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Digital theatre review: Paines Plough's In Tandem: Snippets of life and living during lockdown

The latest digital theatre from Paines Plough is a series of 6 vignettes - longest is 8 minutes - about different aspects of life in lockdown.

In Tandem Credit Michael Windsor-Ungureanu
Image: Michael Windsor-Ungureanu

You sign up with your email and twice a day for three days you get sent an email link to watch a video online.

Written by Travis Alabanza and Magdalena Zarebska-Wegrzyn, three of the films feature a mother and daughter (Sharon D. Clarke and Leanne Henlon) trying to maintain their relationship over Zoom.

They play games, do Zumba, discuss daily events and plant care. The latter is a heavy metaphor for individual needs and care.

The remaining three films feature a Polish couple (Patrycja Durska and Paweł Kumięga) and through their conversation examines their differing approaches to coping with the lockdown.

My preference was to watch them back to back in the order they were delivered and taken collectively they do pack a punch despite their bitesize length.

They cover a lot of ground both in the wider issues referenced - PPE shortages and the Black Lives Matter campaign, for example - as well as exploring the impact of lockdown on relationships and mental health.

By the end, each has learned something about the other - a positive to come out of lockdown perhaps?

2020 is going to provide plenty of material for writers for years to come and kudos to Alabanza and Zarebska-Wegrzyn for producing something this meaty so quickly.

But there is part of me that would like to press pause now and leave off reminders of the current situation for a time.

I'm giving In Tandem ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

For more details see the Paines Plough website.

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