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What's On, Theatre

A Theatre Near You, with Stephen Fry and real live friends

A live response to theatre without live performance

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Presented by Oxford Playhouse, Jericho Comedy and Macrocosmic in aid of the Playhouse Plays On Appeal, this virtual evening of comedy and performance will be landing in living rooms across the country on Wednesday 8th July.

The Covid-19 crisis has affected every aspect of our lives, but for the thousands of artists, creatives, producers, technicians and venue staff who work in the performing arts, this closure could mark the end of their careers in the sector. Theatre, comedy, music and even panto are all under threat (oh yes they are!).

Oxford Playhouse director, Louise Chantal commented:

“The whole theatre industry is waiting on tenterhooks for a decision on extended government aid to mitigate the reduced capacities and nervous audiences to come. Many of our producing partners have cancelled tours, meaning we may have gaps in the programme for some time.”

Following the announcement that ‘theatres can open on the 4th July, but without live performances’, the team at the Playhouse got a bit cross. Then Jericho Comedy Club suggested partnering on a livestream comedy gig with no audience, to demonstrate what a bad idea that might be.

This one-off, unique hour showcasing the full range and diversity of performing talent presented in regional theatres across the land will be directed by Simon Evans (Staged, BBC1) and written by writer/comedian Kevin Day, with Stephen Fry and Friends.

The hour-long presentation will be livestreamed on Wednesday 8th July at 8pm, with tickets charged at £25 per device (household). Seats will be limited to 632 – a full house at the Oxford Playhouse.

Tickets will be available to book from 12 noon on Friday 3 July. Due to reduced staffing during closure, all bookings for this event must be made online at www.oxfordplayhouse.com.

The show includes Playhouse Panto Favourites Ricky Oakley and Paul Biggin; Natalie Paris as Jane Seymour from SIX The Musical and OP Evolve artist and Freelance Taskforce member Amantha Edmead with an extract from her award-winning solo show SOLD. More to be announced.

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