Art’s very much alive 

A series of new quickfire online plays – one featuring an award-winning Coronation Street star – are offering thought-provoking cultural enrichment across our region.

Coronavirus restrictions have thwarted plans for the Arts Alive autumn line-up of live events across Shropshire and Herefordshire. So instead, the ArtsAlive@Home initiative, which delivers cultural performances straight to audiences online at home, has been extended.

The world premiere of five brand new micro plays will be available to watch online via Arts Alive on Saturday 17th October.

Theatre company Open Sky has created the new digital micro plays that are based on a theme of cultural polarisation, questioning the idea that our differences define us. The plays have been professionally filmed in a Covid-secure way, with cast and crew having regular temperature checks, and crew wearing facemasks. The theatre company took on the task of filming each of the five plays in five days in five different locations to bring the pieces digitally to a wider audience.

Each play is around five minutes long, and could mark a new trend in online performance.

“I see micro plays really taking off in this strange, new era where we don’t have access to live performances,” said Cerin Mills, Live Events Programmer at Arts Alive. “When you have five minutes to spare at the bus stop, during your morning coffee or just when you need a moment of distraction in your day, you can unleash you imagination and let your creativity flow by viewing a short play on your phone or computer.”

Cerin adds, “The five plays are called Stile – a sweary take on economic privilege, Head Over Wheels – a heartfelt comic look at mixed ability dating, The Ceremony – a searingly honest piece about non-binary marriage, The Importance of Being Honest – darkly humorous swipe at bigoted culturalism in the workplace, and Homework – a fast-paced comedy about the horrors of global warming faced by parents and children. This is the opportunity to see some real pedigree performers in action, including Julie Hesmondhalgh, best known for her multi award winning role as Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street.”

The project was conceived and directed by Open Sky’s Lisle Turner, guided and supported by their Artistic Director Claire Coaché and produced by Martina Klich from Wrapt Films. Arts Council England, Wrapt Films, The Elmley Foundation, and Turtle Key Arts have supported the project.

A live Q&A with director Lisle Turner, one of the writers and a member of cast will be available after the online screening.

The plays are suitable for ages 14-plus and will be free of charge to view. Arts Alive are asking viewers to collectively watch the plays back to back at 2.30pm on Saturday 17th October, and then join the post show conversation. Contact cerin@artsalive.co.uk for a private link to view the plays and take part in the chat. Visit www.artsalive.co.uk for more details.

 

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