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Young Vic gets violent

Published March 27, 2013

Three productions linked by a sense of violence and terror will play at the Young Vic’s Maria theatre later this year.

Trash Cuisine, a co-production with Belarus Free Theatre, The Secret Agent co-produced with theatre O and new David Greig play The Events will all delve into dark themes surrounding extreme actions of control and brutality.

Internationally acclaimed company Belarus Free Theatre blends testimonies from lawyers, executioners, inmates and their families with Shakespearean extracts, music and dance to create Trash Cuisine (30 May to 15 June). Set in a café where specials include electrocution, hanging and lethal injection, the inventive company, which is banned from performing in its own country – where capital punishment is still legal – the company has created a production exploring this most violent of punishments in its own inimitable style.

The Secret Agent (4 to 21 September) is inspired by Joseph Conrad’s classic novel, a political thriller about a spy pressured to blow up the Greenwich Observatory by a foreign power to provoke the UK government into passing repressive legislation. Theatre O uses music hall, magic lantern and early cinematic techniques to tell the century-old story with distinctly modern resonances.

The Events (9 October to 2 November) tells a testing story about a politically and racially motivated mass murder and explores the limits of human empathy and our need to understand extreme acts of violence. The new piece by Greig who, in an extreme contrast, is also writing the book for new musical Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, is the Young Vic’s third co-production of the season, this one with Actors Touring Company, Brageteatret and Schauspielhaus Wien, and features a community choir.

Speaking about the trio of shows, Young Vic Artistic Director David Lan said: “I am delighted to announced three new shows in the Maria, all with strong political themes. Violence underpins our world: how can we manage to live well within it?”

By contrast, Fevered Sleep’s acclaimed show for three to five-year-olds, Brilliant, returns to the venue from 3 to 13 July, with its dreamlike world made of light.

The newly announced shows join a line up of productions at the Waterloo venue that include the Olivier Award-nominated A Doll’s House, the Joe Wright-directed A Season In The Congo starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, and the UK premiere of Kander and Ebb’s musical The Scottsboro Boys.