Complete Cast Announced for Oklahoma! at the Young Vic

Arthur Darvill

The Young Vic today announced the complete cast for the UK premiere of Oklahoma!  Daniel Fish’s striking revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical which originally premiered at the Richard B. Fisher Center in 2015 ahead of its New York premiere at St. Ann’s Warehouse in 2018.
This is Oklahoma! as you’ve never seen it before, re-orchestrated and reimagined for the 21st century. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, Daniel Fish’s bold interpretation transfers to the Young Vic, direct from an acclaimed run on Broadway and a U.S. tour. Oklahoma! tells a story of a community banding together against an outsider, and the frontier life that shaped America. Seventy-five years after Rodgers and Hammerstein reinvented the American musical, this visionary production is funny and sexy, provocative and probing, without changing a word of the text. 
Arthur Darvill plays Curly McLain, with James Davis as Will Parker, Stavros Demetraki as Ali Hakim, Anoushka Lucas as Laurey Williams, Olivier Award nominee Liza Sadovy as Aunt Eller, Patrick Vaill as Jud Fry and Marisha Wallace as Ado Annie. The cast is complete with Raphael Bushay as Mike, Greg Hicks as Andrew Carnes, Rebekah Hinds as Gertie Cummings, Ashley Samuels as Cord Elam, and Marie Mence as the lead dancer.
Oklahoma! is Co-Directed by Daniel Fish and Jordan Fein, with Orchestrations, Arrangements  by Daniel Kluger and Co-Music Supervision by Daniel Kluger and Nathan Koci, Choreography by John Heginbotham, Co-Set Design by Laura Jellinek and Grace Laubacher, Costume Design by Terese Wadden, Lighting Design by Scott Zielinski, Sound Design by Drew Levy, Projection Design by Joshua Thorson, Musical Director Tom Brady and Casting by Jacob Sparrow, with Associate Choreographer Shelby Williams Assistant Director Nimmo Ismail, Associate Costume Designer Rachel Townsend, Associate Lighting Designer Fiffi Thorsteinsson, Associate Musical Director Huw Evans, Dialect Coach Sam Lilja and Orchestral Manager David Gallagher
Arthur Darvill says: “I am thrilled to be pulling up my cowboy boots and joining the cast of Oklahoma. This is one of those parts that comes along once in a lifetime. I feel very lucky indeed to be working on this groundbreaking production with such an extraordinary group of people.”
Anoushka Lukas says: “I feel so incredibly lucky to be playing Laurey in such a fresh, raw and original production of one of my all time favourite musicals. I grew up watching Oklahoma on screen and on stage, so the fact that I now get to be part of this magnificent reimagining (and at the Young Vic!) is a dream come true. I cannot wait.”
Patrick Vaill says: “I can’t wait to share this story and Daniel’s staggering vision of it with this cast and with audiences here. To perform in the UK and at the Young Vic at all, let alone in this production that is so thrilling to play and that I believe in so deeply, is an honor and a privilege beyond even my most wishful thinking. I think it’ll be a powerful experience.”
Socially Distanced performances: 24, 25 May 7.30pm, 25 May, 2.30pm, and 9, 10 June, 7.30pm Audio Described performance: 24 May, 7.30pmCaptioned performance: 9 June, 7.30pmRelaxed performance: 10 June, 7.30pm
This production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! was originally developed, produced and premiered at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in July 2015. It was subsequently developed and produced by St Ann’s Warehouse and Eva Price at the Joseph S. and Dianna H. Steinberg Theatre, Brooklyn in 2018.

Young Vic continues support and development of theatre-makers

Young Vic

The Young Vic today continues its commitment to supporting and developing early- and mid-career theatre-makers, as well as its mission of demystifying areas of the sector that appear most opaque, through the announcement of:

·        The official launch of the Young Vic’s Creators Program – formerly the Directors Program – as a home for supporting and nurturing multi and anti-disciplinary artists through free events, workshops and paid opportunities

·        A new process for the Young Vic’s artistic team to receive script submissions that better reflects the different ways theatre work is generated, allowing creators to share work in ways best fitting to their voice and vision

·        A new series of YV:IDemystify events: free public discussions in partnership with industry experts aimed at catalysing debate in and about the theatre sector, with free tickets available from 12noon today

Creators Program Launch

Following over two decades of supporting early-career and experienced artists, the Young Vic Directors Program is today reimagined as the Creators Program, which aims to celebrate multi and anti-disciplinary artists and processes, challenge and re-imagine future practice, and support a wider range of opportunities for creating work.

Sue Emmas, Associate Artistic Director of the Young Vic and Creators Program lead, said: “We are expanding the scope of the existing program to match the breadth of skills of our members, of our Genesis Network and the ambitions they have for the future of theatre-making. The Creators Program is inviting artists to cross art forms, and to take on a variety of roles within those forms. We are continuing to equip artists for the reality of today and the future.”

Through the Creators Program, the Young Vic will continue to support nearly 2,000 artists with creative workshops, assistantships and career-changing opportunities to make and share work.

One such upcoming project is Creative Headspace #2 a paid opportunity for up to 50 members of the Genesis Network to create for the Young Vic’s TikTok channel while also receiving support and workshops for working in the medium.

Another project is Exploring Co-Leading & Multidisciplinary Making facilitated by Genesis Fellow and Associate Director Jennifer Tang, which explores how theatre work can be made outside of traditional theatre structures.

Next month, with Introduction to Making the Young Vic will explore multi-disciplinary theatre making with 18- to 25-year-olds who are Black or from the Global Majority, LGBTQIA+ / Queer and/or self-identify as working class.

The Creators Program builds on and extends the legacy of our partnership with the Genesis Foundation who have provided leadership support for our talent development program over the past twenty years. The three vital offerings of the Genesis Network, the Genesis Fellowship and the Genesis Future Directors Awards will continue to provide opportunities for artists to develop their craft.

The Young Vic also welcomes Esmée Fairbairn Foundation as a lead supporter of the Creators Program. All year-round creative activity – from workshops to public forums and discussions – will be made possible with their generous support.

New Ideas & Submission Process

Tying in with the launch of the Creators Program, the Young Vic will reach out to a wider range of artists by opening up new ways for them to introduce their work to the Young Vic’s Artistic Team.

Ways in which scripts have been assessed traditionally or how plays have been developed in the past did not always reflect how the Young Vic wants to make work, and may not be true to how theatre-makers create their work or define their artistic identity. 

The Young Vic will now invite artists to share proposals for a range of forms and in a range of formats. From today, creators of work for the stage are invited to submit projects, proposals or plans in ways best fitting their voice and vision—whether that’s through visuals, video, audio or in writing.

Creative Associate Teunkie Van Der Sluijs, who looks after the development of new work, said: “We want to make it easier for artists to reach out to us, share their work, and inspire us with their ambitions and ideas. We also recognize that great theatre doesn’t always need to start from a script. Traditional processes of assessing plays alone can be both lengthy and narrowly focussed. It doesn’t always help the artist or the art to place that much emphasis on writing. We want to shake up what theatre is and where it starts from.”

Information for artists on submitting their work can be found here

YV:IDemystify 2022 Events

With its first event series in 2020, YV:IDemystify was created to discuss establishing supportive environments for creators, storytellers and makers that reveal and challenge the mechanisms at play in making work for the stage while also presenting innovative pathways for the creative journey of theatre makers.

For Spring 2022, the YV:IDemystify events are:

Challenging Eurocentric Dramaturgy

Wednesday 16 March 2022, on Zoom

In Partnership with and chaired by the What If Experiment

Speakers include Dermot Daly, Reginald Edmund, Tommo Fowler & Teunkie Van Der Sluijs

In March 2021, over 100 Black playwrights and writers from the Global Majority signed “We Need To Talk About Dramaturgy,” an open letter to the theatre industry challenging Eurocentric perspectives on play development and dramaturgy. This event hopes to bring together signatories of the letter and theatre-makers with dramaturges and script developers to discuss changes made so far, changes still to be made, changes to perspectives and practices in the sector, and challenges to gazes, standards and traditions.

The Ethics of New Technologies

Wednesday 13 April 2022, on Zoom

In Partnership with the Young Vic’s Creators Program

Speakers to be announced

New technologies have seen accelerated adoption by theatre makers during the theatre closures of 2020/21 – from Augmented, Virtual and Extended Reality to Artificial Intelligence, Immersive and Haptic Technology and Binaural and other forms of audio. But whose experience(s) do we simulate or augment, where does ableism meet technology, and how do we keep experiences accessible and inclusive? And how do we deal with pervasive technology, user data and the moral implications of simulating or faking reality to almost imperceptible veracity? This event brings together creators at the forefront of innovation with thinkers in techno-ethics.

Theatre as Defiance

Wednesday 25 May 2022, on Zoom

Speakers: Sophie Kayes and Amrou al-Kadhi

Among the many functions of theatre are its power to platform voices of dissent and to amplify perspectives that challenge the status quo hold enduring attraction. Through activist art and artistic activism, theatre is a medium where those who are side-lined elsewhere can take centre stage and assert themselves. But what does that mean for the 2020s, a decade marked so far by global health crises, growing inequality and global protest? By bringing together artists who combine in their stage work advocacy, activism and art, this event sheds light on theatre as a means of defiance and galvanization.

Tickets are free and available from 12noon today. 

All events will be BSL translated and have auto-generated captioning.

For more information, click here

Young Vic / Headlong: Cast Announced for Best of Enemies

Charles Edwards and David Harewood

A man should never turn down two things. Sex, and appearing on television.”

The Young Vic today announced the complete cast and creative team for James Graham’s bold new play Best of Enemies, directed by Jeremy Herrin, in a co-production with Headlong.

1968 – a year of protest that divided America. As two men fight to become the next President, all eyes are on the battle between two others: the cunningly conservative William F Buckley Jr., and the iconoclastic liberal Gore Vidal. Beliefs are challenged and slurs slung as these political idols feud nightly in a new television format, debating the moral landscape of a shattered nation. Little do they know they’re about to open up a new frontier in American politics, and transform television news forever…

Charles Edwards plays Gore Vidal and David Harewood plays William F. Buckley Jr. The complete cast also includes Margo Cargill, Emilio Doorgasingh, Clare Foster, Tom Godwin, John Hodgkinson, Justina Kehinde, Syrus Lowe, Kevin McMonagle and Sam Otto.

Best of Enemies is Written by James Graham and Directed by Jeremy Herrin, with Set and Costume Design by Bunny Christie, Lighting Design by Paule Constable, Sound Design by Tom Gibbons, Video Design by Luke Halls, Composition by Benjamin Kwasi Burrell, Movement Direction by Shelley Maxwell, Associate Movement Direction by Sarita Piotrowski, Casting by Charlotte Sutton CDG,Voice and Dialect by Hazel Holder, Gurkiran Kaur and Salvatore Sorce, with Jerwood Assistant Director Annie Kershaw, Jerwood Assistant Designer Amy Finch and Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director Sabrina Richmond.

Best of Enemies will be broadcast live for four performances 20 – 22 January as part of Best Seat in Your Housethe Young Vic’s immersive multi-camera player that allows audience members to pick their preferred camera angle during the live show. The broadcast experience is designed uniquely for the production, with multiple cameras positioned to offer unique perspectives of the show.

The broadcast will be available worldwide. Captions, audio description and BSL-interpretation will be available for every stream.

Live Broadcast performances: 20, 21, 22 January, 7.30pm and 22 January 2.30pm GMT

Socially Distanced performances:17 December 7.30pm, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13 January, 7.30pm and 5, 8 January 2.30pm

Audio Described performance: 17 December, 7.30pm

Captioned performance: 6 January, 7.30pm

Relaxed performance: 13 January, 7.30pm

Best of Enemies is generously supported by The Charlotte Aitken Trust.

Young Vic: Full Cast, Creative Team and Ticket Release Dates Announced for Hamlet

Cush Jumbo

Cush Jumbo (The Good Wife, The Good Fight) make her YV debut as a new kind of Hamlet, reuniting with her long-time collaborator Greg Hersov, to bring us this tale of power, politics and desire.  

Joining Cush Jumbo as Hamlet, the full cast includes Jonathan Ajayi (Laertes), Joana Borja  (Guildenstern/Osric), Adrian Dunbar (Claudius/The Ghost), Tara Fitzgerald (Gertrude), Norah Lopez Holden (Ophelia), Jonathan Livingstone (Horatio), Joseph Marcell (Polonius), Adele Oni (Bernardo), Taz Skylar (Rosencrantz/Fortinbras/Marcellus) and Leo Wringer (Fortinbras Captain/Player/Gravedigger).

With Hamlet, the Young Vic is delighted to introduce a Jerwood Assistant Designer, who will work with Anna Fleischle on the set and costume design process for the show. This new opportunity represents a shared ambition between the Young Vic and Jerwood Arts to create a greater range of paid opportunities for creatives to develop their craft as part of a production. The Assistant Designer role is in addition to the Jerwood Assistant Director (an opportunity established in 2010), and Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director role (established in 2011); two further examples of how the Young Vic Directors Program supports and nurtures theatre makers with paid opportunities.  

Hamlet is Directed by Greg Hersov, with Set and Costume Design by Anna Fleischle, Lighting Design by Aideen Malone,Sound Design by Emma Laxton, Video Design by Nina Dunn, Movement Direction by Lucy Hind, Casting by Sophie Holland CDG, with Casting Assistants Faye Timby and Finnian Tweed, Voice and Text by Barbara Houseman and Fight Direction by Kev McCurdy, withJerwood Assistant Director Zoe Templeman-Young, Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director Kirk-Ann Roberts and Jerwood Assistant Designer Jida Akil.

Audio Described performance: 19 October, 7.30pm

Relaxed performance: 2 November, 7.30pm

Captioned performance: 4 November, 7.30pm

Hamlet is currently sold out. Further Hamlet tickets to be released:

Members Priority Booking 6 September 12noon, Public Booking 8 September 12noon

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Guest Blog – The Mono Box: “Our industry cannot and will not evolve without investment in new talent.”

The Mono Box has always prided itself on supporting freelancers creatively – providing opportunities that are lacking or less accessible in the industry. For 8 years, we have run workshops and events for actors, directors and writers as well as, more recently, designers and movement directors. Training never stops but we also prioritise the importance of community in an industry that can feel incredibly lonely and inaccessible. 

This became more crucial than ever from March 2020 as we watched our industry fall to its knees. We were forced to re-evaluate our careers and our lives, to step back and notice all the gaping problems we’d let slide for so long. Tweets, articles and blog posts were thrown around about a utopian post-pandemic vision for theatre. Promises were made that have yet to come to fruition…

photo credit Helen Murray  

We have always championed new voices and formalised this through a new writing scheme called PLAYSTART which has run for 3 successive years (2017-2019). After the events of last summer, and in response to the lack of opportunities for emerging talent during Covid-19, we got to work. We invested in 7 ethnically diverse writers from PLAYSTART, offering them what we knew was crucial in building a career: a commission, mentorship and a platform for their work. It is notoriously hard to crack that ceiling without someone paying you to do what you do best, and someone else who is several steps ahead of you career-wise providing a guiding light. Our industry cannot and will not evolve without investment in new talent. 

We were keen to not only keen to put our money where our mouth is in terms of supporting emerging creatives, but also to discover a way to adapt theatre-making to the current global restrictions and advancing marriage of theatre and film. As we were locked in our homes, theatre had to adapt and enter people’s living rooms and kitchens. Amidst the “it’s not the same” grumbles, we also quickly realised that this format was providing access to audience numbers we only dream of. 

And so RESET THE STAGE was born. A collection of 7 filmed monologues responding boldly to where we are as an industry and where we could be, if we committed to platforming – nationally and internationally – more diverse voices, bodies and stories.

In addition to the mentorship from leading playwrights including Duncan Macmillan, Alice Birch, Lucy Prebble and Theresa Ikoko, we provided the writers with actors, a theatre and a film crew to help realise their vision. All in lockdown, when the theatres were empty.

The pieces have been directed by Roberta Zuric (part of The Mono Box’s PLAYSTART 2018) and was mentored by Ned Bennett

CYNTHIA by Vivian Xie Stills ; Starring Isabella Laughland ; Directed by Roberta Zuric ; Director of Photography: Fẹ́mi Awójídé ; First Camera Assist: Stephen Ofori ; Sound Recordist: Luise Guertler ; Stills Photographer: Helen Murray ; Gaffer: TC Thomas ; Producer: Joan Iyiola & Alison Holder ; Co-Producer: Miles Sloman Reset The Stage ; Monobox ; Soho Theatre ; London, UK ; 30th March 2021 ; Credit and copyright: Helen Murray

7 stellar actors jumped on board with all guns blazing and delivered mesmerising and incredibly nuanced performances: Shane Zaza, Ken Nwosu, Thalissa Teixeira, Danny Kirrane, Isabella Laughland, Sharon Duncan-Brewster and our own co-AD Joan Iyiola. We paired them up with one of our partner venues – Arcola, Almeida, Bush, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, Soho Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Young Vic – all who passionately committed to the project’s ethos and offered invaluable support.

The films within RESET THE STAGE have been achieved to an exceptionally high standard, by a small but mighty team. We are so excited to share them with the world and to show what can happen when new voices are given a platform to showcase their work.

The films launched on 17th June to outstanding feedback and a brilliant 4* review from WhatsOnStage lauding the project’s beautiful outcome and bold response to our industry’s perilous state. 

Screening repeated 1 to 3 July and tickets are on sale now