New Young Vic season features musical about Nelson Mandela

Last Updated on 16 April 2022 by Showcall Editorial Team

14London’s Young Vic Theatre has announced its summer and autumn 2022 season including a musical about Nelson Mandela and Ivo van Hove’s Who Killed My Father

Young Vic 2022
Artwork for Young Vic Theatre’s shows in summer and autumn 2022

A new musical telling the story of Nelson Mandela is set to premiere as part of the summer and autumn season at London’s Young Vic Theatre.

The new show, called Mandela, will feature music and lyrics by Greg Dean Borowsky and Shaun Borowsky and Bongi Duma and has been developed in partnership with the Mandela family.

The new programming also includes Chasing Hares, a new play by Sonali Bhattacharyya, set in the UK and West Bengal and telling the epic tale of a father’s resistance in the face of exploitation.

Belgian director Ivo van Hove, whose production of Jean Cocteau’s The Human Voice is currently running in the West End, will bring his adaptation of Édouard Louis’ Who Killed My Father to the Young Vic as a monologue performed by Hans Kesting.

Other highlights include The Secretaries, a “devilishly camp social satire” from American collective The Five Lesbian Brothers, directed by Deirdre McLaughlin, the Young Vic’s 2021 Genesis Future Directors Award recipient.

I Wonder If…, a new devised show directed by Daniel Bailey, will come to the Young Vic’s second space, the Maria, and tour Lambeth and Southwark. The show, featuring John Rwothomach and Shakira Stellar, will fuse dance, music and dialogue to explore human relationships.

The theatre’s creative engagement department will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a series of events titled Taking Part 25.

It will include a promenade performance piece, Of The Cut, co-written with the show’s company by Yasmin Joseph – whose previous work includes J’Ouvert – and directed by Philip J Morris. Using film, theatre, audio and other imagery, it will imagine the next 25 years around the theatre’s home in The Cut.

The Taking Part 25 programme will also include a six-part podcast, Journeys, celebrating local voices in Lambeth and Southwark, from 25 July until Christmas, and an exhibition about the Young Vic’s role in the community, from 14 to 21 October.

The Taking Part team are also collaborating with the Hetrick-Martin Institute in New York City, Jay Jay Revlon, Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu and Kemar Jewel on Communities of Resistance that will see a group of young queer and Black or Global Majority artists in the UK travel to the US to explore the political heritage of ballroom culture.

The Young Vic’s artistic director, Kwame Kwei-Armah, said: “Our summer/autumn season is a celebration of community and of resilience – from the stories you find on your doorstep to powerful tales of international resistance – that will bring us together to view the world through the eyes of others and through the lens of their experiences.”

The new season opens with The Secretaries, running in The Clare studio from 1 to 11 June, with a cast including Jessica Murrian, Natasha Jayetileke, Georgia Frost, Tessa Parr and Francesca Mills. The creative team includes set and costume design by Rhys Jarman, lighting design by Stacey Sandford, sound design by Mwen, and movement by Sita Thomas.

Chasing Hares runs in the main house from 16 July to 13 August, directed by Millia Bhatia, with design by Moi Tran, lighting design by Jai Morjaria, sound design by Donato Wharton, composition by Sarathy Korwar, movement direction by Chi San Howard, video design by Akhila Krishnan and lyric consultancy from Jammz. Casting is still to be announced.

Of The Cut will play in various locations from 30 July to 6 August in a co-production with TEA films, led by Adam Kes Hipkin and Dan Patrick Hipkin. It will feature design by Natalie Pryce and sound design by Nicola T Chang.

Who Killed My Father will run in the main house from 7 to 24 September, in association with Internationaal Theater Amsterdam which premiered the show in the Netherlands in 2020. Based on Édouard Louis’s anger-soaked book about his father, it is translated, adapted and directed by Ivo van Hove. Scenography and lighting are by Jan Versweyveld, with costumes by An D’Huys and music by George Dhauw.

I Wonder If… will tour Lambeth and Southwark from 10 to 21 October and then play in the Maria space from 24 to 29 October. It will feature movement direction by Ricardo Da Silva, design consultation by QianEr Jin, musical direction and composition by Shakira Stellar and dramaturgy by Shereen Jasmin Phillips.

Mandela has its world premiere in the main house from 28 November to 4 February 2023. It will be , directed by Schele Williams with a book by Laiona Michelle and feature choreography by Gregory Maqoma, orchestration and musical supervision by Benjamin Kwasi Burrell. Casting is by Pippa Ailion and Natalie Gallacher.

Nelson Mandela’s grand-daughter, Nandi Mandela, said: “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 capable of doing great things as long as we are true and authentic to ourselves.”

About Mark Ludmon 318 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre, hospitality and drinks after starting in regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He is a former panellist for the Olivier Awards. He tweets at @MarkLudmon.