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Casting announced for in a word at the Young Vic

Jill Halfpenny (c) Rachell Smith

Casting news

FULL casting has been announced for Lauren Yee’s critically acclaimed in a word. Directed by Genesis Future Directors Award recipient Dadiow Lin, it runs at the Young Vic (The Clare) from Wednesday, October 23 to Saturday, November 2, 2019.

Karl Collins (The Bill, Hollyoaks) plays Guy, alongside Michael Elcock (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) as Man and Jill Halfpenny (Coronation Street, EastEnders, Waterloo Road) as Fiona.

Today is the two-year anniversary of Fiona’s son’s disappearance, and still nothing makes sense to her. Not her blasé husband, the incompetent detective, nor the neighbourhood kidnapper who keeps introducing himself in the checkout line.

As Fiona delves back into her memories of that fateful day, to uncover that crucial missing piece, grief and comedy collide, and ordinary turns of phrase take on dangerous new meanings.

Lauren Yee was the winner of the 2016 Francesca Primus Prize for in a word, a prize awarded annually to an emerging female playwright. This production marks the first time Yee’s work will be staged in the UK.

in a word is designed by Naomi Kuyck-Cohen, with lighting by Joshua Gadsby, sound by Max Perryment, casting by Isabella Oddofin, movement direction by Rachael Nanyonjo and voice and dialect by Rebecca Cuthbertson.

Established in 2012, the Genesis Future Directors Award was created to nurture emerging directors by providing them with an opportunity to explore and develop their craft while creating their first fully resourced production at the Young Vic as part of the Young Vic’s artistic programme.

The Award will provide Lin with mentoring and support from the theatre’s unique creative network, which includes Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah, Associate Artistic Director Sue Emmas and Genesis Fellow and Associate Director Nadia Latif.

Previous Genesis Future Director Award recipients include Caitriona Shoobridge, Lekan Lawal, Debbie Hannan, John R. Wilkinson, Nancy Medina, Leo J. Skilbeck, Bryony Shanahan, Ola Ince, Rikki Henry, Tinuke Craig, Finn Beames, Matthew Xia and Ben Kidd.

Image: Jill Halfpenny © Rachell Smith.

Tickets: £17, unreserved seating. To book, visit

Times: 7.45pm, with matinees on Wednesday, October 30 and Saturday, November 2 at 2.45pm.