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The Habit of Art tour with Matthew Kelly to be filmed for online download

The show should hopefully be made available to audiences while tour venues are closed and performances cancelled

Matthew Kelly and David Yelland
© Helen Maybanks

The touring production of The Habit of Art will be filmed and made available for remote download.

The show has cancelled the first leg of its new tour at the Devonshire Park Theatre while the coronavirus crisis continues, but the company will work to provide a digital copy of the production for those isolated or unable to travel.

Alastair Whatley, artistic director of the Original Theatre Company said: "We are so sad that our much-loved production of The Habit of Art is being forced off the road in these exceptional circumstances. We all have some testing times ahead and I hope that this filmed recording will provide our audiences now at home with some welcome inspiration, entertainment and remind us all of the vital importance of art and all those who make it."

Directed by Philip Franks and starring Matthew Kelly as Fitz (WH Auden) and David Yelland as Henry (Benjamin Britten), the show previously ran on tour in 2018. The pair will be joined by Veronica Roberts, Robert Mountford, John Wark, Jessica Dennis and Benjamin Chandler.

Alan Bennett's metatheatrical exploration of two famous artists from the last century first ran at the National Theatre in 2009 starring Richard Griffiths and Alex Jennings. The newest tour is designed by Adrian Linford, with lighting by Johanna Town, sound by Max Pappenheim and casting by Joyce Nettles.

Kelly, who plays W H Auden/Fitz, said, "We are all devastated by the developments and the cancellation of our show, but very happy that people will now be able to see the show...without a sanitiser."

Dates for the piece's online availability are to be announced, with the show being filmed tomorrow at 2pm.