In addition to the previously announced productions of Kafka's Monkey (running in the Maria Studio March 14-April 9) and its co-production of After Dido with English National Opera (running in the main house April 15-25), the season will also include a neon-soaked new musical, Been So Long, written and directed by Che Walker (based on a straight play of the same name that he first wrote for the Royal Court in 1998); a co-production with Sadler's Wells of a dance theatre production that brings Mussorgsky's piano suite Pictures from an Exhibition to life; and the return of Matthew Dunster's one-man play You Can See the Hills.
Been So Long, which features a score of soul, funk, jazz, reggae and blues composed and directed by Arthur Darvill, is described in press materials as a "feisty, stand-up and sing-out funk musical about people dealing with the frustrations of sex and love." It will begin performances in the main house June 11, prior to an official opening June 17, for a run to July 4. The plot revolves around Yvonne and Simone who are cruising for action. Raymond stole Gil's girl and now Gil wants to slice him up, while Barney is just after a quiet life. When all five collide, in a seedy London bar, their desires ignite in a guttural blast of cusses, laughs and unexpected romance. Walker, whose plays also include The Frontline (being revived at Shakespeare's Globe this summer), won the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright in 2003 for Flesh Wound, seen at the Royal Court. Darvill, who also provided music for Walker's plays The Frontline and Crazy Love, is an artistic associate of the Bush Theatre, where he provided music for 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover last year and is under commission to write a full-scale musical for 2009.
Director Daniel Kramer, who staged the Young Vic/ENO co-production of Punch and Judy last year and in July 2009 will direct the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright's opera Prima Donna for Manchester International Festival, returns to the Young Vic to bring Mussorgsky's 1874 piano composition Pictures from an Exhibition to the stage as a dance theatre production. It will begin performances in the main house May 8, prior to an official opening May 13, for a run to May 23. Choreography will be by Frauke Requardt, associate artist at the Place from 2004-2006 and now artist in residence at the Greenwich Dance Agency; text is by poet and critic James Fenton; and design is by Richard Hudson (The Lion King internationally, Tis Pity She's a Whore, Dr. Faustus and The Skin of Our Teeth at the Young Vic).
You Can See the Hills, originally seen in the Clare studio last year, will return, this time to the larger Maria studio, for a run from April 23-May 9, with an official opening on April 27. Co-produced with Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre, it stars William Ash (seen in TV’s "Clocking Off" and "Doctor Who" as Adam), as the play follows him crashing through his teens, haphazardly steering himself out of Oldham and into adulthood. Ash received the 2008 Manchester Evening News award for Best Performance in a studio when the play was seen at the Exchange's studio last year.
Other new productions in the Young Vic's studio theatres will include Kursk, an immersive theatrical event inspired by the Russian submarine disaster of 2000 by theatre company Sound&Fury in collaboration with playwright Bryony Lavery (running June 3-27 in the Maria, with an official opening June 8); a new production of Barrie Keefe's Sus, directed by Gbolahan Obisesan (running June 15-20 in the Clare); Brilliant, a visual theatre piece about light created by Young Vic associate company Fevered Sleep (running July 15-18 in the Clare); and a new production of Sarah Kane's 4.48 Psychosis directed by Christian Benedtti and peformend by Anamaria Marinca (running July 21-Aug. 1 in the Maria, with an official opening on July 23). Priority booking for the newly announced productions opens Jan. 19, with public booking beginning Feb. 2. To book tickets contact the box office at 020 7922 2922 or visit www.youngvic.org.