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The elephant in the room: Elephant’s Graveyard @TheProdExch

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Saturday is the last day to catch the live stream of Elephants Graveyard. It's a title that piqued my interest, assuming that it was about a bar where old people go and drink.But it's not that. Instead, it's a combination of oral history, legend and direct to camera straight-faced explanation of the only known lynching of an elephant. Adapted well to the world of COVID with sharp cuts, circus-themed backdrops and the now-familiar multiple camera squares of video streams. It's not live theatre, but it's a welcome online diversion with an entertaining story that explores spectacle, violence, rumours and revenge. All the things that seem to be near and dear to our hearts at the moment. Written by George Brant, it is set in 1914 in a small forgotten town in Tennessee where people were bored. So a circus coming to town was a chance to escape boredom and have some fun. But during the parade and freak accident happens. Soon rumours are spreading that culminates in this st…

Signs of life online and in concert...

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While theatre is slowly showing signs of reopening in the coming month I’ve seen my first show indoors. In Italy. A concert. No temperature checks just leave your name and wear a mask throughout the concert. And sit relatively apart from strangers within a small church where the concert was taking place. It was great to see something. Anything. After so many months. The transmission rates are lower in Italy, and they do appear to be taking Covid19 a lot more seriously than in the UK. Leaving your name and phone number is a requirement. Posters are everywhere reminding people to wash their hands and keep a distance. Indoor spaces are well ventilated. Everyone wears a mask without making a fuss. Hopefully following these simple rules without over-complicating things will allow venues to open up where possible.  Until then, The Public Campaign for the Arts has launched a new online platform, creating an unprecedented support link between UK citizens and their cultural organisations.The Ar…

Appeals and live streams: Madness of King George III @NottmPlayhouse

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The National Theatre live streams at home continue this week with the Nottingham Playhouse production the Madness of King George III available from Thursday.

Adam Penford’s production was filmed from the Nottingham Playhouse stage in 2018. The cast includes Mark Gatiss, Adrian Scarborough and Debra Gillett.

The production will be available for free. But  Nottingham Playhouse hopes that viewers will take the opportunity to donate to its Curtain Up Appeal and contribute to the re-opening and future of the theatre. Donations to the Curtain Up Appeal can be made via their website or by texting NOTTS 10 to 70085 to donate £10 or text NOTTS 20 to 70085 to donate £20.

Check their website for the latest news regarding Nottingham Playhouse and its reaction to Covid-19.

Supporting local fringe: House to House @BrxHouseTheatre

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Brixton House, which formerly was known as Ovalhouse theatre, opens at its new location in Spring 2021. Meanwhile, they're taking the opportunity during lockdown to look back on some highlights from the Ovalhouse days. Called House To House, Filmed by LIVR, the 360° virtual reality theatre platform will feature their past productions. Random Selfies (4 June) from Mike Kenny, WHITE (11 June) and GREY  (18 June) from Koko Brown, and Derailed (25 June) from Little Soldier will each be available free on the Brixton House website for one week only.

You can also donate to Brixton House on their website.


Nights and boos with @johnnyfoxlondon

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Londonist head theatre critic JohnnyFox recently passed away after a short illness. Over the years we went to the theatre together. For me I was covering it for my own blog. For John it was covering it for countless online magazines and eventually Londonist.

We rarely took notes. There was one point when John tried to do that. But when he went to the bathroom, I wrote in his note pad, biscuits, milk, a tin of meat for the cat.

Instead, we would talk about the show on the way home. If we liked the show enough, we would record the banter on the Audioboo platform (as it was then called). While we assumed only my mother was listening, it was an opportunity  to explain why we liked something, without too many pauses or ums and errs.

We also travelled to Winchester and Poole to speak to young people starting out as journalists about how to make a living doing it. The point we made was that theatre journalism never made money but you should do it because you like to do it around your day job…

Virtually live @curtaincall @finborough @pbp_podcast

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Virtual readings and podcasts for those in need of a theatre fix... And finding that they have more time in the evenings...

A Separate Peace



On Saturday 2 May at 7pm, David Morrissey, Denise Gough, Jenna Coleman, Ed Stoppard and Maggie Service headline Tom Stoppard’s, A Separate Peace. This is the first in a series of live-streamed virtual readings called The Remote Read.

It will raise money for creatives, stage technicians and food charities. Tickets for the live reading are available from £10.

The One Day of the Year

Alan Seymour’s play ‘One Day of the Year’ was seen at the Finborough a few years back. It takes an unflinching and honest look at the day Australians, and New Zealanders commemorate their war dead. This live reading, presented by Kathy Lette, is directed by Wayne Harrison. The Australian and New Zealand cast, including Mark Little, Kerry Fox, Daniel Monks, Celeste Dodwell and Paul Haley.

Commissioned by the Australian High Commission as part of its Anzac Day commemoration…

Support your local theatre @arcolatheatre @parktheatre @riversidelondon

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As the lockdown continues and theatres look to surviving for the next three months, here are a few other theatres to support:

Arcola Theatre

Arcola Theatre - The Arcola Theatre in Dalston has been featured on Newsnight about the economic impact of Covid19 on the creative industries. It’s seeking donations safeguard its future, and you can donate directly on its website.

Park Theatre’s Park Life Fund

The Park Theatre has launched the Park Life Fund. The theatre has depleted its reserves and production fund. It estimates it needs to raise a further £100,000 to fund a three-month run-up to being able to reopen.

Riverside Studios Quiz Nights



The Riverside Studios at Hammersmith, which was just reopened following a redevelopment, will be hosting a series of quiz nights with celebrity guests and isolation-friendly prizes. The proceeds will go to ensuring the centre will be able to resume operations in the future. The first of these is on 29 April with Gyles Brandreth. Stephen Fry (13 May) and …

Online and lifelines during lockdown...

As life in London remains in a suspended state, theatres are moving online... and requesting some lifelines. Here are a few so far:

Finborough Theatre

The Finborough Theatre is updating its archive of shows over the years. And you can donate online to help keep the theatre open.

There is also Continuity, a gripping monologue about a man with a bomb, last seen in 2017 and now available to watch online.

Jermyn Street Theatre

The Jermyn Street Theatre has launched an emergency fund to keep it running. And they just recently had a burst water pipe to deal with.

Check out their twitter feed for performances as well.

Omnibus Theatre

Clapham's Omnibus Theatre Online launched with a performance of Our Day's coming-of-age comedy-drama DEM TIMES. Recorded live at King's Place for London Podcast Festival 2019. There is also a section on the website for donations.

Battersea Arts Centre

Battersea Arts Centre's groundbreaking film, Performance Live: The Way Out, is on BBC iPlayer as part…