Young Vic Revives Weill's Street Scene, Brook BackDate: 3 June 2008
The Young Vicís newly announced season, running from July 2008 to January 2009, will include the first UK production in 20 years of Kurt Weillís 1947 Tony Award-winning musical Street Scene, the return of American Tarell Alvin McCraneyís The Brothers Size and the European premiere of his In the Red and Brown Water, a new run for Peter Brookís acclaimed English-language production of Samuel Beckettís Fragments and, as previously announced (See News, 8 Apr 2008), an Amazonian Christmas show.
In the main house, the schedule opens, from 17 to 22 July 2008, with Weillís Street Scene, which is set in a New York tenement building over a long hot summerís day and night. A co-production with the Opera Group and Watford Palace, the latest in the Young Vicís community operas will be performed by a mass ensemble, comprising 15 professional musical theatre and opera performers, a chorus of 50, a chamber orchestra of 30 and a dog. Street Scene is directed by Opera Group artistic director John Fulljames, with musical direction by Patrick Bailey and design by Dick Bird. Prior to the Young Vic, it will open on 4 July for two performances at Watford Palace.
Fragments, which was premiered at the Young Vic last September ahead of an international tour (See News, 23 Sep 2007), returns from 27 August to 13 September 2008. The collection of five lesser-known short plays by Samuel Beckett - Rockaby, Rough for Theatre I, Act Without Words II, Come and Go and Neither - is directed by Peter Brook and performed in English by Marcello Magni, Kathryn Hunter and new cast member Khalifa Natou. Fragments is co-produced by the Young Vic with Brookís Paris-based company Theatre des Bouffes du Nord.
Tarell Alvin McCraneyís In the Red and Brown Water, the first instalment in his Brothers/Sisters trilogy, receives its European premiere on 9 October 2008 (previews from 2 October) in the main house, where it runs until 8 November. As a child, star athlete Oya is torn between her running dream and her sick mother; as a woman, sheís torn between two men and desperate to bear a child. Walter Meierjohann directs.
The 27-year-old McCraney made his UK debut at the Young Vic last year with The Brothers Size, which, ahead of a UK tour, returns to the theatre, where it will run - concurrently with In the Red and Brown Water - in the Maria studio from 13 October to 8 November 2008 (previews from 8 October). Bijan Sheibani directs a new cast led by Daniel Francis, Tunji Kasim and Anthony Welsh.
The main house schedule concludes with Amazonia, the Christmas show which is the culmination of a 15-month collaboration between the Young Vic and the Peopleís Palace Project. Inspired by the stories and culture of the Brazilian rainforest, the story centres on twin boys who take refuge in a tree where a spirit has cast a spell. Itís written and directed by Paul Heritage and Brazilian sitcom star Pedro Cardoso, who will be in the cast. Amazonia runs from 8 December 2008 (previews from 27 November) to 24 January 2009.
Ahead of the Christmas production, theatregoers can get a taste of the Brazilian party culture with the Festa! dance celebration on 16 August. The Young Vic season also include You Can See the Hills, a new play written and directed by associate director Matthew Dunster, which is in the Clare studio from 14 to 18 October following a debut run at Manchesterís Royal Exchange.
- by Terri Paddock