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Romantics Anonymous musical to be live-streamed from Bristol Old Vic stage

The show will be presented with the cast live on stage and a global audiences at home

Carly Bawden
© Steve Tanner

Emma Rice, Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond's hit musical Romantics Anonymous will be live-streamed for audiences in venues across the world.

Presented live on stage at Bristol Old Vic, the play will have tickets priced from £15 for streams from 22 to 26 September. The show will be a fully-staged production broadcast, rather than an archived recording of the show.

The show has design based on Lez Brotherston's original, musical supervision by Nigel Lilley, choreography by Etta Murfitt, orchestrations by Simon Hale, lighting by Malcolm Rippeth and sound by Simon Baker.

Producers Wise Children will partner with venues to present a "digital tour" – in essence allowing individual organisations to sell tickets for the online stream for specific nights.

Venues featuring include Belgrade Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival, Bristol Old Vic, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Curve Theatre Leicester, Derby Theatre, Eden Court Highlands, Exeter Northcott, HOME, Lighthouse Poole, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Marlowe Theatre, New Zealand Festival, Norwich Theatre Royal, Oxford Playhouse, Royal & Derngate, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Singapore Repertory Theatre, Spoleto Festival USA, St. Ann's Warehouse, Storyhouse, The Festival Theatre, The Lowry, The Old Vic (where Wise Children are a Company in Residence), Theatr Clwyd, Theatre Royal Bath, Theatre Royal Nottingham, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and York Theatre Royal.

Cast members (to be announced) will isolate together and form a Covid-tested bubble (similar to rules for sports and films), allowing the show to be presented in full without social distancing.

Rice today said: "I have devoted my life to the live experience and the collective imagination – things that have proved impossible over the last few months. Whilst nothing will be able to replace the thrill of a night out at the theatre, this live broadcast is going to be as close to that delicious experience as we can possibly make it! Live, fresh, fun and intimate, this will remind us of what it is to share stories, hear music and, if true love has its way, even kiss. Imagine that! We are taking the utmost care to protect all of our valued team and, for one week only, we can all experience a live performance again, get lost in a wonderful love story and remember what it was to be socially intimate!"

Based on the French film Les Émotifs Anonymes, the piece follows Angélique, a shy chocolate maker and the awkward boss of a chocolate factory in a love story. The show first ran at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in 2017. It was recently revived at Bristol Old Vic, with a subsequent North American tour cut short by the pandemic.

Captioned and audio-described versions of the production will be available.

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