‘Foy & Smith seem to have found a new way of interacting at a distance’: LUNGS – Old Vic (Online review)

In London theatre, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

Having not seen a live show since 11 March, rather than grab a haircut or book a table at a pub I thought I’d make my lockdown easing day treat a visit to a theatre. Granted it wasn’t an actual visit (you can watch a film, ride a rollercoaster or go out for a meal now but you can’t experience anything staged – oh no) but it was the nearest I’d managed to come so far. For this was the production of Lungs live streamed from the actual stage of the Old Vic with real actors in real time as part of its In Camera project.

Tuning in was straightforward (though I could have done with one or two fewer emails from the theatre/Zoom reminding me what I had to do) and the connection held throughout so that was a bonus. There was plenty of onscreen information but it might have been useful to give viewers a running time and explain there was no interval  – there’s no hitting the pause button in this scenario. A brief introduction by director Matthew Warchus set the context and reminded us about the rules under which this new version of the play was constructed. Essentially, we were about to watch a late stage rehearsal rather than a full-on production with no lighting changes and a simplified set. Actually, the writer Duncan