Dear theatre friend,
Two wonderful just-breaking pieces of news– for a limited time PBS has given us access to the Filmed On Stage archive– it’s enormous! Check to see which plays are available now, and what will be coming.
The second– another of my favorite off-West End theatres, Hampstead, is streaming one of their recent well received plays each week. Today until April 5th, you can view “Wild” by the super-talented Mike Bartlett (“King Charles III”). You might want to read this from The Guardian
Next week, you can see another four star reviewed play, “Wonderland” by Beth Steel, about the mine workers’ strike.
Finally, for now, will be Howard Brenton’s ambitious play, “Drawing the Line” about the 1947 partition of India– again, only for one week.
My only fear is that YouTube will crash with all the additional traffic!
Please read this personal disappointment from Irish playwright/friend, Lisa Tierney-Keogh:
“It was not long into March when I got a phone call to tell me that my play, ‘This Beautiful Village’ would not be appearing on The Abbey’s mainstage in June, as planned. Covid-19 put an end to those plans. I was devastated. It could be seen as only a month long run at Ireland’s national theatre, but the reality of how this moment came to pass, is much greater.
“It can take years to write a good play, and longer still to get it produced. It costs money to do this– but then anyone who’s in the theatre for money needs their head checked. To watch all this work evaporate is heartbreaking.
“A week and a half later (which these days seems like a month and a half), I’ve gained some perspective. All that matters now is that everyone is okay and safe. What I’ve come to realize in the past ten days is the importance of what I have to say as a writer. A question I keep asking myself is: am I making work that is meaningful?
“It’s so easy in a busy world to get caught up in making work that is sellable. It’s easy to lose sight of why you started writing in the first place. This forced slowing down and time in isolation is making me look harder at what I want to say in this world. And for that, I am deeply grateful.
“It is a huge blow to me to lose a big run at the Abbey. But a bigger blow would be to lose sight of why I write. And, I never want to lose that.
“Sending strength and solidarity to you all.”
If you’ve heard of the Humana Festival, you might also know that its heart and soul belong to The Actors Theatre. They’re now offering their playsdirect to you.
In closing– here’s a great list fromTime Out.
In your spare time, could you ask yourself, “Have any other ideas/ resources/ personal stories I could share? ” Please get in touch– my email, again:
I’ll be forced to find tales from my lifelong love affair with theatre and the arts if I don’t get more from you– please, please write a vignette — help to keep our connection alive for however long it takes.
And, once again, thank you for reading.
Carol Tambor publishes a monthly newsletter, which announces worthy shows coming to New York, along with occasional information about London theatre and, of course, the Edinburgh Fringe.