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New Apollo 13 online play to be presented this autumn

The show comes from the creators of the hit Birdsong

The cast of Apollo 13

An online play exploring the events of the Apollo 13 mission will premiere later this year.

Penned by Torben Betts, the piece marks 50 years since the ill-fated mission which saw three astronauts stranded in space. Apollo 13: The Dark Side of The Moon comes from Original Theatre, the creators of the five-star online version of Birdsong, which was streamed earlier this year.

Appearing in the play are Christopher Harper (Holby City, Coronation Street) as Jim Lovell, Michael Salami (Hollyoaks, Just a Couple) as Fred Haise, Tom Chambers (Father Brown, Casualty) as Jack Swigert, Philip Franks (Heartbeat, Darling Buds of May) as Present Day Lovell, Willie Jonah (The Two Popes, The Iron Lady) as Present Day Haise, Jenna Augen (Episodes, The Night Watch) as Capcom and Poppy Roe (A Serial Killer's Guide to Life, Royal Matchmaker) as Patricia Cooper.

Directed by Alastair Whatley and Charlotte Peters, Apollo 13: The Dark Side of The Moon is designed by David Woodhead and edited by Tristan Shepherd, with sound design by Dominc Bilkey, original music composed by Sophie Cotton, movement direction by Simon Pittman and casting by Ellie Collyer-Brisow CDG.

The production will be available to watch from 7.30pm on Thursday 8 October until Thursday 31 December 2020 via the Original Theatre website. Tickets cost from £10 to £20, with special nods to those who pay more for the show.

Betts said, "I was delighted when Alastair asked me to write a new play about the ill-fated voyage of Apollo 13 which took place fifty years ago. I have long been a bit of a space nerd and like many last summer I was transfixed by all the various TV specials about the 1969 moon landings. Letting my imagination spend so much time floating around in space to write this has been a welcome relief from the situation on the ground at the moment and has also helped me put things in a little bit of perspective."

Peters said, "Having explored a new genre with our recent production of Birdsong, it's really exciting to be pushing the online-film boundaries further with this original adaptation of Apollo 13, both in terms of new filming techniques and inventive movement. I can't think of a better project to bring to this medium, as it interweaves an out-of-this-world true story with familiar themes of isolation, helplessness and an irrational sense of hope."

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