Today, The Old Vic announces the next in the OLD VIC: IN CAMERA series with a scratch performance of Brian Friel’s classic play Faith Healer. This production will star Michael Sheen, David Threlfall and Indira Varma for just five performances streamed live directly from the iconic Old Vic stage with the empty auditorium as a backdrop.
‘Just a con, isn’t it? Just an illusion, isn’t it?’
The Fantastic Francis Hardy travels the most remote corners of Wales, Scotland and Ireland attempting to heal those who wish to be healed. His wife Grace and manager Teddy complete this nomadic triptych, each with their own telling of the loss, love and struggle of life on the road with a seemingly predestined Faith Healer.
Brian Friel’s masterful and haunting Faith Healer is a kaleidoscopic, ever shifting exploration of the power of belief, as the contradicting recollections of these three characters seek to reconcile with the past.
Matthew Warchus, Artistic Director, said: ‘This play has long been a favourite of mine. With mesmerising expertise Friel unlocks a shimmering fable of epic dimensions employing nothing more than single voices weaving this unforgettable story out of thin air. It’s the definition of a masterpiece and hits you with a huge emotional thwack’
Faith Healer is the third in the OLD VIC: IN CAMERA series following the sell out runs of both Lungs with Claire Foy and Matt Smith and Three Kings with Andrew Scott. Always intended as a creative experiment, the series has become crucial in The Old Vic’s fight for survival, as it remains one of the few ways the theatre can ensure any regular income. As the theatre continues to navigate their ongoing period of closure with no certainty of when they can fully reopen, they are united by the sole aim of ensuring their doors do not remain permanently closed. The theatre is overwhelmed by the support from audiences all over the world who have come together night after night to share in a unique experience and support their cause. It is this that inspires the organisation to keep looking at how they can continue this work into 2021 and offer OLD VIC: IN CAMERA as a core part of Matthew Warchus’ sixth Season as Artistic Director of The Old Vic until the theatre can once again open its doors to capacity audiences.
Faith Healer will be live streamed for five performances from 16–19 Sep with tickets priced from £10–£40. A limited number will be available at each price band and whilst all ‘seats’ offer the same view (from the comfort of your own home), The Old Vic is asking audiences to give what they can to help support the theatre in return for access to this totally unique experience. Those planning to watch together on the same device only need to book a single ticket and we’d encourage group bookers to consider chipping in together to buy a single ticket to support The Old Vic.
The Old Vic is an independent registered charity in receipt of no regular public subsidy that has thrived pioneering a model of self-sustainability in the arts. They contribute artistically to the cultural life of the nation whilst also delivering flagship education and community programmes to 10,000 young people each year. Significant support is urgently needed if the theatre is to emerge from this crisis still able to deliver exciting entertainment and social benefit from this historic, loved building that has been a beacon of creative adventure for over two centuries.
OLD VIC: IN CAMERA is made possible thanks to the unwavering support of Royal Bank of Canada as The Old Vic’s visionary Principal Partner. Since the beginning of Matthew Warchus’ tenure in 2015, RBC has sponsored 31 main stage productions and now, in the face of such challenging times, RBC continues to stand alongside The Old Vic and support the theatre and audiences by enabling the delivery of this series. And, thanks to PwC’s steadfast generosity through this crisis, this new artistic initiative will be widely accessible with a number of PwC £10 Tickets offered across all performances.
We hope that audiences will join with creatives to support this new series and feel excited to be part of a live theatre community once again. Everyone’s help is needed to make sure that The Old Vic and their productions are still here to enjoy when our much-missed normal lives resume.