The Yard Theatre follows its run of James Fritz’s The Flea, which saw a record-breaking number of people attend a new production at the venue, by announcing two world premieres for 2024.
Rhianna Ilube’s debut play, Samuel Takes A Break …in Male Dungeon No. 5 After A Long But Generally Successful Day of Tours previews from 9 February. Directed by Anthony Simpson-Pike, The Yard Theatre’s Deputy Artistic Director, the production invites audiences to join an expedition through a former slave castle in Ghana. Blending shock and humour, the story introduces us to Ghanaian tour guide Samuel, his colleague Orange, and Black Britons Trev and Letty as they attempt to understand, preserve and live with the past. The show will redefine perspectives on the legacy of transatlantic slavery with theatrical flair.
Olivier Award-nominated writer Sami Ibrahim’s Multiple Casualty Incident, directed by Olivier Award-nominated Jaz Woodcock-Stewart, previews from 25 April. A show about how people on one side of the world (London) train to help people in crisis on the other side of the world. Roleplay, desire, and compassion will intertwine, showing us the limits of help. A play about inequality, and what we can do to bridge the gaps between humanity, even when we are living with radically different realities.
The Yard Theatre is committed to showcasing work that dives into the wild, weird and wonderful parts of our past, present and future. Theatre that takes audiences on a ride, shakes things up, makes them think, and leaves them seeing the world in a whole other way.
Artistic Director of The Yard Theatre, Jay Miller said:
“In a world where fear often dictates the narrative, we want to stand as a beacon. Championing fresh and brave work. Our next season continues our pioneering legacy of producing new theatre made by outstanding artists with a unique perspective. We will always remain committed to showcasing the voices of visionary creators, ensuring that The Yard is a theatre for innovative storytelling and reimagined futures.”
The Yard Theatre presents
Samuel Takes A Break… In Male Dungeon No. 5 After A Long But Generally Successful Day Of Tours
By Rhianna Ilube
Directed by Anthony Simpson-Pike
Set and Costume Designer Milla Clarke
Sound Designer Xana
Lighting Designer Chris Nairne
Video Designer Gino Ricardo Green
Movement Director Sung Im Her
Casting Director Jatinder Chera
Cast to be announced in early 2024.
9 February – 9 March
Monday – Saturday at 7:30pm
Matinees – Saturday 24 February & 2, 9 March at 2:30pm
Press Night – 15 February at 7:30pm
Samuel Takes a Break is a journey through colonialism’s impact on British identity. Set in Ghana’s Year of Return in 2019, this genre-blending story follows Samuel, a tour guide, and Orange, a ticket officer, at Cape Coast Castle.
When Black Britons Trev and Letty seek out their roots, suddenly, history isn’t what it used to seem. A seismic shift forces Samuel to confront truths and transform his relationship with history. Audiences will go on a soul-searching odyssey through time, space and one man’s inner turmoil.
Rhianna Ilube is a playwright and events curator from London. Her debut play, Samuel Takes A Break, was Highly Commended for the Soho Theatre’s Verity Bargate Award, and shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Playwriting. She is currently a member of the Soho Six and an alumni of the Royal Court Intro Group, Oxford Playmakers, BBC London Voices and Omnibus Theatre’s Engine Room. She developed her first TV pilot with Expanded Media for a Sky Table Read in May 2023. Rhianna was previously Associate Director at interactive theatre-makers Coney, where she has written ‘1884’, a new game-theatre show premiering in Spring 2024. She is also a film programmer for BFI Flare, and has curated events for cultural venues and NGOs across London and Berlin since 2015.
Director Anthony Simpson-Pike is a director, dramaturg and writer. He is currently Deputy Artistic Director at The Yard Theatre and was previously Associate Director at the Gate Theatre. Anthony is also a facilitator, having worked with young people and communities at the Gate, the Royal Court, the Young Vic, the Globe, and the National Theatre. Recent directorial work includes the Olivier award-winning The P Word and Lava at the Bush; An Octoroon at the Abbey, Dublin; Living Newspaper at the Royal Court; The Electric for Paines Plough and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama; and The Ridiculous Darkness at the Gate, London
As a dramaturg, Anthony has developed multiple seasons of work for the Gate and The Yard Theatre. Recent dramaturgical credits include Much Ado About Nothing for the RSC; Samskara at The Yard Theatre; Hotline with Produced Moon at the Tron; Dear Young Monster by Pete McHale for The Queer House; and Coup de Grace at the Royal Court. Samuel Takes a Break… will be the first play Anthony has directed at The Yard Theatre.
The creative team includes Set and Costume Designer Milla Clarke, Sound Designer Xana, and Lighting Designer Chris Nairne, alongside Video Designer Gino Ricardo Green, Movement Director Sung Im Her, and Casting Director Jatinder Chera, all of whom recently worked on The Yard’s biggest-selling show The Flea.
The Yard Theatre presents
Multiple Casualty Incident
By Sami Ibrahim
Directed by Jaz Woodcock-Stewart
Designed by Rosie Elnile
Cast and further creatives to be announced
27 April – 8 June
(no performance on 4 May)
Monday – Saturday at 7:30pm
Matinees – Every Saturday from 11 May at, 2:30pm
Press Night – 2 May at 7:30pm
Multiple Casualty Incident is a show about people on one side of the world (London) training to help people in crisis on the other side of the world (the Middle East). Roleplay, desire, and compassion will intertwine to show the limits of help and the beginnings of harm.
Writer Sami Ibrahim won Theatre Uncut’s Political Playwriting Award for two Palestinians go dogging, which ran at the Royal Court in 2023 and was nominated for an Olivier Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre’. He has been on attachment at the National Theatre Studio and writer-in-residence at Shakespeare’s Globe – where he co-wrote Metamorphoses, which was performed in 2021 and recently transferred to the Seattle Rep in Washington. He is working on a handful of theatre commissions and developing a feature film with BBC Film and A24-backed company 2am.
Sami’s theatre credits include: A Sudden Violent Burst of Rain (Paines Plough/Gate Theatre); two Palestinians go dogging (Royal Court/Theatre Uncut); Metamorphoses (Shakespeare’s Globe); Wonder Winterland (Oxford School of Drama/Soho Theatre); the Palestinian in the basement is on fire (Pint-Sized/The Bunker); Wind Bit Bitter, Bit Bit Bit Her (VAULT Festival); Iron Dome Fog Dome (The Yard Theatre/First Drafts), Carnivore (Brockley Jack). Audio credits include: 50 Berkeley Square (Radio 4); The Twig (That Podcast ETT); and Fledgling (Radio 4).
Jaz Woodcock-Stewart is a director working in theatre and performance. She was nominated for an Olivier award this year for her production of Paradise Now! at the Bush Theatre. Her play Civilisation won the Jury Prize at Fast Forward, the European Festival for Young Stage Directors at Dresden Staatsschauspiel. She was also nominated by the National Theatre to create Something New at Performance Laboratory Salzburg 2019. She is the Artistic Director of award-winning arts company, Antler, Associate Company at the Bush Theatre 2017-18. Jaz is an associate artist at Brixton House.
As Director, Jaz’s productions include Jason Medea Medley (Staatsschauspiel Dresden), Paradise Now! (Bush Theatre), Electric Rosary (Royal Exchange), Gulliver’s Travels (Unicorn), Civilisation (New Diorama, HOME Manchester, Hellerau), Madrigal (RCSSD), Fen (Lamda), Learning Piece (The Place), Something New (Performance Laboratory Salzburg, Thomas Bernhard Institut/NT/Mitos21), Lands (Bush Theatre), Mother Courage (East 15 Acting School), The Bacchae (East 15 Acting School), Wifmon (National Theatre Studio) and If I Were Me (Underbelly/Bush Theatre/Soho Theatre).
In line with The Yard Theatre’s approach to exploring the stories and ideas in shows in different ways, on weekends audiences are also warmly invited to continue their night at The Yard by being part of the venue’s nightlife programme when the bar becomes a home for collectives from across London’s subcultures, who are exploring the intersection between clubbing and performance.