Theatre News

BBC Radio to broadcast four stage shows with cancelled runs due to theatre shutdowns

The project has been set up by award-winning actor Bertie Carvel

The cast of Shoe Lady
The cast of Shoe Lady
© Manuel Harlan

Actor Bertie Carvel has launched a new project alongside BBC Arts' Culture in Quarantine to broadcast four shows that had their runs cancelled or cut short by coronavirus.

Entitled Lockdown Theatre Festival and produced by Jeremy Mortimer, four shows will be presented across 13 and 14 June on both BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4.

The four shows are The Mikvah Project by Josh Azouz, which was being shown at Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, Mike Bartlett's Love Love Love at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, Winsome Pinnock's Rockets and Blue Lights, which was unable to to have its world premiere at Manchester's Royal Exchange, and E V Crowe's Shoe Lady at the Royal Court.

Rather than a recording from rehearsals, the radio broadcasts have been created by the casts in isolation. Actors involved include Katherine Parkinson, Nicholas Burns, Karl Collins, Rachael Stirling and more.

Carvel said: "All this work was going to waste! I wanted to create a cultural snapshot for posterity, because who knows what the future holds? Theatres up and down the country are facing an existential crisis. I hope Lockdown Theatre Festival will demonstrate our community's positivity and resilience — but also shine a light on the challenges we face."