Theatre News

Russell Tovey and Anya Chalotra join Theatre Royal Stratford East show on Sky Arts Freeview channel

The east London venue is collaborating with the new free TV channel

Russell Tovey and Anya Chalotra
Russell Tovey and Anya Chalotra
© Left: Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage, right: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / CC BY-SA (

Russell Tovey and Anya Chalotra will be among the cast of the upcoming collaboration between Theatre Royal Stratford East and Sky Arts.

Tovey (The History Boys, Angels in America) will take on the role of policeman Noel while Chalotra (The Witcher) plays junior doctor Anuja in the piece, which is titled No Masks and based on real-life testimonies of key workers during the pandemic.

Also announced in the show are Lorraine Ashbourne (The Crown) as palliative care nurse Linda, Anna Calder-Marshall (Harlots) as elderly lady
Annie, and Eamonn Walker (Chicago Fire) as care worker Vincent, with Elijah Melhado from Stratford East's Youth Theatre also appearing.

Written by Nadia Fall and Rebecca Lenkiewicz, the hour-long Sky Arts Original will premiere on the new Freeview channel, available for all.

Director of the channel Philip Edgar-Jones said: "Nadia and the team at Stratford East have been working tirelessly to keep theatre alive during this existential crisis point for live art and we are proud to be able to support this brand new production reflecting the lives of people working on the front line during the pandemic."

Fall added: "While our physical doors are shut our creative mission is to give a voice to those on the frontline and to bring people together. We are thrilled to be working with Sky Arts and Moonshine Features to showcase the brilliant stories of key workers from our community and be a part of Sky Arts as it becomes free for everyone to watch."