Hot on the heels of his just-finished West End musical run in Guys and Dolls, David Haig will join Daniel Kaluuya and Luke Norris in the cast of Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange in a new production by director Matthew Xia. Due to popular demand, the run extends to 2 July. Blue/Orange runs in the Young Vic’s Main House from 12 May 2016.
Also at the Young Vic, Adelayo Adedayo (Some Girls) and Tsion Habte will play Muna and Iqra in the stage premiere of Charlene James’ award-winning play, Cuttin’ It, which runs in The Maria from 20 May to 11 June 2016. Directed by Young Vic Genesis Fellow Gbolahan Obisesan, Cuttin’ It highlights the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK.
In Blue/Orange, Kaluuya will play the patient, Christopher, with Haig as Robert and Norris as Bruce, the two doctors debating Christopher’s future.
The day before Christopher is due to be discharged from a psychiatric ward his doctor has reservations. Convinced that oranges are blue and his father is a Ugandan dictator, is Christopher ready to leave? When the doctor raises his concerns with a senior colleague, a disturbing clash of ethics, budgets and self-promotion begins to overshadow Christopher’s future.
Joe Penhall’s razor-sharp study of the intersection between mental health provision and race premiered at the National Theatre in 2000, transferred to the West End and won the Olivier Award for Best New Play. Matthew Xia draws out the contemporary relevance of the play’s themes in this new production with design by Jeremy Herbert.
David Haig’s theatre credits include Guys And Dolls (West End), for which he is nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical; Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Chichester Festival Theatre); Pressure (written by and starring David – Chichester Festival Theatre and Edinburgh Lyceum); King Lear (Theatre Royal Bath); The Madness of George III (West End and Theatre Royal Bath – Olivier Nominated); Yes, Prime Minister (Chichester Festival Theatre and West End); Mary Poppins (West End – Olivier Nominated); Donkeys’ Years (West End – Olivier Nominated); Hitchcock Blond (Royal Court and West End); Our Country’s Good (Royal Court), for which he won the Olivier Award for Actor of the Year; House and Garden (National Theatre); Art (West End and Broadway). Television credits include: Penny Dreadful, The Thick Of It and The Thin Blue Line. His film credits include: Two Weeks Notice and Four Weddings and a Funeral. Later in 2016 he will appear in Florence Foster Jenkins with Meryl Streep.
Daniel Kaluuya returns to the Young Vic following A Season in the Congo in 2013. His other theatre credits include: Trelawny of the Wells (Donmar Warehouse), Oxford Street, Sucker Punch (Royal Court), for which he won a Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Award. His film credits include: Sicario, Kick Ass and Johnny English. TV includes: Channel 4 cult drama Skins, Black Mirror, Psychoville and Doctor Who. Daniel’s writing credits include: Skins series 1,2 & 3 and Two of a Kind (Hampstead).
Luke Norris returns to the Young Vic following his appearance in A View from the Bridge (also West End) which won an Olivier Award for Best Revival. His other theatre credits include: Hamlet, As You Like It (RSC); Orpheus Descending (Royal Exchange); Antigone, The Kitchen (National Theatre); Filumena (Almeida); Remembrance Day (Royal Court); War Horse (NT West End) and White Boy (Soho Theatre). For television, his credits include: Poldark, Our World War, Titanic, Skins and The Inbetweeners. As a playwright, his work includes: So Here We Are (Winner of a 2013 Bruntwood Prize), Hearts (National Theatre Connections) and Goodbye To All That (Royal Court).
Matthew Xia returns to the Young Vic after his Genesis Future Director Award-winning production of Sizwe Banzi is Dead, The Sound of Yellow (a Taking Part Production) and his work on Blackta as Jerwood Assistant Director. He is Associate Artistic Director at Manchester’s Royal Exchange where he directed Sondheim’s Into the Woods, Christmas 2015. In 2012 he received the RTYDS placement at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse directing the premiere of Daniel Matthew’s Scrappers and was Associate Director for the Everyman opening ceremony, Lights Up. Work at Theatre Royal Stratford East, where he was Associate Director, includes: I Was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky, Mad Blud, Re:Definition, The Blacks and Da Boyz. Other theatre credits include: Brink (Royal Exchange), Abandonment (Rich Mix); Soyuz 40 (Theatre 503); and Wild Child (Royal Court). As a DJ, composer and former BBC 1Xtra broadcaster he has performed as Excalibah across the UK and Europe, including an appearance at the Paralympic Opening Ceremony. Matthew is a founding member of Act For Change.
Joe Penhall is a playwright and screenwriter. His theatre work includes: Sunny Afternoon (Hampstead Theatre and West End 2014) for which he won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 2015; Birthday, Haunted Child, Dumb Show, Pale Horse (Thames Television Best Play Award), Some Voices (John Whiting Award, 1995) (Royal Court); Landscape with Weapon, Blue/Orange (Evening Standard Best Play Award, the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2001 and the Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Play in 2000) (National Theatre); The Bullet (Donmar Warehouse) and Love and Understanding (Bush Theatre). For film his credits include: The Road, which premiered in competition at the Venice Film Festival 2009, Enduring Love and Some Voices. His television credits include: Birthday, Moses Jones, winner of Best Screenplay at the Roma Fiction Festival 2009 and BAFTA-nominated The Long Firm.
Jeremy Herbert is an award-winning multi-media artist and stage designer who has worked with other artists as diverse as John Taverner, Michael Nyman and Madonna. He is Associate Designer at the Young Vic where his work includes Hamlet, The Glass Menagerie, Blackta. In 2014 he presented his experimental theatre installation Safe House at the Young Vic in collaboration with writer Gabriella Sonabend. Previously he had a long connection with the Royal Court theatre where he designed the acclaimed premieres of Sarah Kane’s Cleansed and 4.48 Psychosis. Jeremy works internationally as an opera designer, most recently on the premiere of Beat Furrer’s La Bianca Notte in Hamburg, and Richard Jones’ production of Rodelinda at the ENO and Bolshoi Theatre. His installations include a full sized walking house on Salisbury Plain created for Artangel, and an immersive performance for the Ruhr Triennale.
In response to Blue/Orange, the Young Vic’s Taking Part department will be working on two projects. The first will be with the New International Encounter (NIE) theatre company, creating a piece involving deaf participants from local schools. It will be directed by NIE Artistic Director, Alex Byrne. The second will be a Two Boroughs community production, exploring the different ways we communicate and miscommunicate. Rachel Lincoln will direct.
The Jerwood Assistant Director working with Matthew Xia on Blue/Orange is Michal Keyamo. The role is supported through the Jerwood Assistant Directors Program at the Young Vic.
Blue/Orange by Joe Penhall and directed by Matthew Xia runs 12 May – 2 July 2016 in the Young Vic’s Main House. It is designed by Jeremy Herbert with light by Adam Silverman, sound by Carolyn Downing and movement by Joseph Alford.