I have missed theatre dreadfully, both working on theatre projects and enjoying the wonderful live experience itself. So, to see the local, regional and West End theatres lighting up and coming back to life last weekend was truly heart-warming.
The last nine months have been incredibly hard for our industry as we all know. Artists and theatre workers were suddenly forced away from their careers with many moving into temporary roles within other industries. With different jobs come shift patterns different to the one theatre professionals are used to. With potentially more time on their hands many of our artists, dancers, composers, writers etc have spent these newfound hours working on a variety of projects.
Together they have created incredible new plays, musicals, collaborations, concerts and more to not only entertain theatre lovers during this dark period, but also to keep their creativity and passion alive and put themselves back on the stage where they belong.
In a recent interview with ITV, Dawn French said the moment theatre doors open “there is going to be an explosion of amazing talent.”
I certainly agree. We have seen, and will continue, to see an emergence of theatre-makers who continue to create magical theatre and art at a time when our industry is on its knees.
Some of these inventive new performances have already been staged with socially distancing measures, streamed online, on TV and radio, including: The Barn Theatre’s ‘Bard from the Barn’, ‘Staged’ with David Tenant and Michael Sheen and ‘The New Tomorrow’ created by the Young Vic in celebration of its 50th birthday.
Some work of course is still in the making, which I’m looking forward to seeing.
An incredible new piece of work that has been rewritten, enhanced and skilfully honed during lockdown is ‘Middlescence’, written by playwright and actor, Sarah Wanendeya. In a recent blog we mentioned that as part of our new project, ‘Invisible Visible’, Sarah has been working with Fiona Graham, a dramaturge from Goldsmiths University of London, to develop the concept of her original play ‘Becoming the Invisible Woman’
We also have shown you some beautiful images of Sarah and the new cast performing ‘Middlescence’ just before the second lockdown.
Here’s a few more photos taken by cameraman, Sam Dore, when we were doing some green screen filming just before the second lockdown.
Intriguing aren’t they?
There’ll be more news on this soon.
We all knew theatre would be back at some point because we are not an industry that ever gives up. Theatre has survived plagues, wars, economics recessions and more. The human urge to tell stories will never be eradicated.
With this level of creativity coming out of our industry during these difficult and uncertain times, imagine what will come out over the next few seasons when the lights are gradually turned on.
Knowing there is a ‘cultural explosion’ on the horizon is incredibly exciting. I can’t wait to witness this.