Theatre News

Kwame Kwei-Armah announces Young Vic YV:ID festival line-up including Lenny Henry and Lynette Linton

The venue has announced a number of digital and live initiatives exploring the theme of identity

Lenny Henry, Kwame Kwei-Armah and Lynette Linton
Lenny Henry, Kwame Kwei-Armah and Lynette Linton
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The Young Vic artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah has announced the full line-up for the upcoming digital and live festival YV:ID, which will explore modern day themes of identity.

The festival will include Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle, a series of 15-minute monologues set in or around the front room of an Afro-Caribbean home. The monologues will be broadcast on BBC Four in February, and are co-produced by Lenny Henry's production company Douglas Road.

Appearing in the eight monologues will be Henry, Vinette Robinson (Doctor Who), Montserrat Lombard (Upstart Crow), Danielle Vitalis (Attack the Block), Clifford Samuel (McMafia), Gamba Cole (Damilola: Our Loved Boy), Elliot Barnes-Worrell (Jericho), Jonathan Jules (Invasion Earth), and Olivia-Mai Barrett (Penny on M.A.R.S).

The films are written by a team of writers composed of Carmen Harris, Angie Le Mar, Roy Williams, Juliet Gilkes Romero , Carol Russell, Clint Dyer, Nathaniel Martello-White and Kwei-Armah. On 21 February Afua Hirsch and Kwei-Armah will have a live discussion at the Young Vic around notions of cultural identity.

The Young Vic has also commissioned a series of monologues entitled My England, created by writers and actors from across the country. Half were filmed on location in the regions where the writers were from, whereas the other half were filmed at the Young Vic.

The writers and pieces include Javaad Alipoor (whose piece is England's Red, performed by Christopher Eccleston), Michael Bhim (The Question), Ishy Din (UTB!), Kenneth Emson (Mayday), Lynette Linton (Simone), Zodwa Nyoni (On Belonging), Bea Roberts (Sir F Mother Fucking Drake which will star Jenny Rainsford), Jack Rooke (The Game), Lucy J Skilbeck (Big Ben), Stef Smith (How To Grow A Nation which will star Kate Dickie), Polly Stenham (Flat White with Ophelia Lovibond), Simon Stephens (she), Selina Thompson (I Feel Most English When… with Ronke Adekoluejo) and Jack Thorne (Luton? with Mat Fraser). Directors for the series include Nadia Latif and Rodney Charles.

The films will be released via the Young Vic website from 25 February.

The Young Vic will also present a new web series entitled The 8 Club, exploring toxic masculinity and why young men feel the way they do. Participants include JJ Bola, Michael Brooks, Ned Dukes, Matt Harvey, Roly Hunter, LionHeart, Simon Anthony Mitchell, Adam Pugh, Michael Simon, Jordan Stephens, Elric Stockley and Jamell Williams, and the series will be available on Young Vic social channels from 11 March.