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Ruth Wilson to star in the UK Premiere of The Second Woman at the Young Vic

Ruth Wilson (c) Bjarne Jonasson

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

A co-production with LIFT Festival, The Second Woman is to receive its UK Premiere at the Young Vic (Main House). Written by Nat Randall and Anna Breckon and starring Ruth Wilson, it runs from June 19 to June 20, 2020.

One woman. 100 men. 24 hours.

This internationally acclaimed show sits at the intersection of performance, video and film, as 100 different men are invited to appear opposite Ruth Wilson as ‘Virginia’ who performs the exact same scene again and again, for a full 24 hours.

In their first collaboration since 2014, this Young Vic and LIFT co-production brings an exciting new version of this internationally acclaimed epic feat of endurance theatre and live cinema to London as part of LIFT 2020.

The Second Woman takes inspiration from the 1977 John Cassavetes film Opening Night. An all-female-identifying and non-binary team capture and mix the action live from multiple cameras, in a piece of extraordinary theatre that shines a light on the nature of gender and power relationships.

The Second Woman will begin at 4pm on Friday, June 19, and conclude at 4pm on Saturday, June 20.

Ruth Wilson said: “I am absolutely thrilled, and a little scared to be part of Nat Randall and Anna Breckon’s truly unique theatrical experience. I have a feeling that The Second Woman will challenge all norms of what it means to be actor and audience, to be performer and observer. And what better place to be breaking the mould, than at the Young Vic, in association with LIFT Festival. Please come share this weird and wonderful journey with me.”

Two-time Olivier Award-winner, Golden Globe winner, and Tony and BAFTA nominated actress Ruth Wilson is best known for her portrayals of Mrs Coulter in His Dark Materials, Alison in The Affair and Alice in Luther. For her work on the London stage, she quickly became one of Britain’s most lauded young actresses.

Wilson was nominated for a Tony Award for her Broadway debut as Marianne in the critically acclaimed Constellations, starring alongside Jake Gyllenhaal. In December 2016, she returned to the National Theatre, where she made her London stage debut in 2007 in Maxim Gorky’s Philistines, to star in the title role of Hedda Gabler for which she received an Olivier Award nomination.

Wilson has won two Olivier Awards for her performances in two Donmar Warehouse productions: Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire (as Stella) and Anna Christie (as Anna) opposite Jude Law. In 2010, Wilson portrayed Karin in an Almeida Theatre adaptation of the Ingmar Bergman film, Through A Glass Darkly.

The Second Woman is created by Nat Randall and Anna Breckon, with script and direction by Anna Breckon and Nat Randall, video design by EO Gill and Anna Breckon, lighting design by Amber Silk and Kayla Burrett, sound design by Nina Buchanan, set design by FUTURE METHOD STUDIO, original hair and makeup design by Sophie Roberts and produced with Fenn Gordon for Tandem.

‘24 hour’ tickets and ‘Advanced Timed’ tickets are on sale to the public from 3pm today (Tuesday, March 10). ‘On The Door’ tickets will be available to buy in person from the Young Vic Box Office throughout the 24-hour performance duration. For more information on tickets, please click here.

Image: Ruth Wilson © Bjarne Jonasson