What To Watch On Stage August 2020

August is usually the month of Summer festivals and outdoor performances.

If you’re missing your Summer dose of theatre, don’t worry – there’s still a wealth of theatre being produced for audiences to watch online, and some outdoor theatres are even trialling re-opening their doors.

Tyrone Huntley & Anoushka Lucas –
Photo by Johan Persson

Jesus Christ Superstar: The Concert by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber

The iconic 1970s rock opera, loosely based on the Gospels’ accounts of the last week of Jesus’ life, returns to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre after two sell-out runs in a special concert staging. 

With 9 performances a week, the roles of Jesus, Judas and Mary are double-cast, giving audiences the opportunity to see any combination of actors as they alternate performances – including Tyrone Huntley who for the third time reprises his award-winning role as ‘Judas‘ and Anoushka Lucas reprises her role as ‘Mary Magadelene‘.

With social distancing, seating capacity has been dramatically reduced from 1256 to 390 seats, so secure those tickets if you’re keen to get back to watching live theatre again.

Playing at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre from 14th August – 27th September.

Find out more here.

846 curated by Roy Williams

In July, acclaimed playwright Roy Williams brought together 14 writers to respond artistically to George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter Movement. From this came ‘846’ – a collection of 14 short pieces spread over 3 episodes to form an audio play. Each is a standalone exploration of racial inequality and oppression, but together they form a powerful tapestry of voices.

Now available to listen to on Theatre Royal Stratford East’s website.

Find out more here.

Kwaku Mills in good dog

good dog by Arinze Kene

Originally toured by British African theatre company tiata fahodzi in 2017 and 2019, this summer the company released a film adaptation of Arinze Kene’s play. 

Directed by Andrew Gillman and Natalie Ibu, the film chronicles growing up in a multicultural community in the early noughties, and the everyday injustices that drive people to take back control.

Now available to watch via tiata fahodzi’s YouTube channel.

Find out more here.

Fringe of Colour

Originally founded to support Black and Brown people/ People of Colour at the Edinburgh festivals, this year Fringe of Colour has taken their work online for their first ever online arts festival, Fringe of Colour Films.

The independent streaming service will host over 40 films made by Black and Brown people/People of Colour throughout August 2020. Films will be released as weekly collections, each available for 7 days.

Find out more here.

Her & Her

Culture in Quarantine: Filmed in Lockdown

Every week since the end of April, the BBC has been releasing short videos via its Culture in Quarantine series with a number being created by Black artists in lockdown.

This includes Botis Seva’s ‘CAN’T KILL US ALL’, a film combining Hip hop dance to explore one man’s mental unrest as he navigates the turbulence of dealing with two global pandemics; Birdgang Ltd’s ‘Flying Home’, which features six dancers in video conference-style windows; Michael Jenkins’ ‘We Are Not The Virus’, a spoken word film that reflects on how black migrant frontline workers continue to be viewed as a virus; ‘Say Your Peace’, a short film which features words by poets Theresa Lola, Caleb Femi and Momtaza Mehri; and Jade Anouka’s ‘Her & Her’ which explores the relationship between a black woman and a white woman.

All the films are currently available to watch via BBC iPlayer for the next 11 months.

Find out more here.

Clarissa by Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu

Monday Monologues

Featuring writers such as Travis Alabanza and Tristan Fynn-Aidenu, the Bush Theatre’s ‘Monday Monologues’ showcase monologues written and recorded during lockdown. The monologues, which explore themes such as dating during a pandemic, have been released on a fortnightly basis from 18th May and will be available to watch for the next 12 months.

Now available to watch via the Bush Theatre’s YouTube channel.

Find out more here.

Prayer by Rosie Elnile

Award-winning designer and Gate Associate Artist Rosie Elnile converts her piece Prayer to an online format. The piece aims to create a performance space that can hold audience and performer as equals, that can dismantle colonial story structures and engender collective acts of imagination.

Dr Rachel Hann notes that ‘If you’re serious about decolonizing theatre, this is a wonderfully crafted set of provocations on the (im)possible futures of stage design.

Now available to book tickets via the Gate Theatre website.

Find out more here.


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