The Young Vic in South London has announced its new season of work for Summer / Autumn 2022.
A wide range of new projects is headlined by the world premiere of a new musical about former South African leader Nelson Mandela.
New musical Mandela
The new musical, titled Mandela, has a book by Laiona Michelle, music and lyrics by Greg Dean Borowsky and Shaun Borowsky, and additional music and lyrics by Bongi Duma.
Running from 28 November 2022 to 4 February 2023, the show will be directed by Schele Williams, with the creative team including choreographer Gregory Maqoma, orchestration and musical supervision by Benjamin Kwasi Burrell. Mandela has been developed and is in partnership with the Mandela family including Nandi Mandela and Luvuyo Madasa.
The musical covers the inspiring story of Nelson Mandela and the movement behind him that inspired a revolution in South Africa.Infused with the rhythms and spirit of South Africa, Mandela promises to shine a light on the South African people’s courageous fight for their liberation. For 27 years, Mandela and his comrades sacrificed their freedom and their families paid the price, in this story of determination, hope and how the world rallied to free him and his people.
Casting and further creative team is to be announced, and tickets will go on sale later in the year.
Granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, Nandi Mandela, said in a statement that: “As my grandfather once said, music has the power to free us to dream, to unite people as one voice, and we hope that our musical will do just that. We are so proud to be bringing his story to the stage, with our brilliant creative team led by Greg and Shaun Borowsky, Laiona Michelle, Bongi Duma, Gregory Maqoma and Schele Williams in a way that honours and celebrates Madiba, for who he was – a grandfather, a father, a man who tried to do the best that he could during his journey on earth. We hope that my grandfather’s story, of a man from humble beginnings who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, will resonate with audiences far and wide, and communicate his message of hope – that we are all capable of doing great things, as long as we are true and authentic to ourselves.”
Luvuyo Madasa, great grandson of Nelson Mandela, said: “Mandela is a story of hearts and minds, the result of an incredible journey that we have been walking with Greg and Shaun Borowsky for the past seven years. Together, we will invite people to the Young Vic to see who Madiba was, who his family were and what they meant to him, the sacrifices they made and the many unsung heroes that journeyed alongside Mandela as he became a global, political icon. By sharing his tale in this way, we hope that people from all walks of life will see the story of my great grandfather in a new light and recognise that he was just a human being following his path and perhaps, this can inspire many more of us to follow in his footsteps.”
Ivo van Hove directs Who Killed My Father
Award-winning director Ivo van Hove (West Side Story, The Human Voice, The Shining) returns to the Young Vic in the next season, to direct Édouard Louis’ Who Killed My Father, which is performed as a monologue by acclaimed actor Hans Kesting.
Also translated and adapted by van Hove, Who Killed My Father is an anger-soaked letter written by literary sensation Édouard Louis to his father. Inspired by a visit to his father after some time, where he found him almost unrecognisable, it tells a gripping story of a life marked by alcohol, social deprivation, and years of hard work in heavy industry in the north of France.
The UK premiere will have scenography and lighting by Jan Versweyveld, costumes by An D’Huys and music by George Dhauw.
A new play called Chasing Hares by Sonali Bhattacharyya is premiering at the Young Vic from 16 July to 13 August 2022, directed by Milli Bhatia (seven methods of killings kylie jenner). Bhattacharyya won Theatre Uncut’s 2021 Political Playwriting Award, and the new play considers the power of storytelling in imagining a fairer world, in an epic tale about a father’s resistance in the face of exploitation, set between the UK and West Bengal.
Prab and Kajol dream of a different life for their daughter, Amba. One far away from their grinding factory jobs in West Bengal. So when the factory owner’s son asks Prab to write a new play for his Jatra theatre troupe, they jump at the chance to impress the boss. But Prab knows stories are powerful, and as conditions in the factory worsen, he has a choice to make about the story he is writing – one that will have far-reaching consequences for Prab, Kajol and the factory itself.
The play has designs by Moi Tran, lighting design by Jai Morjaria, sound design by Donato Wharton, composition by Sarathy Korwar, movement direction by Chi San Howard, video design by Akhila Krishnan and lyric consultant Jammz.
Taking Part 25
The Young Vic’s creative engagement department begins a year of celebrations to mark its 25th anniversary with a series of events entitled Taking Part 25. Projects include Of The Cut, co-written by Yasmin Joseph (J’Ouvert) and the company, directed by Philip J Morris (Sessions), and which brings together the voices and imagination of the Young Vic’s Taking Part community to create a promenade performance piece which blends film, theatre, audio and imagery, using magical realism to imagine what the next 25 years could look like on and around The Cut.
The show will run from 30 July to 6 August 2022 across multiple locations including Southwark College and The Maria, Young Vic.
Also, Journeys, a six-part podcast series running from 25 July to 25 December 2022 will celebrate local voices in Lambeth and Southwark, and uncovers stories within the Young Vic’s Neighbourhood Theatre Company, taking a look at the past 25 years and looking ahead to the next; and The Twenty Thrive Exhibition, an immersive, interactive exhibition combining archive material, photography, and storytelling will explore the role the Young Vic has played in its community over the past 25 years.
In the Clare Theatre from 1 – 11 June 2022, Deirdre McLaughlin the Young Vic’s 2021 Genesis Future Directors Award recipient, will direct a devilishly camp social satire The Secretaries by American collective The Five Lesbian Brothers, integrating creative access into the heart of the show.
New girl Patty is just dying to fit in with the perfectly put together secretaries at the Lumber Mill. But when the local lumberjacks start going missing, how far will she go to join their clique?
The show promises to be a murderously dark comedy that splits open gender stereotypes and carves up the line between violent instincts and passive submission.
The cast includes Jessica Murrian, Natasha Jayetileke, Georgia Frost, Tessa Parr and Francesca Mills. Set and costume design is by Rhys Jarman, lighting design is by Stacey Sandford, sound design by Mwen, creative captioning by Rachel Sampley movement by Sita Thomas, casting director is Polly Jerrold and the trainee assistant director is Esmee West-Agboola.
Also, YV Unpacked returns for its fourth year with a new devised show in The Maria and on tour within Lambeth and Southwark. I Wonder If… will be directed by Daniel Bailey (Red Pitch) and devised by the company which includes John Rwothomach (Far Gone) and Shakira Stellar fusing dance, music and dialogue to explore human relationships in its many forms.
Finally, an international collaboration between the Young Vic Taking Part, the Hetrick-Martin Institute in New York City, Jay Jay Revlon, Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu and Kemar Jewel, Communities of Resistance will see a group of young Queer and Black or Global Majority UK-based artists travel to the US in June and July 2022 to explore the political heritage of ballroom.
Kwame Kwei-Armah, Young Vic Artistic Director said: “Our Summer/Autumn season is a celebration of community and of resilience – from the stories you find on your doorstep to powerful tales of international resistance – that will bring us together to view the world through the eyes of others and through the lens of their experiences.”