Samantha Womack, Shelley King and Saffron Coomber lead a cast from Theatre and TV in a film to raise money for theatre freelancers affected by the pandemic.
As the theatre industry faces another period of difficulty due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the team behind a charity film make it available to stream over the festive period to raise money for our Theatre Artists Fund. In April 2021, stars of Theatre and TV came together to perform Pulitzer-nominated playwright Will Eno’s Mr Theatre Comes Home Different, a play that celebrates theatre’s uniqueness and reminds us of the power of live storytelling. Now, with the film attracting awards and nominations, the team behind it (themselves actors and freelancers) have released it for streaming online amid calls for government support for theatres and artists affected by the latest round of closures at this busy time of year.
“When we made this film, our aim was to remind people of why theatre is such a celebrated artform and to encourage audiences back after a very difficult time for the industry” says Producer and actor Michael Cusick. Fellow Producer Matthew Pitts-Tucker adds, “Now, as theatres are forced to close at this busy time of year, we wanted to add our voices to the calls to ensure large parts of this sector don’t collapse in the face of tumbling attendance and postponed performances.”.
Filmed at the Lyric Hammersmith over two days in Spring 2021 when theatres were dark, Mr Theatre Comes Home Different is a one-person play that revels in the magic of theatre. Pulitzer-nominated playwright Will Eno, adapted the play for film when director and actor, Adam Jackson-Smith, approached him with the idea. A cast of 12 take on the central role of Mr Theatre, bringing his mercurial journey to life upon the empty stage.
Speaking during Spring 2021, actor Samantha Womack reflected, “It’s been very very difficult for us all to survive, not just the actors, but the people who work in the theatres, a whole world has collapsed and disappeared”. Now as 2021 comes to a close, Adam Jackson-Smith adds, “uncertainty for theatre freelancers is going to continue as productions are closed in the face of Omicron. Reigniting that message and helping raise money for the Theatre Artists Fund is as important as ever.
The film is available to view free at Mr-Theatre.com where behind the scenes footage can also be found, alongside links to donate to help theatre freelancers at this uncertain time.