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BBC to partner with theatres to record plays for TV, radio and streaming

The initative is part of BBC Arts and will provide pieces in February and March 2021

Half Breed
© Helen Maybanks

The BBC has unveiled plans to collaborate with venues to record plays for broadcast across radio, TV and streaming.

Jonty Claypole, Director of BBC Arts said: "This has been the hardest year in living memory for the performing arts - and the crisis is far from over. It is only right that the BBC - which has worked arm-in-arm with writers, performers and off-stage talent day-in day-out over the last 100 years - should support and celebrate our performing arts at this time.

"This is why BBC Culture in Quarantine is launching Lights Up: a major season devoted to theatre, celebrating the UK's stages, its artists, the shows that we cannot see, for millions at home around the country. The shows come from every corner of the UK – from Belfast to Glasgow, Cardiff to London. And, as well as broadcasting new and recent productions, we are also using our broadcast and digital platforms to celebrate all that theatres do for our society. Theatre has been at the heart of our culture for centuries and will continue to be so for many to come."

Working with more than 12 theatres and theatrical producers across the UK, the season will see plays broadcast on BBC Four from February to March 2021 as part of a three-week festival.

TV shows include National Theatre Scotland's Adam, Liverpool-based 20 Stories High's Buttercup, Natasha Marshall's Half Breed, directed by Olivier Award-winning theatre director Miranda Cromwell, Lisa Diwan's Pale Sister, by Colm Tóibín, a play written by David Ireland directed by Conleth Hill starring Abigail McGibbon (titled Sadie) as well as Katherine Parkinson's debut play Sitting.

The company will work with the Bush Theatre on a film version of Phoebe Eclair-Powell 's Harm,

The Fishermen will be adapted for BBC Radio 3, as will Nick Payne's award-winning stage plays Constellations and Elegy. There will also be Radio 4 collaborations with Chichester Festival Theatre and the National Theatre of Wales.

Full details are to be revealed.

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