Mandela, a new musical with a book by Laiona Michelle and music and lyrics by Greg Dean Borowsky and Shaun Borowsky, will be part of the Young Vic's 2022 Summer-Autumn Season. Directed by Schele Williams, performances are scheduled for November 28, 2022-February 4, 2023.
The musical—about Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela, the first Black president of South Africa who led the fight against apartheid—will have additional music and lyrics by Broadway Lion King alum Bongi Duma, choreography by Gregory Maqoma, orchestrations and musical supervision by Benjamin Kwasi Burrell, and casting by Pippa Ailion and Natalie Gallacher. Developed in partnership with Nandi Mandela, Luvuyo Madasa, and the Mandela family, Mandela will also be broadcast live for four performances as part of Best Seat in Your House, the Young Vic’s immersive multi-camera player that allows audience members to pick their preferred camera angle during the live show.
The Summer-Autumn Season will launch June 1 with The Secretaries by The Five Lesbian Brothers. Directed by Deirdre McLaughlin, performances will continue in the Clare Theatre through June 11. Jessica Murrian, Natasha Jayetileke, Georgia Frost, Tessa Parr, and Francesca Mills will star in the dark comedy, which spotlights newcomer Patty, who is dying to fit in with the secretaries at the Lumber Mill. But when the local lumberjacks start going missing, how far will she go to join their clique? The production will also have set and costume design is by Rhys Jarman, lighting design by Stacey Sandford, sound design by Mwen, creative captioning by Rachel Sampley, movement by Sita Thomas, casting direction by Polly Jerrold, and assistant direction by trainee Esmee West-Agboola.
Sonali Bhattacharyya's Chasing Hares will follow, playing the Main House July 16-August 13 under the direction of Milli Bhatia. In the play, Prab and Kajol dream of a different life for their daughter, Amba, one far away from their grinding factory jobs in West Bengal. When the factory owner’s son asks Prab to write a new play for his theatre troupe, they jump at the chance to impress the boss. Chasing Hares will also have designs by Moi Tran, lighting design by Jai Morjaria, sound design by Donato Wharton, composition by Sarathy Korwar, movement direction by Chi San Howard, and video design by Akhila Krishnan. Jammz is the lyric consultant.
Who Killed My Father, adapted for the stage by Ivo van Hove from Édouard Louis' novel, will play the Main House September 7-24, also directed by van Hove. Hans Kesting will perform the solo play, an anger-soaked letter written by Louis to his father that 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 production will have scenography and lighting by Jan Versweyveld, costumes by An D’Huys, and music by George Dhauw.
The Young Vic’s creative engagement department will mark its 25th anniversary with a series of events entitled Taking Part 25, including Of the Cut, a promenade performance piece co-written by Yasmin Joseph and the company and directed by Philip J. Morris that shines a light on the voices and stories of the Young Vic's community members; Journeys, a six-part podcast series celebrating local voices in Lambeth and Southwark; and The Twenty Thrive Exhibition, an exhibition combining archive material, photography, and storytelling to explore the role the Young Vic has played in its community over the past 25 years.
YV Unpacked will return for its fourth year with I Wonder If, a new show devised by the company and directed by Daniel Bailey that will play The Maria October 24-29 following dates in Lambeth and Southwark October 10-21. I Wonder If... fuses dance, music, and dialogue to explore the human relationship in its many forms. The production will also have with movement direction by Ricardo Da Silva, design consultation by QianEr Jin, musical direction and composition by Shakira Stellar, and dramaturgy by Shereen Jasmin Phillips. The cast includes John Rwothomach and Stellar.
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 U.K.-based artists travel to New York in June to explore the political heritage of ballroom.
Young Vic Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah says the 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.…We stand by the belief that theatre is there for its community—it is our rallying cry and has sat at the center of the Young Vic’s ethos for the past 25 years. This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the beating heart of our organization, our extraordinary outreach and engagement program Taking Part, with a joyful season that shines a light on the stories from our vibrant community and the role we, the Young Vic, have played in Lambeth and Southwark over the last quarter of a century."