As previously announced (See News, 8 Apr 2008), the season kicks off with Christmas show Amazonia (27 November–24 January), the culmination of a 15-month series of events created by the Young Vic in collaboration with the People’s Palace Project. Inspired by traditional Brazilian myths and legends, Amazonia is co-written by Paul Heritage (AfroReggae, Barbican) and Colin Teevan (Monkey!, Young Vic), and designed by Cirque du Soleil’s Gringo Cardia, who, according to press material, will “transform the Young Vic into an enchanted rainforest” in a show aimed at all the family.
Following Amazonia in the main house is the recently announced production of King Lear, directed by Rupert Goold and starring Pete Postlethwaite in the title role (pictured) (See News, 23 Sep 2008). The production, which runs from 4 February to 28 March 2009 (previews from 29 January), opens later this month at the Liverpool Everyman, where it has already sold out.
Another stellar director, Katie Mitchell, follows Goold onto the main house stage with her new piece, After Dido, a live music and film performance inspired by Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, which runs from 15 to 25 April 2009. The production is a collaboration between the Young Vic and ENO, who worked together on Lost Highway and Punch and Judy earlier this year. It was commissioned to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Purcell’s birth and was first announced by ENO in April (See News, 17 Apr 2008).
The 150-seat Maria studio will host the world premiere of Colin Teevan’s Kafka’s Monkey from 19 March to 9 April 2009 (previews from 14 March). The play, adapted from Kafka’s short story A Report to an Academy, stars Kathryn Hunter – who’s previously appeared in Peter Brook’s Fragments and The Visit at the Young Vic - as a “woman playing a monkey playing a man”, and tours to Australia after its London run.
The smaller Clare studio will play host to three productions during the season, starting with Frank Guinness’ translation of Ibsen’s Ghosts, directed by William Oldroyd as part of the Genesis Directors project, from 17 to 20 December 2008. The Indian Wants the Bronx by Israel Horovitz and directed by Jerwood Award-winning Daljinder Singh runs from 7 to 14 February 2009, while Sarah Tipple’s devised production Bay run from 1 to 4 April.
Announcing the season, artistic director David Lan said: “This is an especially invigorating time for us as we embark on a season in which old friends return to take on the mighty King Lear, to recreate Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and to discover Kafka’s extraordinary semi-human monkey. Meanwhile, directors from our Genesis Directors Project and Jerwood Directors Award explore richly provocative texts and devise new performance.”
- by Theo Bosanquet