

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Director / Writer speed-dating with Theatre 503. Photo by Beanie Ridler.

The idea behind the event was to give writers and directors an opportunity to find new collaborators and partnerships for the future. Each pair met for a five minutes chat, before moving on to the next partner at the ding of a bell. At the end of the session there was a longer chance to talk to everyone more informally.

Ben Mills, who facilitated the workshop had the idea after attending a similar workshop for director / designer relationships:

I’d previously attended one of the Director/Designer speed-dating sessions organised through the network. It was a brilliant way of getting a snapshot of people you might want to work with – and who were clearly also interested in meeting new collaborators. So when I was considering what I might want to organise, doing something similar, writers was the first thing that jumped to mind.

As a director who works mostly in new plays, I’ve learnt that the best collaborations come out of strong relationships between writers and directors. Finding writers whose plays you like is obviously the first thing you look for, but having a shared ethic and attitude – basically, a more personal connection – is just as important. But it can be a slow process meeting writers in the early stages of their careers – particularly ones from outside London.

The response from people on the night was fantastic. Blitzing through 22 quick-fire chats is intense, but there was a lovely energy in the room. And I’ve heard from many attendees that those brief conversations have continued since the event, some turning into collaborations already!

Keen to attend a future event or join our Genesis Directors Network? Read all about the Directors Program and the opportunities it offer. 

About the Genesis Foundation

The Genesis Foundation has supported the Young Vic for nearly 15 years, including the Young Vic’s director’s program since its inception. The Genesis Foundation is pleased to fund the Genesis Fellow and Genesis Fellow Production Fund, the Genesis Future Directors Awards and the Genesis Directors Network at the Young Vic.

Established by John Studzinski in 2001, the Genesis Foundation works in partnership with the leaders of prestigious UK arts organisations such as LAMDA, the National Theatre, Royal Court, The Sixteen and the Young Vic.  Its largest funding commitment is to programmes that support directors, playwrights, actors and musicians in the early stages of their professional lives.

The theme of art and faith increasingly characterises aspects of the Foundation’s work with choral commissions including James MacMillan’s Stabat mater.

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David Lan to step down after leading the YV for 17 years

Today we announce that our artistic director David Lan will step down after leading the company for almost two decades.

David Lan stands arm crossed, face deep in concentration in rehearsals for Why It's All Kicking Off

David Lan in rehearsals for Why It’s All Kicking Off. Photo by Leon Puplett.

David was appointed in 2000.  Over the 17 years of his tenure, the Young Vic’s ambitious and adventurous work has reached millions of people on The Cut and around the world.

David spearheaded the 2006 redevelopment of the building you know today featuring our three spaces, the Main House, the Maria and the Clare. Designed by architects Haworth Tompkins, we were named RIBA London Building of the Year, were short-listed for the Sterling Prize and won many design and industry awards.

The last decade has been the most successful in our company’s history.  David has consistently produced pioneering shows, nurtured the careers of younger theatremakers and won acclaim from critics and audiences across the globe. Through David’s vision the scope of Young Vic productions has widened to include opera, music theatre, dance and short films.

Many Young Vic productions have gone on to great success in the West End, on Broadway and in other theatres round the world. Since winning an Olivier Award for the entire 2003 season, the Young Vic has won every major London and New York theatre award, several many times over.

David will continue as artistic director and CEO until a new artistic director is appointed towards the end of this year and will continue to take responsibility for the 2017/18 season, his last at the Young Vic, which will be announced next month.

Lucy Woollatt will continue to lead the company as executive director as she has done for the last 7 years.

David Lan said: “There is never an easy time to slip away but I wanted to leave at a time of our greatest strength and success. The Young Vic is now admired and emulated internationally as well as loved by our audience in our local communities of Lambeth and Southwark, in London and across the UK.  It’s the right moment for it to set off on a new journey and a new adventure.”

Lucy Woollatt said: “We will greatly miss David’s passion, vision and leadership. He has transformed this company into a world-class destination for artists and audiences from around the world. His tireless dedication has set us up for success in the coming years, and we look forward to the next exciting chapter of the Young Vic’s story.”

Chair of the YV Board, Patrick McKenna, said:

“David has made such a big contribution to the Young Vic success story that it’s hard to do justice to his transformative leadership.  The fact that the Young Vic is currently one of the most successful independent producing theatres in the world is significantly down to David’s ability to attract the very best talent in world theatre to work here.”

Further casting announced for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof!

We’re delighted to announce Lisa Palfrey (Big Mama), Hayley Squires (Mae), Brian Gleeson (Gooper), Richard Hansel (Doctor) and Michael J Shannon (Reverend) will join the previously announced Sienna Miller, Jack O’Connell and Colm Meaney for the Young Vic production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof directed by Benedict Andrews this summer.    

Lisa Palfrey by Catrin Arwel BW

Lisa Palfrey’s theatre credits include Junkyard for Headlong, Much Ado About Nothing for Theatre Clwyd, The Seagull for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, The Kitchen Sink for the Bush Theatre, Red Bud, Ingredient X and Under The Blue Sky all for the Royal Court Theatre, Festen and The Iceman Cometh both for the Almeida Theatre and Cardiff East and Under Milk Wood both for the National Theatre.  Her film credits include Pride, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a MountainHouse of America, Under Milk Wood and Guest House Paradiso.  Her television credits include HinterlandThe Line of Duty, Green HollowCasualty, and Family Tree.

Hayley Squires photo by Filip Van Roe BW USE THIS ONEHayley Squires’ theatre credits include The Pitchfork Disney at Shoreditch Town Hall and As Good a Time as Any at The Print Room.  For the role of Katie in Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winning I, Daniel Blake she won the British Independent Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer, the Evening Standard British Film award for Best Supporting Actress and also received a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress.  Her other credits include Giantland, Away, Polar Bear, A Royal Night Out and Blood Cells.  Her television credits include The Miniaturist, Collateral, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, The Commuter, Murder, Southcliffe, Complicit and Call The Midwife.

Brian Gleeson by Karl Hayden BW

Brian Gleeson was most recently seen on stage in The Weir at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh.  His other theatre credits include The Walworth Farce at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin and the Donmar Warehouse production of The Night Alive, which also ran at the Atlantic Theatre in New York.  His film credits include Assassin’s CreedThe Flag, Tiger Raid, History’s Future, Standby, Darkness on the Edge of Town, Stay, Snow White and The Huntsman.  His television work includes the lead role of Jimmy Mahon in the RTÉ series RebellionQuirke and Stonemouth.  His  film work due for release this year includes Steven Soderbergh’s feature film Logan Lucky, Darren Aronofsky’s Mother!, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread.

Richard Hanseel by Nicholas Dawkes BW

Richard Hansell’s more recent theatre credits include Lazarus at the King’s Cross Theatre, the Young Vic’s production of A View From the Bridge which transferred to the West End and then to Broadway and Macbeth at the Trafalgar Studios.  His other theatre credits include Tonight at 8.30 for Chichester Festival Theatre, The Madness of King George III at the Apollo Theatre, The Bridge Project at the Old Vic and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Troilus and Cressida for Shakespeare’s Globe, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, School for Scandal and Hamlet all for English Touring Theatre and A Patriot For Me and Two Gentlemen of Verona for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  His television credits include And Then There Were None, Downton Abbey, Spooks, The Royal, Miracle Landing on The Hudson and E=MC2, and on film his credits include Shine, The Wolfman and Hamlet.

Michael Shannon by Robert Kazandian

Michael J Shannon’s theatre credits include The Dining Room and The Glass Menagerie, both at Greenwich Theatre, Artichoke for the Tricycle Theatre, Totally Foxed at the Theatre Royal Bath, The Price at the Leicester Haymarket, The End of the World at Nuffield, Southampton,  A Thousand Clowns at the Palace, Watford and A Delicate Balance at the Nottingham Playhouse.  His television credits include We’ll Meet Again, Boston Legal and Brothers & Sisters.

 

 

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  will play at the Apollo Theatre, 31 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES, 13 July – 7 October 2017. For more info and to book tickets, click here.

 

 

The Genesis Future Directors Award 2018 is now open for applications!

Applications are now open for the Genesis Future Directors Award 2018, and this year we are specifically looking to strengthen our commitment to diversity by calling for applications from D/deaf or disabled emerging directors, and emerging directors who want to work with a cast that includes D/deaf or disabled actors. If you’re interested in applying please read on for guidelines and a step by step overview of the application process! 

George Ikediashi, Kamari Romeo & Rebecca Root in The Bear The Proposal at the Young Vic © Ellie Kurttz (2)

2017 Genesis Future Directors Award winner Lucy J Skilbeck’s The Bear/The Proposal at the Young Vic. Photo by Ellie Kurttz.

The Genesis Future Directors Award at the Young Vic 2018

The close relationship between the Genesis Foundation and the Young Vic dates back over more than 10 years. The generous support we have received has been crucial to establishing and maintaining our work with directors which is at the heart of everything we do.

The Genesis Future Directors Award enables us to identify, support and nurture a director to explore their craft and stage a production in the Clare Theatre. The Award is aimed at young and / or emerging directors who have demonstrated a talent for, and commitment to, directing but have had limited opportunity to make work.

THE AWARD

The Young Vic has a deep commitment to diversity. This is seen in the shows we create and present, as well as in the people we work with. We know that UK theatres have a long way to go to engage with and speak to the full range of experience of the people living in this country. We want to do what we can to change that.

To help us be as inclusive as possible, our programming aims to embrace diversity, difference, ambition and excellence. In 2018, the Genesis Future Directors Award will be an opportunity for the Young Vic to meet and work with D/deaf and disabled directors, designer and / or actors.

We would like to receive proposals from:

  • D/deaf or disabled emerging directors
  • Emerging directors who want to work with a cast that includes D/deaf or disabled actors

Non-disabled directors should be able to demonstrate a commitment to diversity and access in their previous work, even if they have not yet directed a piece of fully integrated theatre.

The selected director will have the opportunity to rehearse for four weeks on a play for the Clare Theatre. The production will be part of the Young Vic’s programme and will be fully supported by the Young Vic’s creative, administrative and production teams. The director will receive a fee and the actors will be paid a Young Vic company wage. The award will conclude with 12 performances to a paying audience in spring 2018.

The director will be supported by a full creative team including producer, designer, lighting designer, sound designer and stage management team, as well as a casting director. They will also be mentored through the full preparation and rehearsal process by the core creative team at the Young Vic, as well as an external mentor.

Where appropriate, directors should consider creative approaches to making the show accessible.

The emerging director (whether D/deaf, disabled or non-disabled) should:

  • Have already demonstrated a talent for and a commitment to directing
  • Have directed at least one professional production but are at an early stage of their development as a director
  • Demonstrated a commitment to originality and a desire to expand their understanding of theatre practice
  • Be fascinated by the actor’s process and the director’s role in it
  • Be resident in the UK
  • Be available to direct the production in spring 2018

You do not have to be a member of the Young Vic Genesis Directors Network to apply but we encourage you to join.  You can find more information on the Directors Program at the Young Vic here.

HOW TO APPLY

STAGE ONE

Please choose a play and provide a single A4 page that covers the following:

  • Your initial ideas for a production of the play
  • Your ideas for your creative team and how they would help deliver your vision

The play should be an existing text with a production history. It should not be a new play, an adaptation or a play that needs dramaturgical work. You will need to achieve your production with a maximum of three actors. The production should not require supernumeraries, a community chorus or equivalent.

We are most interested in your initial ideas for the production – please feel free to express your ideas in notes, bullet points, diagrams, stream of consciousness etc. We encourage you to use whichever form best suits your ideas and approach.

Please also send CV (see below for format).

The deadline for applications is noon on Monday 12 June 2017.

If you have any availability issues please let us know at this stage and we can do our best to accommodate your needs.

Please send your application addressed to Sue Emmas at directorsprogram@youngvic.org with THE GENESIS FUTURE DIRECTORS AWARD in the subject box.

STAGE TWO

Directors are invited to present a Lightning Talk; this is a presentation that gives each director 10 powerpoint slides for 15 seconds each with accompanying commentary.

The Lightning Talk should give a flavour of:

  • Your past work
  • Your response to, and initial ideas for, your chosen play

If you are D/deaf or disabled and a Lightning Talk is not a format that will best communicate your ideas please let us know and we will discuss with you the most effective way for us to find out about your proposed play.

Also let us know if there are adjustments we should consider making. This might include: hearing loop, BSL interpreter, quiet environment, longer presentation time, for example.

We will confirm time slots for Lightning Talks on Wednesday 14 June.

The Lightning Talks will take place between 10am and 5pm on Friday 7 July. If you have specific availability issues please let us know in your Stage One application.

You will need to submit your Lightning Talk by midday on Monday 3 July. This should be sent to Kirsten Adam at directorsprogram@youngvic.org.

You will also need to send an electronic copy of the script and ideally, you should know that the rights for the play are available in principle.

STAGE THREE

Following the Lightning Talks a small group of directors will then be invited to meet with David Lan, Sue Emmas and other members of the Young Vic team on afternoon of Thursday 20 July.

If you have any questions or queries please contact Kirsten Adam on directorsprogram@youngvic.org or Textphone 020 7922 2805. 

We are very happy to talk through the process and if you would like to discuss the format or the timeframe of the application process please get in touch. 

If you would like the guidelines in a different format please let us know.

Clare Dunne and Solomon Israel in Dutchman at the Young Vic. Photo by Richard Hubert Smith.jpg

2016 Genesis Future Directors Award winner Ola Ince’s Dutchman at the Young Vic. Photo by Richard Hubert Smith.


About the Genesis Foundation

The Genesis Foundation has supported the Young Vic for nearly 15 years, including the Young Vic’s director’s program since its inception. The Genesis Foundation is pleased to fund the Genesis Fellow and Genesis Fellow Production Fund, the Genesis Future Directors Awards and the Genesis Directors Network at the Young Vic.

Established by John Studzinski in 2001, the Genesis Foundation works in partnership with the leaders of prestigious UK arts organisations such as LAMDA, the National Theatre, Royal Court, The Sixteen and the Young Vic.  Its largest funding commitment is to programmes that support directors, playwrights, actors and musicians in the early stages of their professional lives.

The theme of art and faith increasingly characterises aspects of the Foundation’s work with choral commissions including James MacMillan’s Stabat mater.

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About the Young Vic

The Young Vic based in Waterloo in London produces classics, new plays, forgotten works, musicals and opera, and tours widely in the UK and internationally. It has deep roots in its neighbourhood and extensive co-producing relationships with leading theatres all over the world. The Young Vic’s Directors Program provides support for professional directors at the early stages of their career.  It offers free skills workshops and peer-led projects, paid assistant directing roles through the Jerwood Assistant Director Program and Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director Program on Young Vic productions, and our online network, the Genesis Directors Network.

 

Springboard – a week in the YV Directors Program

This past week the Young Vic’s Directors Program held Springboard, a week long series of workshops led by Genesis Fellow Gbolahan Obisesan for emerging directors from across the country.  

During the week participants took part in a series of practical workshops led by experienced directors. These asked participants to consider the balance between their creative ambition on the one hand and the skills and responsibilities of a director on the other.

” The week was curated to allow access to established theatre makers with the broadest approach toward making theatre, allowing the directors to cultivate an eclectic practical knowledge of how different artists utilise their unique artistic and technical talents to make great theatre.”
        – Gbolahan Obisesan

Workshops were led by Ramin Gray, Nadia Fall, Kirsty Housley, Sacha Wares and Richard Twyman, with topics ranging from the director/designer relationship, devising, verbatim theatre and more. The directors visited Bijan Sheiban’s rehearsal room at the National Theatre and observed rehearsals for Barber Shop Chronicles. They also attended Life of Galileo at the Young Vic and Salomé at the National Theatre.

“As the years roll by, connecting with young directors coming innocently at the problem of how to make theatre fresh and powerful is a healthy corrective. It’s a springboard not only for them but also, I found, for myself as I walked back up The Cut, invigorated.”
        – Ramin Gray on the Directors Program

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David Lan in session at Springboard. Photo by Leon Puplett

The week finished with a workshop led by our artistic director David Lan who led a conversation about what it means to be an artistic director, what he looks for in his programming and whether the term ‘director’s theatre’ actually means anything.

“I want the voices heard here to need us. If they can be heard at other theatres, let them be heard at other theatres. I want to do the things that if we don’t do them here, they won’t be done.”
         – David Lan on programming for the Young Vic.

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.

Gbolahan Obisesan is generously supported by the Genesis Foundation.
About the Genesis Foundation
The Genesis Foundation has supported the Young Vic for nearly 15 years, including the Young Vic’s director’s program since its inception. The Genesis Foundation is pleased to fund the Genesis Fellow and Genesis Fellow Production Fund, the Genesis Future Directors Awards and the Genesis Directors Network at the Young Vic.
Established by John Studzinski in 2001, the Genesis Foundation works in partnership with the leaders of prestigious UK arts organisations such as LAMDA, the National Theatre, Royal Court, The Sixteen and the Young Vic.  Its largest funding commitment is to programmes that support directors, playwrights, actors and musicians in the early stages of their professional lives.
The theme of art and faith increasingly characterises aspects of the Foundation’s work with choral commissions including James MacMillan’s Stabat mater.
genesisfoundation.org.uk