Shepherd & Newman Lead Young Vicís AndorraDate: 26 September 2001
Jack Shepherd and Alec Newman head the cast of Max Frisch's drama Andorra at the Young Vic from 19 October 2001. Not seen in London since 1964, Andorra is the story of prejudice in a small town and charts the author's observations on the rise of European fascism.
The play centres on Andri, a young man who is wrongly thought by his town to be Jewish, although he eventually starts believing it himself. However, mere suspicion alone arouses discrimination, racism and the destructiveness which follows in their wake. Andorra was premiered in Zurich in 1961 and also became an immediate success in Switzerland, Israel, Austria and Germany.
Max Frisch was born in Switzerland in 1911 and served in the Swiss army battalions during World War Two. Although he was an architect by profession, he began to publish plays and later befriended Bertolt Brecht. He travelled widely in support of his works, which often portrayed notions of guilt, innocence and identity. Frisch was awarded Germany's prestigious Georg-Buchner-Preis for literature in 1958, and died in Zurich in 1991.
Jack Shepherd is familiar as the star of TV's Wycliffe drama series. He is also an established veteran of the stage, and won the Best Actor Olivier in 1983 for Glengarry Glen Ross at the National Theatre Cottesloe. Scottish actor Alec Newman studied at the National Youth Theatre. He starred opposite Cate Blanchett in the West End production of David Hare's Plenty at the Albery, and played Paul Atreides in the recent remake of Dune.
Andorra is directed by Gregory Thompson, the Artistic Director of the AandBC Theatre Company. He has also directed Shakespeare works at Lincoln's Inn in London, notably The Tempest which toured to the Edinburgh Festival and across Eastern Europe. Andorra is part of the Young Vic's Direct Action initiative, in conjunction with the Royal National Theatre Studio, to provide young directorial talent with a main stage opportunity at the Young Vic.
- by Gareth Thompson