Roger Allam & Colin Morgan in A Number at the Bridge Theatre, London, February 2020. © Johan Persson

After Matt Smith & Claire Foy in Lungs, here are 5 more plays perfect for the social distance treatment

In Features, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Plays by Rev StanLeave a Comment

The Old Vic last week announced that Matt Smith and Claire Foy will be doing a socially distanced version of Duncan Macmillan‘s play Lungs, which will be filmed at the theatre and live-streamed. It will be ticketed and numbers limited to 1,000 per performance so there’s an element of exclusivity to it. I missed it the first time around so I’ll certainly be trying to grab a ticket.

Lungs will kick off what the Old Vic is calling In Camera, a series of rehearsed readings shot at the theatre against the empty auditorium and streamed online. It’s a fantastic way of bringing live performance to theatre lovers but also raising much-needed funds.

While streaming archive productions has been brilliant, and will continue to be so, I’m sure this will just be the start of similar innovations to keep theatres going with fresh performances. The idea of re-performing Lungs while the actors safely socially distance got me thinking about other plays which have been performed over the past year or two that could be similarly revived.

Here’s my list. What would you add?

  1. A Number, Bridge Theatre – Colin Morgan and Roger Allam’s characters aren’t that close, particularly given the difficult and awkward conversation they are having.
  2. Endgame, Old Vic Theatre – Alan Cummings is in a wheelchair and the closest Daniel Radcliffe would have to get is to push him around the stage. The bins for the parents could be slightly further apart. You could probably even have Daniel Radcliffe’s character wearing a plastic face screen at the insistence of Alan Cumming’s character and it wouldn’t look odd.
  3. Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner, Royal Court Theatre – With a cast of two, who are friends rather than lovers, a socially distanced version would surely be possible? (I’d love to see this again.)
  4. A German Life, Bridge Theatre – a solo performance by Maggie Smith what could be easier? In fact, she could probably do it from her armchair at home.
  5. Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train, Young Vic Theatre – It’s set in a high-security prison so having people staying apart isn’t going to seem that unusual.

 

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Rev Stan
Revstan really is a reverend (it's amazing what you can buy on the internet) but not a man (the Stan bit is a long story). By day, she is a freelance editor and copywriter; at night, she escapes into the world of theatre and has been blogging about it at theatre.revstan.com since 2007. She says: “I'll watch pretty much anything, from something performed on a stage the size of a tea tray to the West End and beyond. The only exception is musicals. Tried 'em and they just don't do anything positive for me.”
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Rev Stan
Revstan really is a reverend (it's amazing what you can buy on the internet) but not a man (the Stan bit is a long story). By day, she is a freelance editor and copywriter; at night, she escapes into the world of theatre and has been blogging about it at theatre.revstan.com since 2007. She says: “I'll watch pretty much anything, from something performed on a stage the size of a tea tray to the West End and beyond. The only exception is musicals. Tried 'em and they just don't do anything positive for me.”

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