This new version of Lungs at The Old Vic will give Londoners a taste of what live theatre might look like in the pandemic age. The play, which follows a couple, M and W, as they debate whether to have a child together, has had all of the physical interaction removed.
The Old Vic’s artistic director, Matthew Warchus, said of the play: “The socially distanced restating of Lungs will be an interesting experiment. The original production deliberately incorporated a lot of telling physical interaction – the characters repeatedly flung apart and then entwined again and again.”
Lungs, which stars the Crown’s Claire Foy and former Dr Who Matt Smith, will be shown on the Old Vic’s You Tube channel with 1000 tickets available for each performance and ticket prices ranging between £10 and £65 pounds each.
Although each ticket will offer the same view of the stage, the Old Vic are requesting that viewers give what they can in order to support the institution during the lockdown.
The new production opens during a challenging time for the theatre, as the UK continues to grapple with the Coronavirus Crisis and its devastating effect on the British economy.
London’s theatres have been particularly badly hit, with the sector still on standby regarding how and when they might be allowed to reopen.
In the interim, many institutions have turned to the internet, by making their productions available for streaming or download. The platform has yet to offer a viable model for how institutions can make money, however, or offset the losses incurred by the closure of the theatres themselves.
In this regard, Lungs might prove more than an exciting new dramatic venture, it may well demonstrate how theatres can secure revenue during the pandemic. I think we should all keep our fingers crossed for that.
More information about Duncan Macmillian’s Lungs at The Old Vic can be found here.
For information on other great ways to access theatre productions during the lockdown, please click here.