Theatre in the time of coronavirus: How to get your theatre fix while theatres are closed

I asked Twitter for theatre-related stuff to do while theatres are dark in the coming weeks and Twitter responded in brilliant style. Here's what fellow theatre fans have suggested plus a few ideas of my own.

Playtext on bookshelf

• You can stream plays from Digital Theatre (£9.99 per month or £7.99 each), not a huge collection but a good handful including All My Sons and The Crucible. 🤓

• Virtual streaming site Livr has smaller fringe productions available to stream via their app - you get a virtual reality headset to use with your phone (I can certainly recommend Ladykiller, which I saw in Edinburgh 2018). Livr.co.uk via @nkhai1987

• Shakespeare's Globe's plays can be streamed, for a fee, on Globe player via @vickster51
 
• The King's Head Theatre is doing daily theatre insight videos which you can find on their Facebook page or Instagram feed. via press release 🤓

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Theatre streaming: An interactive, virtual production of The Tempest coming to your living room this weekend

While still observing all rules about social distancing, Creation Theatre and Big Telly Theatre Company have created an interactive, anarchic (their word) production of The Tempest to watch while on lockdown this Bank Holiday weekend.

The Tempest Live
The Tempest Live will stream this Easter weekend

Using Zoom to transport the audience from their living room to Prospero’s Island, nine actors will tell Shakespeare's mysterious and magical story of Miranda, Caliban, Ariel and royal court who find themselves shipwrecked. 

The production incorporates pre-filmed scenes, virtual backgrounds and projections.

Each performance is scheduled and will each have a capacity of 50 audience members (audiences taking part can have the choice to switch off their cameras so they don’t have to be seen by everyone).

Lucy Askew, Creation Theatre’s chief executive commented: “We’re really excited to be trialling this brand-new idea. This piece of work has been made in isolation for people in isolation, and we hope that it truly opens up a whole other theatrical world that we can all experience and participate in from our living rooms.

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Video: 60-second review of Fleabag, available to stream via Soho Theatre

Fleabag the play is back. It started off life at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013, won awards then transferred to the Soho Theatre.

The ridiculously successful TV series, which I loved, followed and Phoebe Waller-Bridge subsequently revived the play for a sell-out run in the West End last year.

To raise money for covid-19 charities it's available to stream for a couple of weeks via the Soho Theatre website. All you have to do is make a donation (minimum is £4).

I saw it during its Soho run and have very fond memories but having gone from fringe production to household name does the original play still stand up?

Details on donating and streaming Fleabag can be found here.

If you'd like to read my original review of Fleabag at Soho Theatre you will find it here.

Want more theatre to watch online during lockdown? Here's my list of some of what has already been announced and I'm updating it as and when there are more announcements.


Video: This Sunday's theatre question is about Shakespeare

On Desert Island Discs you get given the complete works of Shakespeare to take with you but what if instead of that you got to choose one production of one Shakespeare play?

Tell me what you would choose - and why - in the comments.

(Excuse the missing captions in the middle, Clips app is not having a good day today.)

During this period of social distancing, there is still plenty of theatre available to watch online and I've compiled a list of some of what is available.

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Video: 60-second review of Wild, Hampstead Theatre (2016) now available to watch online

The 2016 production of Mike Bartlett's play Wild at the Hampstead Theatre is available to watch online and here are my 60-seconds worth of thoughts recorded after watching last night.

You can see Wild via Hampstead Theatre's website all this week and if you'd like to read my review from 2016 you can find it here.

And if you want more theatre to watch online check out my list of the best of what has been announced so far.

Got a recommendation for a play being streamed either currently or scheduled in the coming weeks? Get in touch - I hate to miss out.


Review: BalletBoyz, Deluxe (streamed via Sadlers Wells Facebook page) - stunning and mesmerising

Last year I was introduced to the BalletBoyz and their show Them/Us moved me to tears. I was looking forward to their new show Deluxe which, fortunately, was filmed before theatres closed and is available to watch online (details below).

BalletBoyz-presents-Deluxe-Bradley-4.18.-Credit-George-Piper
BalletBoyz presents Deluxe: Bradley 4.18. Photo credit - George Piper

Like Them/Us it is two pieces separated by an interval, each has a behind the scenes style intro which explains a bit about how the pieces were developed and their themes.

Bradley 4.18 is the first piece and depicts the different reasons why someone might be awake in the early hours, exploring different personalities.

The music is jazz-influenced and that was a problem for me because I'm not a huge jazz fan, particularly the more free-form stuff.

It made it difficult to fully bond with the piece although it didn't stop me appreciating the individual expressionism in the early parts and the intricacy and precision of the later sections when the dancing became more collaborative.

Continue reading "Review: BalletBoyz, Deluxe (streamed via Sadlers Wells Facebook page) - stunning and mesmerising" »


Video: This Sunday's theatre question is about playwrights

Theatres may be closed but we can still talk and reminisce so this week's theatre question is about your favourite playwright.

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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During this period of social distancing, there is still plenty of theatre available to watch online and I've compiled a list of some of what is available.

I'll update the list periodically as new stuff is announced and you can find it here and I'll also be posting about announcements - and reviewing streamed productions I haven't previously seen.

So these are easy to find, I've created a 'streaming' category.

In the meantime, if you've missed a Sunday theatre question, here's a few I've already posted:

The question about unexpected audience experiences.

The question about directors.

The question about which theatre production you'd revive?

If you want to see more of my videos, including my 60-second reviews, follow my YouTube channel, like my Facebook page or follow me on Instagram, whichever is your favourite platform 🤓.


Theatre streaming: National Theatre announces NT Live streaming from April

As soon as theatres went dark last week, my first thought was when the National Theatre would open up its NT Live archive and offer some productions for streaming.

NT Live logo

Well, it's happening, starting on 2 April, every Thursday at 7 pm an NT Live production will be streamed on YouTube.

There are 11 seasons worth of NT Live productions in the archive but people who know more than me about these things reckon it will only be plays from the which are already approved for use by schools. So this list here.

The first production to stream is One Man, Two Guvnors and you can find details of the rest of productions being streamed in April here on the National Theatre's website.

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Streamed theatre review: I and You, Hampstead Theatre via IGTV - shouty but sweet

Maisie Williams is wearing the most amazing tights. They are a white, pink and blue Paisley pattern and are teamed with cut off denim shorts, stripey socks and a stripey long-sleeved top.

I&You Production Image5 Photo Credit Manuel Harlan
I & You, Hampstead Theatre. Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan

It's the sort of thing I imagine myself wearing if I were a teenager now and the boldness of her outfit more than matches her personality. 

She plays Caroline in Lauren Gunderson's play I and You, a High School student who is housebound because of prolonged illness.

When Anthony (Zach Wyatt) a student at her school turns up unexpectedly with an English Literature project they have to complete for the next day she isn't particularly friendly.

Caroline has lived with her own mortality for so long that she has got so good at not caring about it, she doesn't care about anything. She certainly doesn't want any sympathy. 

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Theatre streaming: Headlong announces Unprecedented a series of new plays for broadcast during lockdown

Headlong is collaborating with Century Films to present a series of 8 brand new digital plays for broadcast during coronavirus lockdown. 

Unprecedented

'Unprecedented' will be written by a diverse group of writers including James Graham, April De Angelis and Nathaniel Martello-White and recorded using digital conference technology, combining live and pre-recorded material.

Each play will pick up on themes relating to the extraordinary circumstances imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, exploring different aspects of how communal experiences are changing.

The full list of playwrights: April De Angelis, Josh Azouz, Deborah Bruce, John Donnelly, Clint Dyer, James Graham, Jennifer Haley, Sami Ibrahim, Charlene James, Jasmine Lee-Jones, Duncan Macmillan, Nathaniel Martello-White, Chloë Moss, Tim Price and Prasanna Puwanarajah.

Head over to Headlong's website and sign up to their mailing list for more details as and when they appear.

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Want more ideas for theatre and theatre-related stuff you can do while we are in lockdown? Check out this list I've created (updated regularly).

And for this week only you can see Hampstead Theatre's I and You, starring Maisie Williams via IGTV - details in this post. I'll be writing a full review but in the meantime, you can find my 60-second review on Instagram.

Do email me if you hear of more plays being streamed or other theatre tidbits to keep theatre addicts occupied during these dark days.

 

 

 


Video: This Sunday's theatre question is about how you are getting your theatre fix

What a difference a week makes, now that theatres are closed what are you doing to get your fix?

Let me know in the comments and apologies for the missing subtitles in the middle of the video, the Clips app had a moment.

If you are looking for inspiration then I've started compiling a list of theatre-related things you can do during this period of social distancing.

I'll update the list as new stuff is announced and you can find it here and I'll also be posting regularly about announcements - and reviewing streamed productions I haven't previously seen.

So these are easy to find, I've created a 'streaming' category.

In the meantime, if you've missed a Sunday theatre question, here's a few I've already posted:

The question about unexpected audience experiences.

The question about directors.

The question about which theatre production you'd revive?

If you want to see more of my videos, including my 60-second reviews, follow my YouTube channel, like my Facebook page or follow me on Instagram, whichever is your favourite platform 🤓.