A round-up of February theatre news

Ros is looking for romance. Richard needs a new companion. They’re a match! But the year is 2020, and dating isn’t simple. From glitchy Zoom introductions, to their socially distanced first date in an actual restaurant, Adventurous follows the twists and turns of Ros and Richard’s relationship as they negotiate technology, treachery…and tortoises.

Filmed in lockdown, this is the premiere of actor Ian Hallard’s debut play. Both comic and touching, Adventurous tells the unexpected story of two single souls with an unstable connection. It reunites Hallard with Olivier Award-winner Sara Crowe following their many double-acts in Jermyn’s Street Theatre’s 2018 production of Noel Coward’s Tonight at 8.30. This online production is a heartwarming and hilarious treat.

Rachael Stirling and Alec Newman are set to star in Love In the Lockdown, a new topical online play with music, due to be released in nine episodes on YouTube next month from 4 March to 23 May 2021. It is written by playwright and soprano Clare Norburn, with music performed by Norburn’s music ensemble The Telling.

The drama, directed by Nicholas Renton (BAFTA-nominated Mrs Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters, Musketeers, A Room With A View, Lewis, Silent Witness), follows medieval musician Emilia (Stirling) and playwright Giovanni (Newman) in the early stages of an intense relationship, which starts with awkward early Zoom dates just before lockdown. Each short episode will be streamed in real time on the anniversary of some of the key points in Lockdown 1.0. Comedian, Impressionist and Actor Jon Culshaw has a cameo as the voice of Boris Johnson in episode 3.

Written and performed by Jack Holden (War Horse, West End; Ink, Almeida Theatre), CRUISE  is an urgent, moving and inspirational new play with live music and spoken word. Bringing to life 1980’s Soho, this one-man show is a celebration of queer culture; a kaleidoscopic musical and spoken word tribute to the veterans of the AIDs crisis. Directed by Bronagh Lagan and filmed at Shoreditch Town Hall, it features an uplifting 80s electronic soundtrack performed live by John Elliott. This new filmed play will be available to watch from 15 April – 25 April at Stream.Theatre with tickets at £12.

The full creative team includes Jack Holden (writer and performer), John Elliott (Music and Sound Design), Bronagh Lagan (Director), Jack Hextall (Videography), Nik Corrall (Designer), Jai Morjaria (Lighting Designer) Sarah Golding (Movement) and Max Pappenheim (Additional Sound Design).

The Old Vic announces two new commissions for International Women’s Day to be screened as part of the Your Old Vic programme. These One Voice monologues are written by Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Regina Taylor and will be broadcast on YouTube from Mon 08 Mar, 10am. Pritchard-McLean will direct Putting A Face On which will be performed by Susan Wokoma, and Tinuke Craig will direct Taylor’s Aisha (the black album) which will be performed by Jade Anouka.

These two new monologues will be presented as the culmination of a week-long celebration of International Women’s Day which will begin with the re-releasing of a selection of the One Hand Tied Behind Us One Voice series. Originally curated by Maxine Peake in 2018, this series marked 100 years since the 1918 Representation of the People Act gave the first women in Britain the right to vote. The re-released monologues are: Betsy by Ella Hickson, performed by Jill HalfpennyContactless by Maxine Peake, performed by Siobhan McSweeneyImagine That by Kit de Waal, performed by Flo WilsonMother’s Little Helper 1963 by Jeanette Winterson, performed by Celia Imrie.

The Kiln Theatre will stream Marina Carr’s workshopped play Girl on the Altar in March. A re-telling of the ancient myth of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, the piece will give audiences a chance to see a work-in-progress piece that has been commissioned by the north London venue.

The cast of Girl on an Altar includes Adjoa Andoh (Clytemnestra), Ayesha Antoine (Cassandra), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Cilissa), Finbar Lynch (Aegisthus), Joseph Mydell (Tyndareus) and Patrick O’Kane (Agamemnon). The reading will be live streamed for free online on 5 March at 7pm GMT.

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