The Jungle | Rehearsal Room Photos

We went behind-the-scenes inside the rehearsal room for The Jungle at the Young Vic.

This world premiere set in the Calais Jungle opens at the Young Vic from 7 Dec 2017. Written by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin.

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Ansu Kabia, Alex Lawther and Michael Gould in rehearsal for The Jungle

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Alex Lawther, Justin Martin, Joe Robertson and Mohamed Sarrar

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The cast in rehearsal for The Jungle

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Rachel Redford in rehearsal for The Jungle

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Ben Turner and Mohamed Amiri in rehearsal for The Jungle

 

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John Pfumojena in rehearsal for The Jungle

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Jo McInnes in rehearsal for The Jungle

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Rachel Redford and Alyssa Denise D’Souza in rehearsal for The Jungle

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Ben Turner and Ammar Haj Ahmad in rehearsal for The Jungle

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Raphael Acloque in rehearsal for The Jungle

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Writer Joe Murphy in rehearsal for The Jungle

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Ben Turner in rehearsal for The Jungle

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Justin Martin and John Pfumojena in rehearsal for The Jungle

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Jo McInnes and Rachel Redford in rehearsal for The Jungle

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Jo McInnes and Nahel Tzegai in rehearsal for The Jungle

The Jungle runs at the Young Vic from 7 Dec 2017 – 6 Jan 2018

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📸 by David Sandison

Sing Before You Speak Again | A Taking Part community response to Wings

“These are stories we don’t often get a chance to hear – indeed they are often the hardest stories for people who have had strokes to articulate until they are set to music. Music seems to tap into a part of the brain that sets language free, the rhythm allowing words to flow where they are normally stumbled over”

Written after a series of workshops with stroke recovery groups, Parkinson’s community groups and dementia healthy living clubs and inspired by Natalie Abrahami’s production of Wings by Arthur Kopit, Sing Before You Speak Again was staged this November.

 

Sing Before You Speak Again‘s director Thomas Martin explained a little more about the production which took the form of an original choral song cycle written by Deanna Rodger and Joseph Atkins.

Some of the text was verbatim, but most of it was poetic – in Deanna’s lyrical world, memories become motors, houses become ships tossed about on a cold sea, and brains become balloons to be popped or let go. Joe’s composition brings these images to life with rich and challenging harmonies, filled with cheeky echoes of our participants’ favourite artists – Bob Marley, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell.

 

Sing Before You Speak Again has taken us through a range of emotions with the hope that our audiences leave with a little more understanding of what having a stroke feels like and the often disorientating effects – Wendy, Participant

Following the week of performances some of the company took part in a series of special performances at community centres with Nunhead Dementia Cafe, time & talents and Stockwell Healthy Living Club who helped inspire the original songs that the creative team had met during their original workshops.

It was so brilliant to have such great entertainment and even more special to meet the singers. – Nunhead Dementia Cafe

We’re extremely grateful to some incredible local groups who opened their doors and allowed us to get involved. Our production wouldn’t have been possible without the workshops and support of the following organisations, Aphasia Re-Connect, Southwark and Lambeth Parkinson’s Support Group, Stockwell Healthy Living Club and Time & Talents.

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’.

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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.

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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.

Lucy Woollatt to step down as Executive Director of Young Vic

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The Board of the Young Vic announced today that Lucy Woollatt will step down as Executive Director of the Young Vic this December. Lucy will be leaving the company after 10 successful years.

Lucy joined the Young Vic as Finance Director in 2008, and was appointed Executive Director in 2010. During her time the company’s income has doubled, the organisation’s structure and profile has been transformed. Four productions have transferred to the West End, one to Broadway and many have toured around the world. The theatre has won six Olivier Awards, four Critics’ Circle Awards, four Evening Standard Theatre Awards and won The Stage Theatre of the Year in 2015. This past summer she was Executive Producer on the sold-out production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at the Apollo Theatre in the West End.

The Young Vic will appoint an interim Executive Director before recruiting for a permanent successor.

Lucy Woollatt says: “My decade at the Young Vic has been the most rewarding in my career to date. I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved night after night at the Young Vic, on tour and in the West End. The appointment of Kwame as Artistic Director is energising and uplifting and I wish him huge success. I would have loved to continue my time at the Young Vic with him, but I have decided that – after 10 years – now is the right time for me to move on to a new challenge. I would like to thank David and the Board for their unconditional support over the past decade.”

David Lan, outgoing Artistic Director says: “For more than half my time at the Young Vic, Lucy has been an ideal Executive Director. Rigorous, imaginative, compassionate, judicious, scrupulous and tremendous fun. Nothing we’ve achieved would have been possible without her willingness to take on all challenges of whatever scale. I’m full of admiration and gratitude.”

Kwame Kwei-Armah, incoming Artistic Director says: “Thanks in no small part to Lucy’s hard work I have inherited a phenomenally successful building to lead. I wish her only the best as she continues her journey.”

For further press information please contact:
Sophie Wilkinson, Press Manager
sophiewilkinson@youngvic.org| 0207 922 2979

Improvising with Chris Heimann and the Young Vic Directors Program

Grace Cordell, a director on the Young Vic Directors Program visited the Young Vic in October to take part in an improvisation workshop facilitated by Chris Heimann. Grace’s travel was paid for by our Go See Fund, part of Reach Out, which aims to support directors based outside of London so they can take part in Young Vic activities and projects.
Grace describes her experience of the (pre-planned) improv workshop…

I was excited by the idea of a workshop purely on improvisation. It’s a lesson that I looked forward to every week whilst training, and now from a directors point of view, I was excited to see how Chris would guide us on how to facilitate this within rehearsal.

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On the tube, I read the initial email through properly- ‘wear movement clothes and be prepared to work barefoot’. The workshop was largely movement based and Chris kept coming back to the balance that needs to be present in order to allow organic response. You must be bold enough to lead, whilst also having the humility to follow. Throughout the session he playfully referred to the magic IF; Michael Chekhov; how Russians think that the English misunderstand Stanislavski.

There wasn’t really the generic meet and greet name game that usually accompanies skill workshops. Chris briefly introduced himself and his work, and then asked two others in the room to do the same, and then we began. Chris’ open nature allowed the room the breathe a sigh of comfortability and jump right in. We started with a warm up that involved individually, listening and responding to our bodies through movement, warming up where and how we wanted to. Following this we got into pairs and were thrown into more specific movement, starting simply with creating and responding to shapes made with our bodies and eventually moving on to fluid movement and then finally into spoken word. The main point that we were reminded of was to respond truthfully, that was our aim and all we needed to focus on. We weaved between partner work and the entire group watching one pair and before each exercise- Chris made sure to remind the group that this wasn’t a performance, there was no judgement, no expectation, the point was simply to respond. I found this extremely freeing, but did feel like the group needed the reminder before every example. Perhaps this was because of the unfamiliarity of the group, or the pressure that often accompanies one off workshops, or simply that the thought that often accompanies improvisation is fear or expectation to be funny, or entertaining, or just something interesting when in fact the only expectation here was much more interestingly, simply to respond to a feeling or sensation rather than a thought.

One thing that struck me about the session was how present I felt throughout. One of the directors expressed the thrill she felt at feeling present today and I think this was shared with most of us in the workshop. There was a lot to take in but only one main focus, to respond, which I think aided the groups ability to really be in the moment. The concept was simple, the exercises were simple and it revolved around truthfully responding. It’s about how you facilitate the actor to achieve this. It’s easy to tell the actor what you want to achieve but it has to come from a place of truthful response for the actor so that it doesn’t inhibit them. You have to find a way to let them find it them-self in order for it to really be truthful.

The 2 1/2 hours felt much shorter and I left the session feeling as though we were just on the cusp- I wanted to see what happened next. The start of the day was a bit nervous and excited, and by the end I felt as though the main thing I’d take away from the day was how beneficial to the process it was to be present and free and non judged, and how easily Chris guided us toward this. I think the most important thing to do in an improvisation session, be it separately, or within rehearsal for a show is to make sure that the actors feel comfortable enough to just respond truthfully and ultimately do nothing else at all. The less thought that goes into it leaves way for more honest reaction through feeling.

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).