Each week, our #StageDoorLive News Writer / Researcher Hillary Dziminski chronicles her interaction with the news of the week. Some of it that made it to the show, and other bits that didn’t… but they matter damn it. Watch the news that did make it in #StageDoorLive Episode Six.
Greetings, Eearthlings! It may be Day 78,396,529 of lockdown but the sun is shining and another coffee shop opened around the corner so what do I really have to complain about? But for real, it is mostly good news I have to share with you this week, but I will start with the bad news because it’s always better that way, don’t you think?
Can this really be called “bad news” if it’s totally unsurprising? Statistics coming out of the UK seem like an echo of the statistics coming out here in Ireland — artists and arts workers are struggling to survive this crisis with only some of them receiving government support and only some of that support proving adequate. We know this now and we knew this before the Covid crisis. With a little faith, trust, and pixie dust, this global catastrophe might end up being a catalyst for positive change, starting with governmental restructuring that focuses on equity and individual well-being. Alas, this is not a political blog so let’s move on.
86,000 regular theatregoers in the UK were surveyed about their attitudes towards returning to the theatre after the shutdown and the numbers are…grim, but again, unsurprising. 41% of people said they wouldn’t start booking tickets for at least four months after venue reopenings.
“It confirms our fears that it may be some time before audiences are ready to return to venues in large numbers in a sustainable way. So I hope the right support packages are put in place for the sector’s sustainability because it also confirms that the buzz of a live event is irreplaceable.” Sarah Brigham, Artistic Director of the Derby Theatre
It hurts my heart to look too closely at these things, so instead I’m trying to focus on ways that we might start engaging with our audiences again in new environments, at least until it’s safe to be back on our beloved stages.
Things were really starting to buzz at the new Bohemian Theatre in Phibsborough before everything shut down.
I’m chomping at the bit to get back to my theatrical home.
But like I said, it’s not all bad news! Let’s look at some of the good stuff that’s happened this week.
Things in the film and television world are starting to operate again, albeit in very very different ways than ever before. And I have to say I cannot wait to see how these things turn out; will we be able to tell a difference between content filmed pre- and post-lockdown? Will it affect our enjoyment of it? Only time will tell, but what I can say with absolute certainty is that the series discussed in this article, ‘Katla’ sounds AMAZING. It’s described as ‘an eight-episode supernatural drama centered on a subglacial volcano that disturbs a tranquil small town’ and I am so here for it.
I’m less enthused about Australian series ‘Neighbours’ resuming filming but that might just be because I’ve never seen it. Nevertheless, bravo to everyone in the industry finding clever ways to continue entertaining us.
I know that as soon as it’s safe, theatremakers will be coming back together to find our own workarounds and maybe we can take some pointers from on-screen industries as to how we can make things work. Last night’s episode did so much to reignite my hope that one day soon, I’ll be reunited with my tribe, and whatever we are able to create will be magical because we’ll be making it together.
Now, you may not have picked up on this from previous blog entries so just to clarify one thing….I. LOVE. MUSICAL THEATRE. So this little treat from one of my favourite people on the planet really made my day.
AND there was this super fun quiz which only confirmed what I already knew: I am Belle. Click here to find out your result.
Now this is…bad news. But in a way…is it also good news? Look, there are three things in this world that I love unconditionally and they are my cat, Disney princess movies, and musical theatre. But as last year’s ‘Cats’ movie proved, these three things do not always belong together. ‘Frozen’ is a wonderful thing so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?
Besides, we princess musical lovers have something to look forward to in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new version of ‘Cinderella’. If everything goes according to plan and the world doesn’t end, the new show is scheduled to open in October and yes, I will make a trip to be there for it. What can I say, some loves never die.
Tiana thought he was my brother. He was in fact, dear reader, my boyfriend. Awkward.
And to leave you all with one last piece of good news, The Old Vic is going to start streaming plays for free. I will admit, I’ve been a little bit lazy about watching show recordings; it makes me sad and there’s something a little bit hollow for me in watching a show without the buzz and excitement of putting on real clothes, going to a venue, and drinking an overpriced G&T at the interval. But one of my best friends gifted me with the book ‘A Monster Calls’ by Patrick Ness last year, and though I have amassed enough books to make Belle green with envy, this one really stands out among the crowd. It is beautiful and tragic and hopeful and tender and I genuinely cannot wait to see this adaptation.
Also, how gorgeous are my roses this year!
That’s all from me this week, folks. You can get in touch with me if you have any theatre news stories you think might be of interest, or just to say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay safe, stay well, and if there are any roses near you, take a moment to stop and smell them.