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Stewart Plays Bingo at Young Vic, Hamlet Dates

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Hot on the heels of this morning’s announcement that Patrick Stewart will return to the Royal Shakespeare Company this summer - reuniting with his Macbeth director Rupert Goold to play Shylock in a new production of the Bard’s The Merchant of Venice - comes the news that he’ll return next year to the Young Vic, where he last appeared in 1986 in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.

This time he’ll reprise his role as William Shakespeare himself in Edward Bond’s 1973 play Bingo, which he first performed in April 2010 at Chichester Festival’s Minerva theatre. The Young Vic/Chichester Festival Theatre co-production, directed by Angus Jackson will run at the Young Vic from 23 February to 31 March 2012 (previews from 16 February).

Bingo depicts Shakespeare in the last days of his life - ageing, facing poverty and lacking creative energy, until his poetry is suddenly once again unleashed by the catastrophic circumstances he faces.

Also announced today, the Young Vic’s new season, running from March 2011 to March 2012, will include: returns for deputy artistic director Joe Hill-Gibbins’ sell-out production of Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane (20 July-3 September 2011), starring Rosaleen Linehan, and John Fulljames’ Evening Standard Award-winning production of Kurt Weill musical Street Scene (15 September-1 October 2011), with its 80-strong community ensemble, back for 14 performances only after its brief 2008 run; David Harrower’s new version of Gogol’s 1836 Russian black comedy, The Government Inspector (3 June-9 July 2011), starring The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt and Smack the Pony’s Doon Mackichan, directed by Richard Jones; and the latest ENO/Young Vic opera co-production, Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses (24 March-9 April 2011).

Dates have also been confirmed for the next high-profile Hamlet, with Michael Sheen taking the title role, directed by Ian Rickson. It will run in the Young Vic’s main house from 9 November 2011 to 21 January 2012 (previews from 28 October).

Commenting on the highly anticipated production, Young Vic artistic director David Lan said: “Michael Sheen and Ian Rickson are both old colleagues and friends. I have long hoped to have them with us here. To have them together on Hamlet is a gift. It can’t help but be one of the events of the year.”

The above productions follow the previously announced final offering in the Young Vic’s 40th anniversary programme, renowned international director Patrice Chereau’s English-language version of Jon Fosse’s I Am the Wind (26 April-21 May 2011), which is adapted by Simon Stephens, stars Tom Brooke and Jack Laskey. And, in the Maria studio, there’s a London transfer for the Abbey Theatre, Dublin’s production of Mark Rowe’s Terminus (30 March-16 April 2011), after its international tour and Fringe First-winning success in Edinburgh.


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