Lockdown 2020/21: reviews and interviews

From mid-March 2020, the theatre sector across the world went dark – and went digital! As buildings closed their doors, shows were paused, staff were furloughed and freelances saw contracts cancelled, there was an explosion of creativity which including the release of archive recordings and newly-created content streamed on Zoom, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and Instagram.

I have tried to sample, watch and review as much as possible over the past few months. I have also done occasional interviews with industry professionals to find out where they started, what they have been doing in lockdown, and what their hopes are for the future.

Reviews

For BroadwayWorld:

BWW Review: Hymn (Almeida Theatre)

BWW Review: A Christmas Carol (Jermyn Street Theatre)

BWW Review: Nine Lessons and Carols (Almeida Theatre) LIVE SHOW!

BWW Review: 15 Heroines (Jermyn Street Theatre)

BWW Review: Sunnymead Court (Tristan Bates Theatre) LIVE SHOW!

BWW Review: Love Screens (Open Ealing)

BWW Review: BBC Proms – Playing Doubles (Royal Albert Hall)

BWW Review: Declan (Traverse Theatre)

BWW Review: Albion (Almeida Theatre, BBCiPlayer)

BWW Review: Birdsong Online (Original Theatre)

BWW Review: Razed and Confuzed Goes Digital (Raze Collective)

BWW Review: A Monster Calls (Bristol Old Vic/The Old Vic)

For NorthWestEnd UK:

Saving Britney: Prologue (Old Red Lion Theatre) – published in NorthWestEndUK

Giles Terera in Black Matter (Fane Online) – published in NorthWestEndUK

Rosegold (Online@TheSpace) – published in NorthWestEndUK

The Snow Queen (Iris Theatre) – published in NorthWestEndUK

A Christmas Carol (Dominion Theatre) – published in NorthWestEndUK LIVE SHOW!

In Search of A White Identity (The Actors Centre) – published in NorthWestEndUK

Tonight at the London Coliseum: Cassidy Janson – published in NorthWestEndUK

Caitlin (ZooTV) – published in NorthWestEnd UK

Defying GraviTT (Online@The Space) – published in NorthWestEnd UK

At the Ghostlight (Online@The Space) – published in NorthWestEnd UK

The Masks of Aphra Behn/Oranges and Ink (originally published in NorthWestEnd UK) (Scenesaver)

Primrose Path (originally published in North West End UK) (Mannequin Mouth)

For LouReviews:

2021 reviews

Disenchanted (stream.theatre)

Talking Gods 4-5 (Arrows and Traps)

Try Harder (The Space)

Talking Gods 3 (Arrows and Traps)

Talking Gods 1-2 (Arrows and Traps)

The Elephant in the Garden (Barn Theatre)

Gobstoppers (Angel Theatre)

Open Mic – Rob Drummond (Soho Theatre)

Now or Never (Barn Theatre)

Graduates at Cadogan Hall (3 parts, online)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shake Fest)

Jabala and the Jinn (Belgade Theatre)

Sasha Regan’s all-male The Pirates of Penzance (online)

The Lesson (Gracia Rios)

Mercutio’s Romeo and Juliet (Anegada Theatre)

Flavour Text (Chronic Insanity)

Dear Dead Jason (Potluck Festival)

In Plain Sight (Different Theatre)

Scaramouche Jones (stream.theatre)

Testament (Via Brooklyn)

Remembering the Oscars (online)

Glass Town (The Tank NYC)

Inside (Orange Tree Theatre)

Hear Me Roar (Burn Bright)

Tales from the Front Line 1-4 (Talawa)

Assembly (Donmar Local)

BKLYN the Musical (stream.theatre)

Digital Sharing 1-6 (KickItDown Productions)

The New Normal (RebCat Productions)

Dream (RSC, VR Online)

Where the Bugaboo Lives (Little Angel)

Curse of the Crackles (Shoreditch Town Hall)

Love in the Lockdown, episodes 1-2 (The Telling)

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barn Theatre)

Jina and the STEM Sisters (online)

The Musician (Belfast Ensemble)

Treason the Musical (stream-theatre.co.uk)

Birds and Bees (Soho on Demand)

A Blown Job (ADC Online)

Fables at the Kitchen Table (Stute Theatre)

24,23,22 (Chronic Insanity)

Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels (Finborough Theatre)

Rice! (Omnibus Theatre)

Sharon ‘n’ Barry Do Romeo and Juliet (Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch)

West End Musical Drive-in stream 2

Daddy Long-Legs (Boulevard Theatre)

The Road to Prominence/Break Free (Thespie)

Grimm Tales (Creation Theatre)

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Southwark Playhouse)

Typical (Soho on Demand)

Hotline (Tron Theatre)

Secret Society of Leading Ladies (Barn Theatre)

Songs for a New World (stream.theatre)

West End Musical Drive-in stream 1

Theatre Channel episode 5: The Classics of Broadway

Night Tree (Second Hand Dance online)

The Color Purple At Home (Curve Leicester)

And Breathe (Living Record)

All On Her Own (stream.theatre)

Illusions of Liberty (Applecart Arts)

Breaking Up With Reality (Living Record)

Valentine’s Sketch Show (Northern Comedy Theatre)

USUCC: an original Zoomsical (online)

Suitcase Under The Stairs (Greenwich Theatre)

Manimals (online)

Good Grief (Platform Presents)

Romeo and Juliet (2021, Ryan Metcalfe)

Heads or Tails (Living Record)

Dance of a Million Pieces (Living Record)

Mum, Can You Hear Me? (Living Record)

Shook (Papatango Online)

Alright, Girl? (Living Record)

A Bloody Shambles (Living Record)

Falling Stars (Union Theatre)

This Noisy Isle (Living Record)

We Ask These Questions of Everybody (sound festival)

Take Care (Living Record) – also see Take Care (The Vaults 2020)

Shows under 10 min duration – Online@The Space

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (online) – see also review of Chiswick Playhouse production

GirlPlay (Online@TheSpace)

Nevergreen (Living Record)

Reuben Johnson (Platform in the Garden, Iris Theatre)

Islander (BBC Sounds)

Press Play Here (Stratford East)

Controversy (Living Record)

I Stole Satan’s Girlfriend (Thornhill Theatre Space)

One Woman (Unlimited)

Scammed (Online@TheSpace)

The Meat Cabaret (Online@TheSpace)

Attempts on Our Lives (T@PP Festival)

Happily Ever After (Online@TheSpace)

Flight Paths (Extant Online)

Overflow (Bush Theatre)

Broken Link (Living Record)

Public Domain (Southwark Playhouse)

The Origin of Carmen Power (Unlimited)

Alive (Online@TheSpace)

Walk of Shame (Online@TheSpace)

Augmented (Unlimited)

Avalanche (Bloom Theatre)

Together Again (Thespie)

2020 reviews

All I Want for Christmas is Theatre / Hopeful Holidays

A Christmas Carol (Bridge Theatre) LIVE SHOW!

The Fairytale Revolution (Theatre503)

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Creation Theatre)

Girl Power (Thespie)

We Need a Little Christmas (stream.theatre)

A Christmas Carol (Polka Theatre)

The Snow Queen Rock ‘n Roll Panto (New Wolsey Theatre)

Dick: The Adult Panto (Guildford Fringe)

Snow White in the Seven Months of Lockdown (King’s Head)

Rent Online (Hope Mill Theatre)

Oops! I Streamed it Again (Thespie)

Road (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Showstopper! (Garrick Theatre) LIVE SHOW!

Potted Panto (Garrick Theatre) LIVE SHOW!

The Fabulist Fox Sister (Southwark Playhouse)

The Old House (The Actors Centre)

Magnetic North (British Museum)

Eternal (Darkfield Radio)

Jack and the Beanstalk (Panto Online)

The Legend of Moby Dick Whittington (Sleeping Trees) – see also review of their 2019 show at Battersea Arts Centre

Crossover: a Pop Musical (online)

The Kids Are Alright (Fuel/Encounter)

The House That Jackson Built (Half Moon)

Theatre Channel web series, episode 3

Haunting Julia (Stephen Joseph Theatre)

Unfamiliar at Home (artsdepot)

The Hunger Artist (CVIV Arts)

NAKED (Voila! Europe)

The Poltergeist (Southwark Playhouse)

Shaken (Actors Centre)

Shrapnel (Production Lines)

Marry Me a Little (Barn Theatre)

Gash Theatre Makes a ThirstTrap (online)

Ute Lemper – Rendezvous with Marlene (Fane Online)

Misfits (Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch)

right left with heels (Voila! Europe)

Games to play at HOME (HOMEmakers)

Viper Squad (Ctrl Alt Repeat)

Two (Guildford Fringe)

Fission (Actors Centre)

Crave (Chichester Festival Theatre)

Little Wars (Union Theatre)

What a Carve Up! (Barn Theatre)

Shift Alt Right (Adam Lenson Productions)

Theatre Channel web series, episode 2

Stay Safe (New Perspectives)

The Barren Author (Spiteful Puppet)

Flush (Sarah Lawrence College, New York)

Time to Act: a look at Simon Annand’s new book and exhibition

small hours (IF Oxford/Oxford Playhouse)

Lil’ Miss Lady (Highrise Theatre)

Press Play shows (Popelei Theatre)

One Duck Down – Dazed New World Festival

First Date (Lambert Jackson and Crazy Coqs)

The Telephone Theatre: You Don’t Know Me, But … (Stute Theatre)

Meek – Dazed New World Festival

Finding Percy Erebus – Dazed New World Festival

A Slice of Saturday Night (Watford Fringe)

The Third Day: Autumn (Sky Arts)

Eye Say Eye Say Eye Say (Bloomsbury Festival)

UnLOCKed: Buyer and Cellar (Above the Stag)

Macbeth (Big Telly)

The Reunion (Thespie)

The Drunks/Reszegek (FITS Online)

UnLOCKed: Quarter Life Crisis (Bridge Theatre)

txtshow (Greater Manchester Fringe)

Apollo 13: the Dark Side of the Moon (Original Theatre)

Wait for Me (Sam Cassidy)

UnLOCKed: Six Bad Poets (Questors)

Bryn Terfel Live at the Barbican

UnLOCKed: Open Bar Theatre’s The Tempest

The Theatre Channel’s new web series, episode 1

Visitors (Darkfield Radio)

Sex Tape (FringeArts)

UnLOCKed: still, here (Access All Areas, Hackney)

Before After (Southwark Playhouse)

Romantics Anonymous (Wise Children)

A Marvellous Party (stream.theatre)

Double (Darkfield Radio)

Life in Boxes (The Space)

The Boss of it All (Soho Theatre)

UnLOCKed: Sleepless – a Musical Romance (Troubadour Wembley Park)

Elephant’s Graveyard (Production Exchange)

Faith Healer (Old Vic)

Film: The Black Emperor of Broadway

Seed (Form(at) Festival)

UnLOCKed: Ghost/Light (LAMDA)

The Hive Online (Form(at) Festival)

Pinocchio Gets Wood – the Adult Panto (Guildford Fringe)

Rose (Hope Mill Theatre)

Hollow (Edinburgh Fringe)

The Other Tchaikovsky (BBC Radio 4)

Lazybed (West End Productions, USA)

Safe Space (Teater V, Denmark)

Showstopper! The (Socially Distanced) Improvised Musical

White Noise (Powerhouse Theatre)

Sinatra: Raw (Seabright Productions)

Imber: You Walk Through (ZooTV)

Godspell the Concert (Hope Mill Theatre)

52 Souls (Chronic Insanity)

Recovering Misogynist (Cambridge Junction)

Until the Ad Break (Online@The Space)

At Home With The Brontes (Online@The Space)

Edinburgh Fringe @ The Space

Sary (Different Theatre at Reading Fringe)

Jury (Park Theatre)

Like No Tomorrow: an Apocalypse Anthology (Harpy Productions)

(It’s Not All) Zoom and Gloom (Roustabout)

Grip (Reading Fringe)

Alice: a Virtual Theme Park (Big Telly NI/Creation Theatre)

Natalie Barney’s Last Salon (Reading Fringe)

My Darling Christopher (Hot Coals Theatre)

Letters to Windsor House (Sh!t Theatre)

Worlds Away (Cirque de Soleil)

Invisible Music (Platform 4)

Hello Harry! (Shaftesbury Theatre)

Charlie Ward at Home (Fuel)

Turn Up! London (Club 11, Cadogan Hall)

Hamilton (Disney Plus)

In Conversation with Miriam Margoyles (Omnibus Theatre)

Talking Heads 5-8 (BBC)

ABC (Anything But Covid) (HOME, Manchester/Ugly Bucket)

Up, Up, Up and Away (Super Stories with City Actors/Creation Theatre)

Nigel Slater’s Toast (Laurence Batley Theatre)

Conduit (Chronic Insanity)

Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran (Battersea Arts Centre)

Talking Heads 1-4 (BBC)

Black Women Dating White Men (Talking Back Theatre)

Staged (BBC)

The Last Five Years (The Other Palace)

Here I Am (Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch)

Bard from the Barn, series 1 (Barn Theatre, Circencester)

work_from_home (New Diorama Theatre/Incoming Theatre)

The Croft (Original Theatre)

Saplings 2.0 (Bloom Theatre)

Fallen in Love (Red Rose Chain)

Lag: A Zoomsical Comedy (Out of Hand)

A Kind of Magic (Magical Bones)

Catalyst in the Clouds (Mountview Academy, MA Creative Producers)

Out of Control (Chalk Roots Theatre)

Digital DisabiliTease (Little Peaches)

The Machine Stops (Big Telly NI)

Five4Five (Gaunt and Son/Tectum Theatre)

Love Letters at Home (Uninvited Guests/Fuel)

Entitled (Quarantine)

#TheRevolutionoftheWord (Mrs C’s Collective)

In Praise of Love (Jermyn Street Theatre)

Strictly Sherlock (Don’t Go Into the Cellar)

Mother Courage and her Children (Berliner Ensemble)

No Show by Christopher Green (The Yard)

The Showstoppers: Alternative Eurovision (The Showstoppers)

Yours Sincerely (Quick Duck Theatre)

I Want My Hat Back / I Have Found a Hat (Little Angel Theatre)

Isolation Stories (ITV)

National eTheatr

A Seperate Peace (Curtain Call)

About 500 (Simona Hughes)

Waiting for Hamlet

Fight Back 2020 Festival (New Theatre, Dublin)

One World Together / All the Web’s a Stage

Super Hamlet 64 (Edalia Day)

A Habit of Art (Original Theatre)

The Show Must Go On: Titus Andronicus (Rob Myles)

Treasure Island (NT at Home)

Bloom Theatre: Saplings (Bloom Theatre)

Flowers for Mrs Harris (Chichester Festival)

Laugh and Let Die: Game of Groans

H. (Wybrzeze Theatre)

BOiBOX Online

The Tempest (Big Telly NI/Creation Theatre)

White (Catherine Wheels Theatre)

2 Clowns 1 Cup (Ugly Bucket)

Crocodile Rock (BBC Scotland)

Testament of Yootha (Caroline Burns Cooke)

Wild (Hamostead Theatre)

One Man, Two Guv’nors (NT at Home)

Abomination: A DUP Opera (Belfast Ensemble/Outburst Arts)

Bubble (Kieran Hurley)

Check-Up: Our NHS @ 70 (Mark Thomas)

Orangutan (Cup of Brew)

Where Do We Go Next? (Bunker Theatre)

Henry V (Barn Theatre, Cirencester)

Since U Been Gone (Teddy Lamb)

I and You (Hampstead Theatre)

Interviews

Preview: STIGMAcollective’s right left with heels (Rasa Niurkaite)

Hannah Limb and ASTROM Club

BWW interview: Tom Littler talks 15 Heroines at Jermyn Street Theatre

Preview: still, here (Helen Bryer and Adam Smith of Access All Areas)

Preview: Mirror Talk (Neta Gracewell)

Preview: Isolation Ensemble (Lucy Aarden)

Lyndon Samuel

BWW interview: Rachel Wagstaff (Birdsong Online)

Olivia Munk

Gemma Murray

Erica Miller

Christina Fulcher

David Ball

Jack Wills

Interviews I have given for others

Beyond the Curtain (Isolation Interviews, May 2020)

Scenesaver (Theatre in Lockdown, June 2020)

Musical Theatre Lives In Me (Stagey Blog Chat, September 2020)