It’s interesting to see which companies have not only made the shift to digital but have raised their profile in the process. One such company is Oxford-based Creation, a non-subsidised company but one which nonetheless has thrived during the last year with its innovative online productions of family favourites and classic plays. What’s cheering is that the company hasn’t just stuck to one formula but has evolved what it is doing. I missed, but heard great things about their take on John Webster’s 17th century revenge tragedy The Duchess of Malfi, and now they turn their attention to this year’s favourite play, Romeo and Juliet. Given the NT’s recent brilliant film version this is going to be quite an ask, but the twist is that the show, which uses theatre gameplay and entwines live action and pre recorded scenes, asks audiences in advance to select whether they are Capulets or Montagues.
What happens to a single gay man who longs to be a dad? In 2019 the law changed to allow for single father surrogacy. Wayne Steven Jackson’s performance, available online as part of Battersea Arts Centre’s Wild Times season, considers political change through autobiography and describes itself as “ a performance letter to a future child from a future father.” A fragmentary piece that asks questions about parenthood and who can be a parent and how, the show has been acclaimed for its music by Chris Benstead and its clever way of combining theatre, film and storytelling.
Musical duo Harry Blake and Alice Keedwell have won quite a following as House of Blakewell but haven’t had much luck with this show, whose live debut fell victim to the pandemic and theatre closures. But you can catch a glimpse this coming Saturday as it is livestreamed from Oxford’s excellent North Wall Arts Centre. It tells of a woman making a fresh start in a small town. Unfortunately, her old friend Anxiety has got other ideas and is intent on scuppering her attempts to make new friends and a new life. Inspired by Keedwell’s own experiences of anxiety, the show marks the latest development for a company whose breezy and personable brand of clever wordsmithing and music has been displayed to good effect in shows including Thor and Loki and Book of Blakewell.
Cover Image: Everything Is Absolutely Fine.