Benny And Hitch concentrates on the turbulent relationship between the director and his often first choice composer, Bernard Herrmann. They worked together on an unbroken stretch of eight films from 1955 to 1964 and the composer also contributed to the TV shows made concurrently.
‘Chilling & contemporary’: NOTRE DAME – The Space (Online review)
Ever since Covid’s early days pioneering company Threedumb Theatre has developed and sustained the idea of the one shot livestream; this is unedited and raw but captures much of the spontaneity and edge which comes with live performance. Their latest, Notre Dame, is probably their most ambitious.
‘Can leave the listener wanting & needing more’: OUR VOICES – Small Truth Theatre (Online show)
Small Truth Theatre has commissioned a series of micro plays recorded as part of its Digital Caravan space (their original mini theatre on wheels being decommissioned because of the need for social distancing). About a month ago they put out a new set of material under the umbrella title of Our Voices consisting of four short pieces inspired by interacting with young people in and around the company’s north Kensington home.
‘An ambitious debut production’: Dots & Dashes: A Bletchley Park Musical – The Space (Online review)
In Dots and Dashes: A Bletchley Park Musical, which comes to London from the Edinburgh Fringe, the women of Bletchley Park are centre stage, clever mathematicians, linguists, and navigators who were selected to serve their country.
‘Entertaining & educational’: TALKING HANDS – Deafinitely Theatre (Online Review) ★★★★★
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Deafinitely Theatre, Talking Hands has been created in partnership with Paines Plough, allowing five deaf writers to share their stories of lockdown.
‘Excellent characterisation’: GREY MAN – Online Review
It’s that time of year when days get shorter, nights get longer and tale telling revolves around the supernatural. Just a couple of days ago the last thing I saw on stage, Here, was (partly) a modern day take on the ghost story. Now for good measure comes Grey Man, a piece of digital theatre written by Lulu Raczka, which investigates similar spooky territory. The piece has been subtitled “A Stage And Screen Experiment” which, as it turns out, is exactly what it is.
‘Exciting & challenging’: SCENE UNSEEN – English Touring Opera (Online show)
Jessica Walker and Joseph Atkins bring a touch of cabaret to English Touring Opera in this intimate show, co-produced by Royal & Derngate, captured on film and directed by James Dacre with animation by Thomas Hicks.
‘Dialogue whizzes back & forth like leather on willow’: STUMPED – Original Theatre (Online show)
When in 1964 Samuel Beckett (Stephen Tompkinson) and Harold Pinter (Andrew Lancel) play in the same cricket match in the Cotswolds, you might expect something out of the ordinary. Filmed live at Lord’s, the ‘home of cricket’, Original Theatre’s Stumped imagines what might have happened in such a meeting between two playwrights known for pauses and a sense of the absurd.
‘Exhilarating & frustrating’: MUSES – The Space (Online Show)
Both exhilarating and frustrating, Muses brings something new and innovative to the theatre space. It’s often just beautiful, and sometimes bizarre. I’m interested to see what Puro Caos have in store for us next.
‘Remarkable work’: JUST AN ORDINARY LAWYER – Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Online Show) ★★★★
Just An Ordinary Lawyer is one of two shows which Tayo Aluko and Friends have available both live and online on-demand at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, and this one focuses on Nigerian Tunji Sowande (1912-1996), concert singer, cricket fan and Britain’s first Black judge.
‘The state of the climate & mental health are core concerns’: BOILING FROG – Camden Fringe (Online Show)
Jo Emery Productions brings this show to the digital strand of Camden Fringe. Boiling Frog is a series of interconnecting monologues across 90 minutes.
‘Captures the heart’: FINDING MAGIC – Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Online Show)
A Zoom performance by Beverley Bishop, directed by Peter Beck, Finding Magic includes an audience recorded at the time of the livestream, to give a sense of interactivity.
‘Your choice, your experience’: TREE CONFESSIONS – Camden Fringe (Online Show)
Written by Jenny Lyn Bader and narrated by Kathleen Chalfant, Tree Confessions is a 34-minute audio show which most recently streamed as part of the Greater Manchester Fringe.
‘Quirky & complex piece’: THE FALL – Original Theatre (Online Show)
New play The Fall, by Drew Hewitt, forms part of the triple bill of readings staged at the Riverside Studios and now available via on-demand streaming.
‘Gets the audience involved at every turn’: Puncture the Screen: Keep The Lights On (Online Show)
Kill The Cat’s live-stream of Keep The Lights On comes to YouTube on-demand in a 40-minute work in progress piece as part of Puncture the Screen which is a matrix based game to “turn off the lights” of the performance space.
‘Taut but puzzling tale of revenge’: RETRIBUTION DAY (Online Show)
In advance of its appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe, this film version of Retribution Day, described to me by its creators as “a marmite piece” is a taut but puzzling tale of revenge.
‘Clever, sharp & heavily detailed’: THE END OF THE NIGHT (Online Show)
A tight 80-minute three-hander (two other minor characters appear briefly), Original Theatre’s The End of the Night is not an easy watch but it is quite brilliant, and lends itself perfectly to the digital format.
‘Lovely hybrid between audiobook & theatre experience’: KISSES ON A POSTCARD (Online Show)
Streaming in two versions, a concept album at two hours available for free, and a four hour one for purchase, Kisses on a Postcard is an episodic piece which can be enjoyed in short bursts between 20 and 40 minutes each.
‘A fingernail under the surface of a world which only exists online’: THE COLLAB – The Space (Online Show) ★★★★
In The Collab writer Lauren Morley has created a piece totally on the pulse of the young people who live by their likes and engagements. Ella seeks that million followers and the validation that comes with it.
‘Fluid, flowing & fierce’: PRACTICE OF ZEN – Brighton Fringe (Online Show)
Practice of Zen considers the traditions, practicality, sensuality and strength of swordplay and resilience. Performed in Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles, this piece by Theatre Ronin of Hong Kong brings back the spirit of Wuxia through folklore and emotional connection.