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Riverside Studios to restart performances with live audiences and online streams mixed-model

The venue will be hosting new plays and musicals for both in-situ audiences and those tuning in online

Riverside Studios
© Riverside Studios

Exclusive: Riverside Studios in Hammersmith has revealed it will present a season of readings featuring both new plays and musicals.

Adopting a hybrid model, the shows will be available for audiences both at the venue, as well as online viewers tuning in.

Tickets will cost from £15 to watch the play and the post-show discussion online (the stream is available for 28 days after purchase) and from £25 to watch in person at Riverside Studios.

The first show, presented on 1 September, will be Carey Crim's new play The Last Broadcast, starring Sarah Alexander, Eleanor Crowe, Sandra Dickinson, Patrick Robinson and Madeleine Gray. The piece follows a daughter who has to move her elderly radio presenter mother into her own home.

The season is curated and directed by Hugh Wooldridge, with producer Michael Codron as patron. Wooldridge said today: "The first read-through, with the cast and author, is one of the most exciting moments in the production process of a new play. This read-through is usually intensely personal and very private. A first reading - good or bad - can completely alter how a play is produced; many changes may be made because of it.

"I am excited to share an insight into what actually happens. And, given the current appalling state of affairs facing the theatre industry globally, I am so pleased that ‘Riverside Reads' may be able to provide a platform for these exciting new plays and musicals, whilst bringing together many out-of-work freelance professionals from throughout the industry."

After The Last Broadcast, Megan Van Dusen's Scattered will run on 6 October, while on Tuesday 3 November, Laura Tisdall's fantasy musical The In-Between, will be mounted.

Finally on 2 February 2021, Ray Shell (original cast of Hair, and creator of the role of Rusty in Starlight Express) and Chris Van Cleave's new musical StarBoy will have its first reading and run-through

Rachel Tackley, creative director of Riverside Studios said today: "With the cinema, television studios, restaurants and bars open and already welcoming the public, it's huge joy to bring theatre back to the heart of Riverside with 'Riverside Reads'.

"As we emerge post the Covid-19 lockdown we have a responsibility to give voice new talent, and we're delighted this season opens with four world premières. Riverside Reads is the start of what will be a return to a full theatre programme, as restrictions are eased and we can explore the full potential of our new performance spaces."