Making the Young Vic heard

The Young Vic and its 2013 slate of productions again positions the theatre as the premier destination for boundary-pushing, hugely imaginative reinterpretations and fearless new writing. Our creative development for the season’s 2013 brochure needed to do exactly the same.

Viewed as a whole, this season’s works are almost defiant in their individuality, hence the cover artwork for the 2013 season brochure, a clenched woman’s fist, brandishing a Young Vic tattoo on her wrist, proudly commanding attention and being counted.

Feast, directed by award-winning director Rufus Norris, is one of the Young Vic’s upcoming productions and promises to be a theatrical event unlike any other. The brainchild of five writers, each with their own distinct voice, Feast uses magnificent Yoruban culture as its launch point, taking audiences on a breath-taking journey that encompasses five different time periods across four continents.

The artwork that we developed for the play reflects Feast’s exciting, indefinable qualities. The central focal point of the creative is Exu, a Yoruban goddess of mischief, who plays an integral part in the play’s narrative. The vibrant powder paint effect, with its strong colouring, helps create an air of dynamism and explosive energy.

The creative for Ibsen’s Public Enemy tells a very different story. Centred on Dr. Stockman, a whistleblowing scientist whose moral fortitude threatens to destroy his small community, the artwork’s feeling of isolation and containment is almost palpable, made ironic by his encapsulation in a test tube. Despite his imprisonment, the central figure seems defiant, steadfastly holding the audience’s gaze, in keeping with his journey throughout the play.

A Season in the Congo, directed by Joe Wright and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, also features a man on a mission, in this case legendary leader Patrice Lumumba. His passionate determination to free his people from Belgian rule has made him a folk hero within Africa and this artwork plays testament to that idolisation. Like the iconic portraits of other charismatic renegades like Fidel Castro, our simple creative lets an image speak a thousand words.

Olga Neuwirth’s American Lulu, a retelling of Berg’s seminal opera, similarly deals with huge social changes. Charting one jazz singer’s progression from the 1950s through to the 70s against a background of the Civil Rights Movement in the Deep South, our key art serves several purposes; referencing the dusky, twilight of jazz clubs, positioning the play historically and articulating the character of Lulu herself, a seductress who’s vulnerable yet still a steady focal point in a time of great change.

As you can see from the artwork for the Young Vic’s  season brochure, 2013 is going to be yet another banner year.