Veteran West End actors and producers, Zoe Rainey (An American in Paris, Wicked, The Winter’s Tale) and Thomas Coles (Fiddler on the Roof, Mack and Mabel, Sunset Boulevard), have teamed up with Nucco Brain – the strategic content agency operating at the intersection of storytelling and technology – to create a heart-warming animated film that reminds people of the magic of theatre while most venues remain closed.
With the UK Theatre and Society of London Theatres box office report showing that approximately 34-million theatre tickets are sold in an average year in the UK, millions of people have missed out on experiencing the joy of live theatre this year. So the film aims to encourage the public to buy tickets for shows that have managed to open and purchase Theatre Tokens for those that remain closed until 2021. The film also inspires people to donate to local theatres and live venues across the UK, even those that have received funding during the pandemic.
The monochrome animation, called The Applause, showcases the magic of theatre through a rich and atmospheric style that uses theatrical light effects to build a sense of wonder. With a moving score from celebrated composer Patrick Neil Doyle, the film tells the tale of 12-year-old Juliet and her dog Ruffle. Their dark and dreary surroundings are peppered with sombre people wearing face masks, or people staying indoors being hypnotised by their TVs. But when Juliet and Ruffle manage to find their way into a closed theatre, the magic is reawakened.
West End Writer and Producer, Zoe Rainey, said: “I was heartbroken at the thought of some theatres not surviving this terrible time and I wanted to tell a story to inspire people to come together and help save vulnerable theatres so we can all experience the wonderfully unique intimacy of live theatre and applause again when this is all over. Thomas and I wanted to gift this film to the theatre industry as a sign of hope and to help us all believe that we will return and that what theatre stands for in a community, by bringing people together, will heal us. We need theatre more than ever after this very difficult period. And with Christmas approaching, a theatre ticket for 2021 could give people something to look forward to.”
Nucco Brain’s Founder and MD, Stefano Marrone, added: “As a creative company, we want to do all that we can to support the creative community throughout this time of hardship. So when the opportunity came along to use our storytelling skills to help theatre land, we jumped at the chance. We just hope it brings people back to theatres as quickly as possible so that this iconic British institution can make a full and speedy recovery.”