Nelson Mandela musical sets world premiere at Young Vic

‘Mandela’ is in partnership with Nelson Mandela’s family.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

Three new shows will premiere at the Young Vic in 2022. They include a new musical inspired by Nelson Mandela’s pioneering life, Ivo van Hove returning to the Young Vic with Who Killed My Father, and a new play by Sonali Bhattacharyya.

“Our Summer/Autumn season is a celebration of community and of resilience” said Kwei-Armah. “From the stories you find on your doorstep to powerful tales of international resistance - they will bring us together to view the world through the eyes of others and through the lens of their experiences.”

Not much is known about the Mandela musical's story, however the musical will follow his 27 year fight, the story of Mandela and the movement behind him which transformed South Africa's future. Mandela is presented with partnership with Nandi Mandela, Luvuyo Madasa and the Mandela family.

Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter, Nandi Mandela, said of the production: “As my grandfather once said, music has the power to free us to dream, to unite people as one voice, and we hope that our musical will do just that. We hope that my grandfather’s story, of a man from humble beginnings who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, will resonate with audiences far and wide, and communicate his message of hope - that we are all capable of doing great things, as long as we are true and authentic to ourselves.”

Mandela features an original book by Laiona Michelle, with music and lyrics by Greg Dean Borowsky and Shaun Borowsky, and additional music and lyrics by Bongi Duma. Schele Williams directs Mandela and choreography is by Gregory Maqoma. Further casting and creative team are to be revealed.

Mandela begins previews at the Young Vic on 28 November, with an opening night on 8 December and performances to 4 Feb. 2023.

In the Main House, Sonali Bhattacharyya’s play Chasing Hares will open after Oklahoma! Set in West Bengal, the play follows a father who is tasked with writing a new play and struggles to decide what realities to confront in his work.

Milli Bhatia directs Ayesha Dharker, Zainab Hasan, Scott Karim, Saroja-Lily Ratnavel and Irfan Shamji, and leads a creative team including designs by Moi Tran, lighting design by Jai Morjaria and sound design by Donato Wharton. Chasing Hares begins previews on 16 July, with an opening night on 25 July and performances to 13 August.

Following Chasing Hares, Ivo van Hove adapts and directs Édouard Louis’ Who Killed My Father. Hans Kesting performs the monologue which follows a man who reflects on a lifetime of social deprivation and hard work in the north of France.

Jan Versweyveld provides set and lighting, with costumes by An D’Huys and music by George Dhauw. Who Killed My Father runs from 7 - 24 September, with an opening night on 8 September.

Photo credit: Mandela artwork (Artwork by Emilie Chen)

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