Jane Horrocks Heads to Young Vic, Morgan ReturnsDate: 27 December 2007
Young Vic artistic director David Lan has outlined an adventurous programme for spring 2008, including Jane Horrocks (pictured) starring in Brecht’s The Good Soul of Szechuan, the first revival of Thomas Babe’s 1970s New York cop shop drama A Prayer for My Daughter and, as previously announced (See News, 23 Apr 2007), two co-productions with English National Opera.
The season kicks off on 6 February 2008 (previews from 31 January) in the main house, where Dominic Hill, the recently appointed artistic director of Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, will direct Babe’s psychological drama A Prayer for My Daughter, the first London revival since the play premiered at New York’s Public Theater and the Royal Court in the 1970s.
Set in a grubby downtown police office and written in the shadow of the Vietnam war, two cops and two crooks battle with wits and fists to uncover a hideous crime. The cast includes Matthew Marsh, Corey Johnson, Sean Chapman and Colin Morgan, who earlier this year made his professional debut at the Young Vic in Rufus Norris’ production of Vernon God Little, which he followed with All About My Mother at the Old Vic in All About My Mother (the two roles earned him a nomination for London Newcomer of the Year in our Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards – click here to vote!). A Prayer for My Daughter continues until 15 March 2008.
Following on for its own success with community operas such as Tobias and the Angel, the Young Vic then dips its toe deeper into operatic waters by collaborating with English National Opera on two new productions of contemporary works by living composers.
Lost Highway, which will have its UK premiere in the main house running from 4 to 11 April 2008, is by avant-garde Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth with a libretto by Neuwirth and Nobel Prize-winning playwright and novelist Elfriede Jelinek, adapted from David Lynch’s 1997 cult film. In the words of Lynch, the psychological thriller is “a meditation on the mysterious nature of identity”. The opera, Neuwirth’s second, premiered at Austria’s Graz Festival in October 2004. It’s directed by Diana Paulus, making her UK directing debut, and designed by Riccardo Hernandez with video design by William Forsythe, best known for his work with the Wooster Group.
Then, from 19 to 27 April 2008, theatre director Daniel Kramer (Bent, Angels in America) makes his opera debut with a new 40th anniversary production of Harrison Birtwistle’s 1968 one-acter Punch and Judy, which has a libretto by Stephen Pruslin.
The main house schedule concludes, from 14 May to 21 June 2008 (previews from 7 May), with The Good Soul of Szechuan, Brecht’s 1949 classic (also known as The Good Person of Szechuan) which has been newly translated by David Harrower, whose own play Blackbird won this year’s Best New Play Olivier Award. Three gods visit earth to find out if humans are living up to their high moral standards. Only Shen Te, a good-hearted prostitute, gives them shelter. When she’s rewarded with money to open a tobacco shop, the gods watch to see if her natural goodness can restore their faith in humanity.
Horrocks, who plays Shen Te, is currently appearing in the West End production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular. The Brecht piece will be directed by Richard Jones and designed by Miriam Buether.
Meanwhile, in the Clare studio, there will be two revivals directed by winners of the Jerwood Directors Award: Michael Longhurst directs debbie tucker green’s dirty butterfly (9 to 16 February) and Amy Hodge directs Winsome Pinnock’s Mules (8 to 15 March).
- by Roger Foss & Terri Paddock