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London Theatre News Today: Wednesday 3 March

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai Published 3 March 2021

Donmar Warehouse to reimagine the postponed local production Assembly

The Donmar Warehouse is delighted to announce that its first local production ASSEMBLY, originally scheduled in 2020 but postponed due to the pandemic, will be reimagined as an innovative digital performance broadcast live on the Donmar Warehouse YouTube channel on Saturday 20th March at 7.30pm.

Mixing live performance, animation and sound, ASSEMBLY looks at the impact of humans on nature and what we might build together for a better future. It’s about trying, failing, and trying again. In times of emergency, it is about hope.

Created by writer Nina Segal, director Joseph Hancock and the Donmar Local Company, ASSEMBLY is a unique live digital performance created in collaboration with video designer and director of photography Andrzej Goulding, set and costume designer Frankie Bradshaw, composer and sound designer Max Pappenheim and lighting designer Sam House. This is the first production from the Donmar Local Company – members of the community who live and work in the Donmar’s home boroughs of Camden and Westminster.

Speaking about ASSEMBLY, Donmar Warehouse Artistic Director Michael Longhurst said: “It’s an irony that we were unable to assemble for ASSEMBLY as planned – a commission that pre-dates COVID – but it has been inspirational to see how the whole team have adapted to create this ambitious digital production. Here at the Donmar, we are truly committed to sharing our stage with members of our local community and I am thrilled that we have been able to continue our vital work with the Donmar Local Company as we explore what forms theatre can take in a digital world and find new ways to come together.”

ASSEMBLY will be broadcast LIVE from the Donmar Warehouse and locations across the UK on Saturday 20 March. Watch the livestream for free on the Donmar’s YouTube channel www.youtube.com/donmarwarehouse at 7.30pm. The running time is approximately one hour.

An audio introduction will be available to listen to or download from the VocalEyes website from Wednesday 17 March and a captioned version of the film will also be available

National Theatre, in partnership with Cast, launches new podcast series Stories To Get Us Through created by the people of Doncaster

Launching today, Stories To Get Us Through is a new podcast series featuring stories written and performed by the people of Doncaster, inspired by real life events and created during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 18 short stories are a collection of personal anecdotes, snapshot memories and poetry, and have been created by people from different backgrounds who came together as part of the National Theatre’s Public Acts programme. The series consists of five episodes which explore different themes including imagination, change, fear, friendship and heroes. Muhammed shares memories of his best friend from Gambia and how their lives have intertwined, teenagers Aaron and Beth share their hopes and fears for the future, and Lynn tells the story of finding contentment in her own company.

Stories To Get Us Through is a community performance project through the National Theatre’s Public Acts programme to create extraordinary acts of theatre and community, delivered in partnership with Cast in Doncaster with support from Right Up Our Street. Six community organisations across Doncaster, B.Friend, Conversation Club, Edlington Community Organisation, LGBTQ Youth, Cast Youth Theatre and darts, have been taking part in the programme and following the postponement of The Caucasian Chalk Circle in summer 2020, are continuing to take part in creative projects remotely. Participants developed their stories remotely, on Zoom, over the phone, and through postal packs with creative writing activities, and recorded the stories at home with professional audio recording equipment.

James Blakey, Associate Director of Public Acts said, “Stories To Get Us Through is a time capsule of the moment our Public Acts Doncaster community convened around a digital campfire in lockdown to tell their stories to each other and the world. Stories have the power to make us feel as though we’re together, even when we are apart and we can’t wait to share them with you. Despite the challenges and restrictions lockdown posed, we came together as a community to deliver this project and we look forward to when we can create live participatory performances together again”.

Participant Sam said, “I was sceptical at first as I didn’t have a single story in mind that would instil inspiration or start a conversation. But then it occurred to me that there is something I can say, I can talk proudly and push the negative voices down. In sharing stories, we are sharing lives and it is that which gets us through, it’s that you should hold on for. You can learn so much from listening to a person’s story”.

Stories To Get Us Through can be listened to on www.publicactsdoncaster.com/stories-to-get-us-through and is also available on all podcast platforms.

Shakespeare’s Globe celebrates International Women’s Day with two online theatre shows

To celebrate International Women’s Day on Monday 8 March, Shakespeare’s Globe are offering two exciting shows for audiences to enjoy:

  • Filmed at the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Olivier award-winning Juliet Stevenson brings British poet Stevie Smith to life in a new film that draws on her letters and prose and includes Smith’s own illustrations. Released to mark the 50th anniversary of Stevie Smith’s death, the film created by Dead Poets Live in association with the Globe and is available on demand until 5 April. Click here to register from 11am on 5 March and enjoy this wonderful show for free!
  • The smash-hit Olivier Award-winning EMILIA (emilialive.com) has returned online for all of March in time for International Women’s Day (8 March). WOW UK Festival 2021 is hosting a workshop with writer Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and director Nicole Charles at 4pm on 6 March. Emilia originally ran at the Globe as part of Michelle Terry’s first Summer Season in 2018. It was developed from concept as part of the theatre’s new writing strand, particularly highlighting women’s stories lost in history.

If you’re looking for more online theatre to enjoy, don’t forget to check out our Virtual Theatre Fix page!

The Government announces its 2021 budget

To find out what that means for the theatre industry and those working within it, read our full article below.

Related Article: Government budget 2021
Rishi Sunak presented the Governments budget today, laying out a series of new policies to help individuals and businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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