The Young Vic Theatre today announces a new production of Further than the Furthest Thing, the award-winning play and haunting modern classic by Zinnie Harris (This Restless House, How To Hold Your Breath), directed by Young Vic Associate Director and Genesis Fellow Jennifer Tang (AI, Mountains: The Dreams of Lily Kwok). It marks the first major London staging in more than 20 years, and will run in the Young Vic Main House from 9 March to 29 April with opening night for press on 16 March.
Further than the Furthest Thing premiered in 2000, co-produced by the National Theatre and The Tron Glasgow, and won an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, Peggy Ramsay Award and John Whiting Award and was shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. Based on real events on the island of Tristan da Cunha, the most remote inhabited archipelago, the story follows a community haunted by its past and under threat from a modern world in crisis. Director Jennifer Tang’s new, visionary interpretation revisits the play through a contemporary lens interrogating the climate emergency and globalisation.
On a remote volcanic island in the middle of the Atlantic, the islanders of Tristan da Cunha have lived undisturbed for centuries, defying the swirling currents of modernity. Cut off and exposed to the elements, their survival has created a complex bind with their land. But when one of the inhabitants brings an outsider to the island, their way of life is changed forever.
Following her ground-breaking production AI in 2021, Further than the Furthest Thing will be the final production from Jennifer Tang in her role as Genesis Fellow / Associate Director at the Young Vic.
Jennifer Tang, Director, said: “It’s a complete privilege to direct this stunning play for the Young Vic, and to be collaborating with such a brilliant team to bring it to life. The play is beautiful, lyrical and vividly evokes a community that feels both far away and familiar. Although written over 20 years ago, its message about how our choices impact people and our planet feels more urgent than ever. Zinnie’s extraordinary play is both intimate and epic, local and global – it asks us to think about our notion of home, our sense of belonging, and how far we will go in pursuit of our values. I’m just so excited to share it with audiences in the Spring, along with the work of all the brilliant artists involved.
“Directing this play brings my Genesis Fellow and Associate Directorship at the Young Vic to a close. The past couple of years have been a real adventure, where I have been able to become part of the rich ecology of an incomparable theatre and arts organization creating an artistically ambitious and exceptional programme of work. The ways in which this Fellowship has allowed me to develop as an artist are wide-ranging and deep-seated and I am incredibly grateful to the Genesis Foundation and all at the Young Vic for this opportunity. I’m sad to be leaving but happy to be saying farewell through this gift of a production.”
Kwame Kwei-Armah, Young Vic Artistic Director, said: “Jen is an exceptional multi-disciplinary artist who has made vital contributions to the Young Vic. From her production of AI, which embraced cutting-edge technology to driving innovative exploratory practices for artists and audiences, she continues to push boundaries and demonstrate her potential as an artistic director of the future. I’m excited to see her interpretation of Zinnie Harris’ Further than the Furthest Thing in what promises to be a thrilling and compellingly relevant new production that highlights the threat of the climate emergency. It has been a pleasure to be a part of Jen’s journey as Genesis Fellow/Associate Director, she will be missed in the Young Vic team, but no doubt has a burgeoning career ahead.”
The creative team is completed by Designer Soutra Gilmour, Lighting Designer Prema Mehta, Sound Designer George Dennis, Composer Ruth Chan, Movement Director Ingrid Mackinnon, Voice and Dialect Coach Emma Woodvine, Illusions Designer John Bulleid, and Casting Director Charlotte Sutton.
Full casting will be announced in due course.