Stagey Ways to Rediscover London cover photo

Stagey Ways to Rediscover London

Stagey Ways to Rediscover London cover photo
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Stage Savvy
5 Apr 2021 · Follow on Stagedoor

Yesterday, the government lifted its Stay At Home orders. Today, the weather is rivalling the French Riviera for sun-drenched glamour. The only sensible reaction to these two events is to go outside... and you know what, theatre can help with that. Lyn Gardner's latest column rounds up some of the amazing outdoor shows lined up for later in the year. But first, here are some theatre-based excuses to explore London's streets before they start to fill back up with a welcome hubbub of life this summer.

🌞 Let Ian McKellan tell you some stage secrets

West End theatres are still closed, but theatreland isn't - Ian McKellen's free audio tour will help you explore its streets with a century's worth of stories, taking you to see historic statues, a dark alley where a terrible 19th century theatreland murder took place, or to the Savoy, where Sir Noel Coward sung to cheer up terrified guests during WWII air raids. Thanks, Gandalf!

🌞 Take an interactive journey through Chinatown

Chinatowns the world over have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, and prejudiced attitudes that came in its wake. Augmented Chinatown 2.0 is a hi-tech way to dig deeper into the hidden stories of this centre for London's Chinese community; download the app and encounter miniature audio dramas as you stroll its streets,

🌞 Catch some windows of delight

Fortnum & Mason has done its bit for theatre by inviting set designers to spruce up its shop windows. Top scene-setters including Jon Bausor, Jean Chan and Sam Wilde have responded to the brief 'Make Joy!' by creating pop-up theatres, fantastical flowers and even a get-in staffed by tiny model technicians.

🌞 Go for a walk with a sonic theatre podcast

We're living in a golden age of theatre podcasts and a long stroll in the sunshine is a perfect time to catch up with some of the scene's luminaries. 45 North's podcast Written on the Waves is full of brain-stretching new plays including the very season-appropriate A Passion Play; Nicola Coughlan stars in this story of teenage romantic fireworks and religious torment. Or discover Earwig, an exercise in sonic theatre from six Scottish playwrights which will only be enhanced by the sounds of sunbathing Londoners slapping on sunscreen and cracking open gins in tins.

Another sign of spring this week is the influx of new openings; we're particularly excited about Amelie the Musical, a charming but just-gritty-enough take on the indie movie starring Audrey Brisson in the role she was born to play; it opens for a socially-distanced run on 20th May. Or catch up on the week's news in satirical, quirky style with the Royal Court's Living Newspaper: book through Stagedoor to get your ticket for just £7.50. And maybe spend the £2.50 on a nice ice lolly for yourself, yeah?

Until next week,

Stage Savvy

Quotes of the Week

“Over the past three years, the drama behind the scenes at the Volksbühne in Berlin has surpassed any onstage. To say that the company has struggled would be putting it mildly: Depending on your point of view, the goings-on have increasingly resembled either a Greek tragedy or a satyr play.”

-The New York Times' A J Goldmann writes on a German theatre that's dramatic in all the wrong ways

“If the pandemic has highlighted anything, it is how much more venues and companies alike, can and should be doing to enable everyone to see their work.”

-Elisha Pearce writes about theatre and inclusion in Noises Off, the online magazine of this year's National Student Drama Festival.


Cover image from Augmented Chinatown 2.0

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