While The Beast of Blue Yonder, Philip Ridley‘s new play which was due to premiere this week at Southwark Playhouse, will not be going ahead during the coronavirus crisis, audiences will have a chance to see new work by Ridley in a collection of monologues, written in response to the current pandemic and performed by the cast.
Deemed The Beast Will Rise, the series launches tomorrow (Thursday 2 April 2020) with Rachel Bright performing Ridley’s Gator. Audiences can watch via producer Tramp’s Twitter and Instagram channels this Thursday. Further online world premieres from Ridley will follow each week.
Jack Silver, Artistic Director of Tramp said:
“When we postponed Beast, it was devastating. Not just because of all the hard work the cast and creative team had already put in, but because, like so many people in the industry, most of our cast have day jobs in things like the service industry, gyms, and teaching acting. Most of them didn’t just lose an acting job last week, they lost their day jobs too. I spoke to Philip to see if we could come up with ideas to help the cast and creatives financially, and also to give them something to keep their creative juices flowing, and we came up with the idea of The Beast Will Rise.
Silver continued: “Each week, the cast of the play will perform the monologues, which will be available to watch for free online, with the audience invited to make a donation.
“We promised people a Philip Ridley world premiere this Thursday at 7.30pm, and we’re going to give them one. It’s not the one we’d originally planned, but in a way, that makes it even more exciting.
“Gator is the first time any of Philip’s work has had its world premiere online, and he’s written it in the past few weeks as a direct response to what’s happening in the world right now. Our incredible director for The Beast of Blue Yonder, Wiebke Green, is directing all the monologues over Skype, before the actors record them. She and Rachel have put in huge amounts of work on Gator and it’s looking incredible.
“I’d also been speaking to the team behind Anything is Possible, the show which was due to open the day before us in Southwark’s studio space and, of course, they were in the same boat. So we decided to share any donations between the actors and key creatives of both shows. It’s important that we show solidarity with other shows; after alll we are all in this together.”
As well as Rachel Bright, the cast of The Beast of Blue Yonder includes Mirren Mack (Sex Education, The Nest), Jade Ewen (Aladdin, In the Heights), Steve Furst (Little Britain, Matilda, Made in Dagenham), Charlie Quirke (Birds of a Feather), Unique Spencer (Top Boy), Tyler Conti (Safe), Lucy Gape (Hollyoaks), Kyle Rowe, Joseph Drake, Joseph Potter, Nat Johnson, Mike Evans and Grace Hogg-Robinson.