As theatre’s find new ways to get them through the pandemic crisis, and the devastating effect this is having on our live events, the OLD VIC have come up with a way to keep theatre alive, and audiences entertained.
Old Vic: In Camera is a new artistic initiative of socially distanced performances all streamed live from the iconic Old Vic stage with the empty auditorium as a backdrop.
Rekindling live performance in this irrepressible 202-year-old venue, albeit with minimal staging and accessible only via camera, is a genuine thrill them. But this series is both an exciting creative experiment and also crucial in igniting the box office now their usual channels of revenue have been entirely wiped out and they fight to preserve this beloved theatre for audiences, surrounding schools and communities, staff, crew, and the myriad of writers, performers and creatives that work with them.
The SOUTH WALES LIFE team have been to the Old Vic many time over the years, and witnessed some truly incredible productions and performances, most recently A CHRISTMAS CAROL and ENDGAME starring Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Cummings.
What is so good with the In Camera season, is that it still gives you the feeling of being part of something very special, which only live theatre can give. The tickets are limited, just as they would be for regular shows. If you don’t get yours in time, you don’t get to go to the show (from home). The concept is great, and so is the line up they’ve had so far.
Claire Foy and Matt Smith kicked it all off back in June with a short run of LUNGS. This was followed by a live stream of THREE KINGS with Andrew Scott.
Now, we have Newport’s finest performing on the Old Vic stage, MICHAEL SHEEN. Where do we even begin to list Michael’s achievements? Everything from Romeo and Juliet, to Tony Blair, David Frost, Chris Tarrant and (my personal favourite) Kenneth Williams.
His movie credits are as long, and varied as you’d find for any A-List actor. The Damned United (really worth a watch again), Tron Legacy, Underworld, Midnight in Paris, and of course the Twilight series.
There is always something which draws Michael back home. No matter where he works around the world, he is an active, and vocal supporter of the arts here in South Wales.
Being able to see Michael live is a thrill in itself, when we can watch him perform, directly into our own homes, it is something pretty special.
Brian Friel’s masterful and haunting FAITH HEALER is a kaleidoscopic, ever shifting exploration of the power of belief, as the contradicting recollections of these three characters seek to reconcile with the past.
The Fantastic Francis Hardy (Michael Sheen) travels the most remote corners of Wales, Scotland and Ireland attempting to heal those who wish to be healed. His wife Grace (Indira Varma) and manager Teddy (David Threlfall) complete this nomadic triptych, each with their own telling of the loss, love and struggle of life on the road with a seemingly predestined Faith Healer.
And we just want to pay tribute to the rest of this amazing cast. Indira Varma has graced our screens in classics such as The Canterbury Tales, Rome, Luther and of course the epic Game Of Thrones.
David Threlfall has a career which has taken him from Shameless, to The Far Side Of The World and the movie Hot Fuzz, which is still a favourite around the office here.
Faith Healer is the third in the Old Vic: In Camera live streamed performances, and will be streamed live directly from the iconic Old Vic stage with the empty auditorium as a backdrop for five performances only.
We can tell you that these performances are selling out fast, like this evening for example, all gone. Tickets are still available for Friday and the matinee and evening shows on Saturday. To check the details, and get your tickets, go here. OLD VIC
Just to finish, here’s a couple of ‘behind the scenes’ pictures. While there may be no audience in the theatre, there certainly is a stage full of technical equipment around.