Log on for "virtual theatre" as lockdown hits live performances

Log on for "virtual theatre" as lockdown hits live performances

By Michael Upton | 27/01/2021

Log on for 'virtual theatre' as lockdown hits live performances

THE SHOW will go on in South Yorkshire — but only online.

The new lockdown means Sheffield Theatres’ new shows cannot take place live but will instead go ahead behind closed doors and be broadcast virtually.

This winter’s planned shows were The Band Plays On, a new play by Chris Bush, and Escaped Alone, by Caryl Churchill.

The Band Plays On weaves together stories of solidarity and survival from the Steel City, sound tracked by new versions of classics from some of Sheffield's most celebrated artists.

Escaped Alone follows three old friends and an unexpected neighbour as they chat in a garden about their everyday lives, exploring what has happened to each of them - and what catastrophes has the neighbour seen?

Sheffield Theatres’ Open Submissions programme, which was set to bring a range of local artists and companies to perform on the Crucible stage, will be rescheduled to later in the spring.

Chief executive Dan Bates said: “We need to play our part in the lockdown and to keep our staff, freelancers and audience safe over this time.

“The new variant and the ease with which it is spreading has made us re-consider our current plans to ensure that we’re minimising contact between people at this time.

“Delaying some of our work and moving some on-line gives us a great opportunity to reach more people and share amazing theatre across the globe.

“Since March last year, our work has been significantly reduced.

“We have tried to re-open three times and each time it has coincided with another lockdown. However, we haven’t lost our spirit! 

“Our thanks go to the Government’s Culture Recovery fund, to Sheffield City Council and to the generosity of our audiences for their financial support over this time – it has been invaluable. This support means that when it is safe to do so, we will be ready to create more incredible productions for our audiences and for our city.”