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Young Vic stages A Number transfer

Published 19 November 2014

Father and son acting duo John and Lex Shrapnel will star in the London transfer of Caryl Churchill’s A Number when it arrives at the Young Vic as part of the Southwark venue’s forthcoming season.

The transfer announcement comes with news of casting for Mike Bartlett’s Bull and the upcoming run of a Tennessee Williams triple bill, which are to join the Nuffield co-production in the Young Vic’s studio spaces.

The Shrapnels will reprise their roles in Michael Longhurst’s production of A Number in The Maria from 3 July (press night 7 July) to 8 August after receiving critical acclaim for their performances when it opened at Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre earlier this year.

The play, which examines a father-son relationship, follows the story of Bernard, who is forced to confront his father – and his own fears – when he discovers that he is one of a number of clones and not the only child that he was brought up to believe he was.

John returns to the Young Vic for the first time since 2008’s King Lear, while his son Lex makes his Young Vic debut in the play, returning to the London stage following his performance in Jonathan Kent’s production of the same Shakespeare play at the Almeida Theatre.

Prior to A Number’s London transfer, Adam James, Eleanor Matsuura, Neil Stuke and Sam Troughton will star in Clare Lizzimore’s production of Bull in The Maria.

A companion piece to Bartlett’s Olivier Award-winning play Cock, the darkly comic tale of three desperate colleagues competing for just two jobs will play from 8 January (15 January) to 7 February.

Matsuura and Troughton both return to the Young Vic following their 2012 performances in The Changeling and Three Sisters respectively. Stuke returns to the venue for the first time since American Buffalo in 1997, after appearing more recently in Season’s Greetings at the National Theatre, while James can currently be seen playing the Prime Minister in the West End transfer of King Charles III.

In the Clare from 11 to 21 February, Man: Three Plays By Tennessee Williams will give Young Vic audiences the rare opportunity to see the legendary playwright’s Auto-Da-Fé, The Strangest Kind Of Romance and Summer At The Lake all in one sitting.

Directed by Finn Beames, who received 2015’s Genesis Future Directors Award, the collection of gripping short plays explores masculinity through the prism of male identity, sexuality and cultural expectations, and reveals the devastating consequences of scapegoating those on the fringes of society.

Alongside this trio of shows opening in the new year, Bush Moukarzel’s Lippy will play in the Maria from 19 February to 14 March. Joining previously announced cast members Moukarzel, Joanna Banks, David Heap, Liv O’Donoghue, and Adam Welsh are Irish Times Award nominee Caitríona Ní Mhurchú and Eileen Walsh (Teh Internet Is Serious Business, Royal Court).

The Young Vic’s 2015 season also includes the return of Happy Days (13 February to 21 March) to the main house. Meanwhile, north of the river, the venue’s West End transfer of The Scottsboro Boys continues to play until 21 February, to be joined on 11 February by the recently announced transfer of A View From The Bridge.


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