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Jared McNeill, Ery Nzaramba and Carole Karemera in rehearsal for Battlefield (Photo: Simon Annand)

Jared McNeill, Ery Nzaramba and Carole Karemera in rehearsal for Battlefield (Photo: Simon Annand)

Peter Brook leads Young Vic 2016

Published 29 July 2015

Legendary director Peter Brook will revisit his seminal The Mahabharata for a new production at the Young Vic next year as part of a winter season that also includes the return of the Olivier Award-winning Bull and the London premiere of an acclaimed literary adaptation.

Commenting on the return of one of the world’s most revered theatremakers to the Young Vic stage, the venue’s Artistic Director David Lan commented: “Peter Brook’s staging of The Mahabharata is acknowledged as one of the seminal theatre works of the 20th century… Peter and his team are among our closest theatre friends. We’re as delighted as always to welcome them to the Young Vic.”

Entitled Battlefield, the piece will play from 3 to 27 February and is co-directed by Brook’s long-time collaborator Marie-Hélène Estienne. Estienne worked as his assistant on the original acclaimed staging of the Indian epic 30 years ago when it earnt a place in theatrical history for Brook’s staggering nine-hour staging.

Drawing on just one strand of the 3,000-year-old sacred Hindu text – often described as the “longest poem in the world” – about conflict, war and family, Lan described this new production as exploring “the moment when the heroes of the epic face each other before a great battle.”

The cast will comprise actors who have all previously appeared in Brook productions, with Carole Karemera (Sometimes In April), Jared McNeill (The Valley Of Astonishment), Ery Nzaramba (The Suit) and Sean O’Callaghan (Beyond Caring) tackling the ambitious project that will visit the Young Vic as part of a world tour.

Brook’s Battlefield will follow the revival of Mike Bartlett’s 2015 Outstanding Achievement In An Affiliate Theatre Olivier Award winner Bull, which arrives back at the venue for a limited season from 11 December to 9 January.

Set in a cutthroat office where three colleagues battle it out over two jobs, Bull’s original 2014 run earned critical acclaim for Soutra Gilmour’s innovative bullfighting ring set and Bartlett’s brutal script. Casting for this revival is still to be announced.

Rounding up the trio of just announced shows is the London premiere of Annie Ryan’s critically acclaimed adaptation of the Bailey’s Women’s Prize For Fiction Award-winning novel A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing.

Playing from 17 February to 19 March, the one-woman piece brings to life Eimear McBride’s story of a girl growing up in Ireland and living in the shadow of her brother’s childhood brain tumour. Faced with religious fervour and cruel deprivation, the story is a gripping and gritty tale of a girl navigating her way through the world.

Aoife Duffin will reprise her role in the one-woman show following the show’s premiere at the 2014 Dublin Theatre Festival. Following its glowing reception, the production plays at the Young Vic as part of a tour which will culminate in a Broadway run.

The exciting trio of shows play at the venue following an equally high-profile summer season that includes Rory Kinnear in The Trial, Song From Far Away, the much-anticipated new production from Simon Stephens and Ivo van Hove, and Romola Garai in Measure For Measure.

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