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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.