An archived recording of the West End production of Morgan Lloyd Malcolm's Emilia will be streamed online for audiences.
With a pay-what-you-can model, viewers will be able to contribute at least £1 to see the piece, which was taped in London during its run at the Vaudeville Theatre. Proceeds from the recording will be shared across the entire team from the 2019 production.
The show tells the story of Emilia Bassano, Renaissance poet, polemicist and contemporary of Shakespeare. Some believe she is the 'dark lady' of the sonnets.
Malcolm said today: "We are releasing a filmed version of our beloved production so that Emilia can provide much needed hope and inspiration during this most difficult of times for our industry. From the Globe to our West End run, Emilia's story has empowered audience members, provoked an unprecedented online feminist movement
for a theatre production, and even inspired tattoos! It felt the right time to make our show available to fans, writing Emilia Bassano into her rightful place in history.
"The effects of COVID-19 have devastated the theatre industry, and holding our team in mind, including talented freelancers now completely out of work, we will be sharing profits amongst our amazing all-female creative team, cast and backstage team. As theatre has had to migrate online, we wanted to find a way to connect audiences as much as possible – I can't wait to join our audiences for the watch-along premiere and we can all celebrate Emilia's story together – wherever we are in the world!"
Captioned and audio described recordings are available, with the piece being streamed from 10 to 24 November. Malcolm and some of the cast and creative team will watch together at 7.30pm on Tuesday 10 November. You can use the hashtags #EmiliaWatchParty and #IAmEmilia to join in.
In partnership with publisher Bloomsbury, all ticket buyers will be able to purchase the play script with an exclusive 30 per cent discount.
Directed by Nicole Charles, the West End cast is composed of Nadia Albina, Anna Andresen, Christina Bloom, Jackie Clune, Saffron Coomber, Lauren Drennan, Eva Fontaine, Cora Kirk, Adelle Leonce, Jenni Maitland, Clare Perkins, Carolyn Pickles, Sarah Seggari, Sophie Stone, Samantha Sutherland, Rosanna Ter-Berg, Charity Wakefield, Amanda Wilkin and Tanika Yearwood.
Emilia is designed by Joanna Scotcher, with lighting by Zoe Spurr, sound by Emma Laxton, choreography and movement by Anna Morrissey, composition by Luisa Gerstein, musical direction by Yshani Perinpanayagam, fight direction by Rachel Bown-Williams And Ruth Cooper-Brown of Rc-Annie Ltd, casting by Karishma Balani, voice coaching by Tess Dignan, assistant direction by Rafaella Marcus, assistant design by Amelia Jane Hankin, associate lighting by Anna Reddyhoff, assistant choreography by Christina Fulcher, production management by Sacha Milroy, costume supervision by Sian Harriss and wig supervision by Jessica Plews.
The play originally premiered at Shakespeare's Globe in 2017 where it opened to positive reactions, including four stars from WhatsOnStage with the review saying the show was an "outright feminist triumph and a brilliant call-to-arms."