What is Yuri?
Yuri is a play about infertility, scrabble, supermarket, sex, nationalism, the stranger in your living room and the absurdity of wanting to bring children into our deranged world. It’s also about love.
Patrick and Adele can’t have children and then Yuri appears.
But who is Yuri? Why is he here? Is he dangerous? Is he Russian? Should we love him?
Award-winning August 012 in Association with Chapter Arts Centre and National Theatre Wales presents the British premiere of Fabrice Melquiot’s absurd comedy. Performed by Carys Eleri, Ceri Murphy and Guto Wynee Davies. Adapted by Daf James. Directed by Mathilde López
“A surreal night of deranged fun not to be missed” Dennis Lennon. Arts Scene in Wales
What is the play about?
Yuri is an absurdist play about immigration, nationhood, male sterility, adoption, Europe and scrabble. In the light of the growth of far right successes throughout Europe, the rise of far right parties in the UK, and the immigration crisis in Europe, this play questions how old European countries are reacting to new comers through an absurd domestic narrative of a couple confronted with sudden adoption, a father with a low sperm count and a mute foreign son.
Adele brings back a young adult from the supermarket who, she presents to her bemused husband Patrick as Yuri their adopted son. Yuri is quite placid, mute, has both a Chinese and a Congolese passport, is Russian and urinates on the carpet. Silent, he becomes the projection of their fears and hopes, revealing their prejudiced minds while eating the scrabble letters. This absurdist, comical and quite dark text is about our deep rooted terror and attraction to the most potent power coming from outside, the foreign young male and how his silent presence questions everything we are.
“Yuri is proof that serious issues don’t have to be presented with po-faced sterility, sometimes laughter really is the best medicine. I urge you to see this intelligent and hilarious productions that is completely leading the way for experimental and visually bold theatre making” Chelsey Gillard for HyperCritic
What is the story of the project ?
August012’s strategy with Yuri was to develop a show which was as ambitious and vigorous as their large projects but which could be toured. Melquiot published the original play, Youri, in 2011. In 2015, it was adapted into Welsh and English by award-winning Welsh writer Daf James, and presented by August 012 at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff in 2015. The plan is to tour the show in 2017 to venues throughout Wales, the UK and the world and to achieve that through showcasing their work at Edinburgh Fringe Festival the most challenging and demanding market in the world. This will offer the chance to showcase the work of this exciting company and the work of its director Mathilde Lopez, considered one of the most exciting directors working in Wales. The company will be able to develop its audiences and begin relationships with national and international producers and programmers.
“Yuri is equally unusual in being a meditation on the metaphysics of identity which also contains jokes about willies. This is a comedy at its most entertainingly confusing.” Othniel Smith. British Theatre Guide.
“Think of a parallel universe where nineteenth century French surrealist, Alfred Jarry and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy writer Douglas Adams, grew up in the Welsh Valleys. Now think what would happen if they wrote a play together. The result would probably resemble something like Mathilde Lopez’s take on Yuri by Fabrice Melquiot”. Dennis Lennon Arts Scene in Wales.
Who is August012?
August 012 is a theatre company that produces vigorous and ambitious international contemporary plays rarely seen in Wales. The company endeavours to bring the writing and ideas of the rest of the world to the Welsh stage, in English, Welsh and other languages. August 012 is also a platform to develop Welsh talent and commits to researching and developing ideas and staging with actors, designers, musicians and creative technicians. The work is developed, shaped and questioned by the way we live here and now, and therefore profoundly and structurally relevant to the nation today. August012 is an associate company at Chapter Arts Centre.
August012 is a champion in Wales for making theatre that is provocative and innovative. August012 is making productions of the highest artistic standard which inspire audiences to take chances on theatre which is a little different and encourage other theatre companies to take artistic risks and be bold with the work they create and produce.
“Mathilde Lopez’s direction is typically kinetic and immersive…grimly humourous, and slyly sexy…This is theatre at it most involving and provocative.” Othniel Smith. British Theatre Guide
“Gripping, August 012 is changing the way we view theatre in Wales” Kaitlin Wray. Young Critic
The production is co-produced by Chapter Arts Centre. For over 40 years Chapter has been the heartbeat of creativity in Cardiff. Chapter is an ambitious, multi-art form venue that presents, produces and promotes international art, live performance and film alongside a dynamic social space. www.chapter.org
Yuri is supported by National Theatre Wales, it is one of three productions brought to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival by National Theatre Wales, alongside A Good Clean Heart and Wonderman. National Theatre Wales has been making English-language productions in locations all over Wales, the UK, internationally and online since March 2010. It operates from a small base in Cardiff’s city centre, but works all over the country and beyond, using Wales’ rich and diverse landscape, its towns, cities and villages, its incredible stories and rich talent as its inspiration. The Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales are supporting National Theatre Wales. www.nationaltheatrewales.org
What will the money do for the project?
Taking a show to Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a costly endeavour, our budget is stringent but realistic, it will cost £36,000. This includes the costs of rehearsing the show to develop a one hour show for the festival, the cost of redesigning it for the Edinburgh space, accommodation for the month costs £4,000, a basic marketing budget is going to cost us £4,000, the costs of getting everyone and a set to Edinburgh, and of course fees for director, producer and the two writers. Even with the Arts Council of Wales grant, box office income, and contributions from Chapter Arts Centre and support from National Theatre Wales we still need to match fund our grants with £5,000 which is where the kickstarter will help us. We also want to ensure that everyone is paid Equity/ITC minimum as it is very important to the company that we maintain industry standards and do not expect our company to work without fair compensation.
August 012 and Chapter Arts Centre
supported by National Theatre Wales
Adapted by Daf James
Directed by Mathilde Lopez
Cast: Carys Eleri, Ceri Murphy and Guto Wynne Davies
Dates: 4th-28th August 2016
Time: 10.10pm (1hr)
Venue: Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly)
By phone: 0844 545 8252
In person: The Fringe Box Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1QS Ticket prices: £6-£11
Risks and challenges
It is very expensive to get a show to Edinburgh and we have worked to ensure that our budget is stringent but realistic.
We have also worked to ensure that we have effective partnerships in place to support the project with National Theatre Wales and Chapter Arts Centre.
Through these partnerships we know the resources and expertise needed for the project are available to it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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