Jane Horrocks will lead the cast of Bertold Brecht’s The Good Soul Of Szechuan, the final production of the Young Vic’s spring 2008 season. This is preceded by collaborations with the English National Opera (ENO) – Punch And Judy and Lost Highway – and work by Winsome Pinnock and Debbie Tucker Green. The season opens with the first London revival of Thomas Babe’s A Prayer For My Daughter.
The Good Soul Of Szechuan, which runs from 8 May-21 June, tells of a good hearted prostitute rewarded with money by a god she aids. But how can good people be good in a world full of want and cruelty?
Horrocks is currently about to begin a run at the Garrick, where she leads an impressive cast in Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular. The actress, whose television and film credits include Little Voice and Absolutely Fabulous, last appeared in the West End in Steven Poliakoff’s Sweet Panic in 2003.
In The Good Soul Of Szechuan, Horrocks is directed by Richard Jones, whose work was last seen at the Young Vic with 2003’s Hobson’s Choice. The internationally acclaimed director’s other works include the National Theatre’s Tales From The Vienna Woods, and numerous productions with ENO and the Royal Opera.
The two ENO co-productions with the Young Vic directly precede The Good Soul Of Szechuan. Olga Neuwirth’s Lost Highway, based on David Lynch’s 1997 psychological thriller, is a multi-media event directed by Diane Paulus. It runs from 4-11 April. Harrison Birtwistle’s Punch And Judy, directed by Daniel Kramer, runs from 19-27 April and explores the darkness behind the seaside sideshow.
Colin Morgan, who took the lead role in the Young Vic’s production of Vernon God Little, returns to the venue to open the season in A Prayer For My Daughter (31 January-15 March). The tale of two cops and two robbers trying to uncover the truth about a crime received its London debut at the Royal Court in 1978. Morgan is joined in the production by American actor Corey Johnson.
Debbie Tucker Green’s Dirty Butterfly (9-16 February) and Winsome Pinnock’s Mules (8-15 March) are staged in association with the Jerwood Directors Award. The award was founded in 2001 to support directors at various stages of their careers. Dirty Butterfly is a drama about voyeurism, power and guilt set in inner London, and was first seen at the Soho in 2003. Mules is Pinnock’s powerful play about women who use their bodies to smuggle drugs.
Currently playing at the Young Vic are A Christmas Carol and The Magic Flute, both performed by the Isango/Portobello company and given a distinctly South African flavour.