Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 14, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Arts & Lit A Student Guide to “Theatre-Going” in Lockdown

A Student Guide to “Theatre-Going” in Lockdown

Online Editor, Maddie Baker investigates the rise of virtual theatre- starting with Exeter Phoenix
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A Student guide to “Theatre-going” in Lockdown

Image: Peter Lewicki

Online Editor, Maddie Baker, investigates the rise of virtual theatre- starting with Exeter Phoenix

Cinema outings, physical exhibitions and in-house plays may be postponed, but that does not mean that film studios and theatres have stopped keeping us students entertained during lockdown…

Exeter Phoenix

Here in Exeter, the Phoenix has released a schedule of online options to indulge students’ cultural side while we cannot explore our theatre venues in person. One of the most exciting listings is Kill The Cat: The House Always Wins on 13 May – an interactive theatre piece where we, as viewers, are invited to respond to a fictional crisis ourselves.

Exeter Northcott Theatre

The Northcott Theatre on campus, meanwhile, has responded in its own way to lockdown. At the start of April, the Northcott put out a call for artwork, with the release of The Time is Now competition. The successful commissions had to find a way to adapt to a digital reality and tackle the challenges we are facing at this time in a creative way. On 27 April, five winning artists were selected: Burn the Curtain, Jump Fall Fly, Scratchworks Theatre Company, Thomas Johnson and Undivided Attention. All the artists share their roots in the South-West region and are developing in their fields. There will be a variety of entertainment that students and Exeter-residents alike can enjoy – ranging from an Exeter-based online game to a short film about circus performance, all of which will be available via the Northcott’s website and social media under #TheTimeisNow.

The successful commissions had to find a way to adapt to a digital reality and tackle the challenges we are facing at this time in a creative way

National Theatre

Across the country, many other theatres have been making their performances accessible online for eager audiences. One of the best-suited options for students is the National Theatre, which launched National Theatre at Home on 2 April. On Thursday evenings, students, families and friends can share in a free production online for over a week via the National Theatre YouTube channel. Most recently, in the height of escapism, the National Theatre has released Antony & Cleopatra at its marathon length of three hours.

This is not to mention the endless options available on the Barbican Theatre website, branching out into playslists and long-read articles, or The Royal Opera House’s #OurHousetoYourHouse streaming service. All of the mentioned virtual theatre performances and offerings are free – but, as with many charities and small businesses, theatres are encouraging viewers to donate a small sum.

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