Amid the snow and ice of January, the Young Vic has looked towards the summer, announcing a season which includes work by Sarah Kane and Che Walker, a collaboration with Sadler’s Wells and a piece inspired by the Kursk disaster of 2000.
Never a theatre to shy away from trying something different, Pictures From An Exhibition (8 to 23 May) sees the Young Vic joining forces with pre-eminent dance venue Sadler’s Wells to produce a piece of dance theatre set to Modest Mussorgsky’s piano suite. Director Daniel Kramer, who recently worked on the Young Vic/English National Opera revival of Punch And Judy, leads the project alongside choreographer Frauke Requardt and poet James Fenton.
Walker’s play Been So Long was first staged at the Royal Court in 1998, but rather than revive the original, the Young Vic will stage a new musical version, created by Walker and composer Arthur Darvill. With a score combining soul, funk, jazz, reggae and blues, Been So Long (11 June to 4 July) is the comic tale of five lives that collide in a seedy London bar. It will be the second Walker show of the London summer; the first, a revival of The Frontline, runs at Shakespeare’s Globe in May.
The summer season also includes a production as part of the Young Vic’s Genesis Directors Project aimed at nurturing emerging directors. Kursk (3 to 27 June) is a collaboration between playwright Bryony Lavery and company Sound&Fury, which specialises in developing the sound space of theatre. Inspired by the Russian submarine disaster of 2000, it aims to transport audiences to a confined underwater world of command and control, secrecy and codes, fear and camaraderie. Prior to Kursk the spring season also includes a Genesis Directors Project production. Bay (1 to 4 April), which is directed by Sarah Tipple and devised by the company, is the story of three lives changed within the confines of a motorcycle parking bay.
Another emerging director, Gbolahan Obisesan, directs Barry Keeffe’s Sus (15-20 June), the tale of a black man held in custody purely on the suspicion that he murdered his wife.
Experienced director Christian Beneditti, Artistic Director of Le Théâtre-Studio Alfortville, takes charge of Kane’s boundary-pushing exploration of a mind preparing to shut itself down, 4.48 Psychosis (21 July to 1 August). His revival stars BAFTA Award-winner Anamaria Marinca, who was previously seen in Channel 4’s Sex Traffic and Palme d’Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days.
Fevered Sleep’s TMA Award-winning show for 3-5 year-olds, Brilliant, a strongly visual story about light, also plays a part of the Young Vic summer, from 15 to 18 July.
The summer season follows a spring season including King Lear, starring Pete Postlethwaite, The Indian Wants The Bronx, Kafka’s Monkey, After Dido and the return of Matthew Dunster’s one-man play You Can See The Hills.