London's Young Vic has announced casting for its already planned revival of Joe Penhall's Blue/Orange, plus announced four additional new productions including a revival of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart's Once in a Lifetime and Ian Rickson reuniting with playwright Conor McPherson for The Nest, a new adaptation of a German classic.
Blue/Orange, which begins performances May 12 prior to an official opening May 19 for a run through June 18, is directed by Matthew Xia.
It stars Daniel Kaluuya and Luke Norris. Kaluuya returns to the Young Vic where he was previously seen in A Season in the Congo; other theatre credits include Sucker Punch at the Royal Court, for which he won a Critics' Circle and Evening Standard Theatre Award. TV credits include Skins, for which he has also written. Norris returns to the Young Vic where he was in the original company of A View from the Bridge (his role was subsequently taken over by Russell Tovey for the Broadway transfer). He has also appeared with the RSC, at the National, Almeida and Royal Court. As a playwright, his plays include Goodbye to All That (Royal Court) and Hearts (NT Connections).
The production will be designed by Jeremy Herbert with lighting by Adam Silverman, sound by Carolyn Downing and movement by Joseph Alford.
The run of new productions begins with A Man of Good Hope, based on the book by Jonny Steinberg, beginning performances Octber 6 prior to an official opening October 13 for a run through November 12. A Young Vic and Isango Ensemble Production co-produced by Royal Opera and Repons Foundation, it is adapted by the Isango Ensemble.
In a press statement, David Lan, artistic director of the Young Vic, commented, "Nine years ago our co-production with Isango Ensemble of The Magic Flute became an international hit, winning awards and moving audiences across Europe and the U.S, as well as playing a season in the West End. Our new collaboration with this amazing Cape Town based lyric company of singers and performers is A Man of Good Hope which tells the true story of a refugee from the Somali wars, crossing Africa in search of a new life—which he finds in South Africa. But is it the new life he was looking for?"
It is directed by Isango’s Artistic Director Mark Dornford-May and performed mainly through music by the 23-strong ensemble. Prior to London, it will premiere at Cape Town's District Six Museum from March 16-26.
Hart and Kaufman's Once in a Lifetime will begin performances November 25 prior to an official opening December 6, for a run through January 14, 2017. Adapted by Christopher Hart, in a version that he himself first directed for NPR Radio and LA TheatreWorks, it will be directed by Richard Jones, who last directed The Trial at the Young Vic in 2015. Other Young Vic credits include The Good Soul Of Szechuan, Annie Get Your Gun, The Government Inspector and Hobson's Choice. He recently directed The Hairy Ape at the Old Vic; his Broadway credits include Titanic, La Bete and Wrong Mountain.
The production will be designed by Hyemi Shin with costumes by Nicky Gillibrand. Casting is still to be announced. In a press statement, Lan commented, "Of all the great American comedies of the 1930s, Once in a Lifetime is my favourite. Yes, it's about what happened when the talkies hit Hollywood—but it's really about a couple of savvy kids trying to make a go of their lives and discovering that intelligence and talent and a genius idea are nearly enough to make it big in show biz—but not quite. It has a warm but not altogether generous heart.
Two new productions will also be presented in the Maria Studio. Ryszard Kapuściński's The Emperor, adapted by Colin Teevan, will begin performances September 3 prior to an official opening September 8 for a run through September 24. Co-produced with Manchester's HOME & Les Theatres de la Ville de Luxembourg, is will be directed by Walter Meierjohann and feature Kathryn Hunter, reuniting her with the director and adapter of Kafka's Monkey that was also seen at the Young Vic.
In the play, a despotic ruler's regime is beginning to crumble. We witness the downfall and debris through the eyes of his staff: a catalogue of characters created by Kathryn Hunter. Based on the book by Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuściński, The Emperor explores the artifice of absolute power.
Designed by Ti Green, with videos by Louis Price and lighting by Mike Gunning, it will transfer to HOME after its Young Vic run from September 28 to October 8.
Also in the Maria, Franz Xaver Kroetz's The Nest will bet presented in a new translation by Conor McPherson, beginning performances October 28 prior to an official opening October 31 for a run through November 26. Co-produced with Belfast's Lyric Theatre, it is directed by Ian Rickson, who previously directed the original London and Broadway productions of McPherson's The Weir.
In the play, Kurt and Martha will soon become parents. They both work hard to provide for their new family, to give their child the best and most comfortable start in life. They have to; the perfect buggy doesn't come cheap. But when Kurt's boss offers him a chance to make some easy money, his decision threatens the health of his family and the entire community.
Prior to the Young Vic, it will play at Belfast's Lyric from September 24 to October 22.
Tickets for Blue/Orange are already on sale. The rest of the season goes on general sale from March 1. To book tickets, contact the box office on 0207 922 2922 or visit Youngvic.org