The Young Vic Theatre has announced its first Walkabout season.

The Young Vic Theatre has announced its first ‘Walkabout’ season.

Last Wednesday (7 July 2004) David Lan, artistic director of the Young Vic, made important announcements concerning the Young Vic's future shows while their theatre is being rebuilt.

He announced the Young Vic’s first ‘Walkabout’ season setting off on a journey that will take it to a local church, a range of theatres around London, on tour in the UK and Europe and, twice to New York.

The restoration of the world-famous Young Vic auditorium and the reconstruction of its building – to include a totally new 140 seat studio theatre - will take 2 years. The design is by Steve Tompkins of Haworth Tompkins Architects. 85% of the £12.5 million cost is now in place. The fundraising campaign, led by Jude Law, continues its task of raising the remaining £1.5 million.

During the whole of the period of reconstruction, the theatre’s administrative and creative base will be five spacious rehearsal studios at Kennington Park, London SW9. These have been made available through the tremendous generosity of ITV London who have kindly offered to be the Young Vic’s ‘Walkabout Partner’.

The studios provide ample room for administration and pre-production facilities as well as for rehearsal but also, for the theatre’s work with young directors as part of the Genesis Directors Project and for its well-known work with young people, as documented in the recently published The Young Vic Book.

David Lan said ‘If we don’t rebuild, our theatre will disappear. We have had unstinting support from the Arts Council, from the Lottery Board from many foundations and trusts and, most important of all, from our supporters and friends. Chief amongst these is ITV London. We share a powerful common aim: to engage with and speak to the many communities of London – and especially those of Lambeth and Southwark in which, as critical parts of London’s creative industries, we both live. At the Young Vic we are always eager to cross boundaries: of age, of experience, of class, of artistic form, of technologies, of style. This unique partnership will, we believe, bring great benefits to ourselves and to our audiences in ways which we have just begun to imagine and explore.’

Productions in London include.....

The Young Vic & English Touring Opera production of
Tobias and The Angel at St John’s Church [near Waterloo Bridge] Tues 7 – Sat 11 September 2004. It has Music by Jonathan Dove, Libretto by David Lan. Directed by John Fulljames, with designs by Alexander Lowde and choreography / assistant direction by Ben Wright. When his father is struck blind, Tobias ventures across the mountains to reclaim his family fortune. A stranger guide him ...

The Ambassador Theatre Group presents the Young Vic production of Simply Heavenly by Langston Hughes and David Martin at the Trafalgar Studios from 19th October 2004. It is directed by Josette Bushell-Mingo, designed by Rob Howell with lighting design by Paul Anderson, sound by Nick Lidster, choreography by Paul J Medford and musical direction by Warren Mills. Cast includes Clive Rowe, Ruby Turner. Jesse B Semple is a hardworking man, often down on his luck, with an expensive divorce looming. He has a good woman to love but is tempted by the local siren and even more so by the neighbourhood bar. Life is very complicated!

Sleeping Beauty at the Barbican Theatre from Sat 11 December 2004 – Tues 11 January 2005. A Young Vic production Co-produced with BITE: 2004. It is written and directed by Rufus Norris; Katrina Lindsay designer, Richard Chew composer, Jonathan Gill music director with lighting by Tim Mitchell and sound by Paul Arditti.Based on Charles Perrault’s 17th century classic, this tale takes us beyond the kiss that wakes Beauty into a perilous world of flatulent fairies, cowardly princes and repressed ogres. Like all good fairy-stories, through romance and fear, it leads its audience to the very hearts of men, women and monsters and speaks of what it finds there: fear, courage, greed, compassion and wonder.

A Raisin in The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith from Fri 18 February – Sat 26 March 2005. It is directed by David Lan,design by Francis O’Connor, lighting by Tim Mitchell and sound by Crispian Covell. The cast includes: Lennie James, Kananu Kirimi, Novella Nelson, Cecilia Noble. Walter Lee Younger has a dream that will get him and his family out of their tiny apartment in Southside Chicago. The dream fails but in this, the greatest play of the black American experience, a new man is born...

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