25 posts categorized "Streaming" Feed

Review: Operation Elsewhere - Big Telly Theatre bring their live, virtual, interactive, family show to your living room

Operation Elsewhere is Big Telly Theatre's solo digital interactive theatre project having worked with Creation Theatre on The Tempest recently (review here).

Operation Elsewhere big telly theatre 1

It is similar in style, using Zoom to bring live performance and audience together virtually.

Based on Irish myths but with a contemporary twist, the world of the fairies - Elsewhere - collides with the human world as a fairy becomes a changeling for a bride-to-be.

With the help of various characters from the fairy world, the audience goes on a mission to help rescue the bride from Elsewhere before she forgets who she is.

The actors use green-screen to transport themselves and the audiences to various places including a particularly fun fly-over.

Elsewhere's magical and mythical landscape is cleverly brought to life with the use of other digital gizmos which turn actors hands and body into images as if you can 'see' through them to another world. 

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Interview: Big Telly Theatre's Zoe Seaton: "We want to draw you into our world but also let us step into yours a little"

Hot on the heels of Creation and Big Telly Theatres virtual, interactive production of The Tempest, Big Telly is bringing its game-theatre experience online with a new production: Operation Elsewhere.

Zoe Seaton
Big Telly Theatre Company's Zoe Seaton

Big Telly's artistic director Zoe Seaton talks about creativity, inventiveness and performance during the lockdown.

Operation Elsewhere is described as being 'a new and extraordinary online theatrical experience’ - how does it work?

Like The Tempest, the audience joins a zoom call… Technically, it is complicated, although each actor is running their own tech – most of them are using more than one device, a number of locations and a myriad of props/lighting/effects.

The real magic, however, is happening in Lurgan, where our brilliant stage manager, Sinead Owens is vision mixing the whole show, sharing screens, muting and spotlighting audience and actors – finding an actor amongst 60 thumbnail images and spotlighting them on cue is an art.

The biggest challenge is something we can’t control – i.e. the unpredictability of the internet. If your bandwidth becomes unstable, Zoom can kick you out the room mid-scene, which one actor described as ‘like being an astronaut cut off from the space station….’.

Luckily, we have unbelievably resourceful actors who can improvise and cover and recover…

And the audience is involved in the story. They can see each other and react and join together.

The piece marries ancient Irish myths with theatre produced using digital and virtual technology - what makes old and new forms work so well together?

Many of our productions borrow from old stories, myths and legends. We want to keep our work grounded culturally and share that in unusual ways.

So we’ve always played with traditional stories and ways to subvert them for an audience without losing their authenticity and integrity. So, I think for us, it’s natural to pair the ancient with the future and explore that.

The ancient stories, like Tir na N’Og, which Operation Elsewhere is based on have so much resonance with our lives now. They are timeless - they illustrate the human condition, frailties, beliefs, loyalties, that doesn’t change.

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Theatre streaming announcement: National Theatre to show Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller

This stage production of Frankenstein was such a big deal when it was announced.

Benedict cumberbatch jonny lee miller danny boyle frankenstein
Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller and Danny Boyle at the National Theatre's Frankenstein post-show Q&A

Benedict Cumberbatch was just transitioning from jobbing actor into a screen-star and it was also a return to stage directing for Danny Boyle after a run of successful films including Slumdog Millionnaire.

But more than that, the play's two leads - BC being joined by Jonny Lee Miller - were going to alternate roles, taking it in turns to play the creature and Frankenstein.

I was lucky enough to see both versions on stage as well as attending the cast and director Q&A for charity.

Not one but two versions

Both versions of the casting are going to be streamed by the National Theatre starting with Benedict Cumberbatch as the creature on April 30 and you can find all the details here.

Can't wait to see them both again and it looks like there might be an opportunity to watch both versions back to back.

When in lockdown...

Did you see Frankenstein, looking forward to seeing it again?

Related reading:

Frankenstein charity Q&A highlights.

My review: First viewing with Jonny Lee Miller playing the creature

Theatre in the time of coronavirus - how to get your stage fix during the lockdown


Review: Live and interactive theatre in your living room - Creation Theatre's The Tempest

Archive streaming schmeaming, Creation Theatre have taken theatre performance during the lockdown to a new level.

Creation Theatre Tempest Screen shot Miranda
Screenshot: Creation Theatre's virtual The Tempest - Annabelle Terry as Miranda

Using Zoom and other technical wizardry they are putting on a live and interactive family-friendly version of The Tempest.

Shakespeare's tale of nobility shipwrecked on a mysterious island has been distilled down to an hour's running time using a handful of key characters.

The actors, observing lockdown rules, perform in isolation - using different virtual and physical backdrops to transport them from scene to scene.

As a member of the audience, you can choose whether to have your camera on or off. If you do choose the former the 'audience' only appear when called upon to get involved with the story.

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Q&A: Creation Theatre's Lucy Askew on the challenges of creating interactive theatre during lockdown

This weekend Creation Theatre is inviting audiences to watch an interactive, virtual version of Shakespeare's The Tempest - from the safety of their sofa. Creation's chief executive Lucy Askew talks about the challenges of making theatre in isolation for people in isolation and how it will change theatre in the future

Lucy Askew 

Necessity breeds invention, how did the idea for an interactive, virtual production of The Tempest come about?

We felt really strongly that despite the restrictions we all currently face we had a responsibility to continue to entertain and that we needed to find ways it would still be live and responsive to an audience.

We didn't want isolation to mean we'd lose what is different and special about the live experience, chatting to Zoe Seaton at Big Telly [Theatre Company] it was clear they were thinking similar thoughts.

Last year we made the Tempest so adapting that and embracing the new opportunities online mediums offer felt like a good place to start.

How does it work and what can audiences expect?

The audience is invited to a Zoom call. They then see the story of The Tempest unfold, the show has been virtually designed by our costume designer Ryan Dawson Laight with virtual backgrounds and carefully curated costumes put together from what can be accessed by our cast in isolation.

Continue reading "Q&A: Creation Theatre's Lucy Askew on the challenges of creating interactive theatre during lockdown" »


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: 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.

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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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