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Inside Fairview takes you behind the scenes, giving you an insight into how this production came to life. From the original idea and the people behind the script, to the creatives and production teams who do amazing work to bring the show to our stage, Inside Fairview explores how different elements come together to form what you experience at the Young Vic. 

Inside the Rehearsal room | Diaries

  • Designing the show and Table work | Robert Awosusi (Jerwood Assistant Director)

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    Jerwood Assistant Director Robert Awosusi shares the rehearsal process, what it was like working with Director Nadia Latif, Designer Tom Scutt and Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director Yasmin Hafesji.

    Today began early with a meeting with the props team to outline what exactly needed to be bought/ made for the production, specifically some of the bigger elements of act 2. I've never been involved in a show that's used so many individual props like this, and can imagine it's going to be very enjoyable seeing them all eventually as well as difficult to track what happens to all of them. Nadia (Latif) wanted as many of these as soon as possible due to the complexity of adding all these to the scene alongside music and choreography, so the cast have a good amount of time to get used to using them. Anything that we couldn't get straightaway we had dummy versions. We were also joined by writer Jackie Sibblies Drury, who would be with us for the rest of the week. Nadia's really been adamant that our production of Fairview should have as little influence from the original run as possible so I'm keen to hear from her eventually how different both shows feel.

    When we had the full cast, our designer Tom then led the model box and design meeting, which was the actor's first opportunity in seeing the show's design, the model box and the costumes. I can 100% confirm there were a few "ooo" moments. I'm not usually too keen on living room sets, but there's something incredibly inviting about this one, specifically in the context of what the play explores. It's going to be amazing seeing it full sized. The Young Vic are currently inviting young directors into observe the rehearsals to see how it's all done in a professional production. Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director Yasmin and I gave them an introduction into what we'd been up to so far. 

    We then moved to reading the script with the cast, asking and discussing questions that arose in the play, with Yasmin as scribe. I kept an eye for questions that may be useful for the creative and production team, or might cause issues in future. It's always worth trying to address problems as early as possible so you have more time to find the best answer for them. For a play that is over an hour and a half long this took the best part of the day. Table work like this is crucial to a long process, as it gives everyone a chance to get a solid idea of their characters, and what they can start playing with in their performance when we start blocking.

    We were also tasked with finding more rehearsal images and various other research to source for inspiration for the cast, based on new conversations that arose from the questions session. I can already feel an excitement amongst everyone to get the show up and running.

  • Dance in Fairview | Yasmin Hafesji (Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director)

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    Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director Yasmin Hafesji shares the process of working with choreographer Malik Nashad Sharpe and experimenting with dance sequences during rehearsals

    Back in October, I attended a dance workshop for Fairview within which our director (Nadia Latif) and choreographer (Malik Nashad Sharpe) explored and experimented with dance sequences. Across two days, Malik and four other dancers, worked on putting together some group dances that would form part of the show. It was illuminating to see firsthand how a choreographer works, and to see the incredibly collaborative relationship between Nadia and Malik. 

    This choreography was taught to the actors on our very first day of rehearsals, with Malik at the helm. We would then run a dance call everyday of rehearsals so as to keep the moves in their bodies. Once we had developed a shared language through dance and movement, we were able to change our use of different elements of the choreography and interrogate the different moments where dance might be used in the show. The choreographed moments that exist within the show currently are a somewhat simplified version of the material we had developed across various workshops and rehearsals. 

Thoughts from the Writer and Director

  • Interview with Jackie Sibblies Drury 

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    Brooklyn-based Fairview playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Fairview in 2019. We caught up with her in the rehearsal room to find out more about her career, inspirations and this highly-anticipated UK premiere of her critically-acclaimed play.

    How did you become a playwright?

    Persistence, obsession, stupidity? Maybe all three! I don’t really know how it happened. I always acted in school in class plays and things and didn’t really know that playwrights existed. I went to college and sort of started combining writing with theatre.

    What can you tell us about Fairview without spoiling anything?

    Oh to not spoil Fairview I can basically tell you nothing! But I can say that it’s a sort of family dramedy, or comedy about a black middle-class family and their struggles to have a nice time.

    In the initial conception, Fairview was a play about surveillance and the person that actually does the surveying and the implicit bias that they have when watching someone else and make judgements about them.

    The sort of pressure that people of colour are under to be watched and looked at and judged through no fault of their own as they try to make their way in their lives is essentially what the play is about. That’s something that people of colour deal with in both big and small ways consistently whenever they’re in white dominated spaces. 

    My favourite type of show is one that you can talk with friends about for hours afterwards, and I do think that we’ve created that.

    The full article can be found in the Young Vic’s programme. Purchase your souvenir programme voucher for Fairview.

  • In conversation with Nadia Latif

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    We caught up with the Young Vic’s Genesis Fellow and Associate Director as she prepared to bring her highly anticipated new production of Fairview to the stage.

    What made you want to be a director?

    I always wanted to be a director; there was never anything else. I grew up in Sudan and spent my summers in London, and my mum, bless her, would take me to the theatre every week. Sometimes she’d even take me to a matinee and an evening show in the same day! I was very privileged to have a parent recognise my passion and encourage it from a young age. I think I was drawn to theatre as a place of gathering, as a social and civic space, but also theatres as architectural organisms - that so many people and ideas can flow through one room.

    What work interests you and why?

    I’m drawn to making new work. Fairview is one of only a handful of shows I’ve worked that has had a previous production. Sometimes I say that’s because I want to make work that is responding a bit more reactively to the world around me. Sometimes I say it’s because the canon doesn’t particularly interest, and it certainly doesn’t serve me. And sometimes I say quietly to myself, it’s because I’m terrified by the idea of people comparing my work to other productions of the same play. But politically I think I’m drawn to new work because I think it quietly re-democratises the theatre. With new work, nobody is privileged on entering the theatre by their knowledge of other theatre or the literary canon. Surprise is a great leveller. Surprise brings us together. 

    The full article can be found in the Young Vic’s programme. Purchase your souvenir programme voucher for Fairview.

Fairview runs in the Main House until 23 January 2020. Find out more about Fairview and our top tips for finding tickets.