The 2007/8 season at the Young Vic was today launched by David Lan, Artistic Director of the Waterloo venue. In addition to an extension of current hit Vernon God Little, the new season opens with a community show and includes work by Matthew Dunster and Peter Brook, a Rwandan company performing a play about Auschwitz, the European premiere of The Brothers Size and a Christmas repertoire of The Magic Flute and A Christmas Carol. At the launch, the Young Vic also celebrated being awarded the RIBA London Building of the Year for 2007.
Following the success of Tobias And The Angel, the adaptation of Ma Vie En Rose that opens the season will use around 40 actors from the local areas of Lambeth and Southwark to tell the tale of identity and sexuality. Lan described the 1997 film on which the show is loosely based, and which follows a young boy who longs to be a girl, as "a very beautiful, very delicate movie". The show runs for five performances only between 22 and 25 August.
While Ma Vie En Rose plays in the Maria, The Member Of The Wedding is the first play of the season in the Main House (7 Sept-20 Oct). Carson McCullers's story of life in southern America and a girl who dreams of joining her brother's sophisticated world, is directed by Matthew Dunster, who directed Love And Money at the Young Vic last season.
In September, Peter Brook directs Fragments, a collection of four short plays by Beckett along with a text extract. The piece, which is similar in feel to the Big Brecht Fest season which highlighted four little known Brecht plays, is a co-production between Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord and the Young Vic. Marcello Magni and Jozef Houben, who have already performed in the production in France, are joined by British actress Kathryn Hunter.
The only show that the Young Vic is not producing is the UK premiere of The Investigation, a shortened version of Peter Weiss's documentary play based on the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials. The play is performed by a group of actors from Rwanda, a country that has suffered from genocide itself. The run, 31 October-10 November, provides the only English dates on the production's tour. Lan explained his decision to present this touring production, saying: "What made it absolutely essential for us to show is that it's a company of Rwandan actors, all of whom are in their late 20s, early 30s and so are survivors of the Rwandan catastrophe of 10 years ago, and they've chosen to do a play about a European catastrophe and they do it in an exemplary manner with tremendous cool, tact, restraint, and I find it a very revealing, enriching – I can't really say an entertaining experience – but I felt, a really important one."
The Brothers Size, which runs in the Maria in November and December, is the European premiere of the play by new up-and-coming American playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, and is directed by Bijan Shebani. It tells of two brothers, one of whom owns an auto-repair shop and the other who has just been released from prison but always seems to make the wrong decisions.
The Christmas season sees music at the centre of the Young Vic's work once more, following last Christmas's The Enchanted Pig. South African company Portobello, which was formed by Oscar-winning producer Eric Abraham and director Mark Dornford-May, present the two productions in repertoire between 20 November and 19 January. The Magic Flute (Impempe Yomlingo) is sung through, but without the usually assumed accompaniment of an orchestra, while A Christmas Carol (Ikrismas Kherol) is also given the musical treatment. Both stories are transposed to a township setting.
Speaking about his inaugural season in the new home, Lan commented that of the 10 shows offered, only one underperformed in his "curious, crazy little theatre", and that he hoped to build on that success with this new season.