WISE CHILDREN CONTINUE TO LIVE BROADCAST WITH
THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF A REVIVAL OF THE FLYING LOVERS OF VITEBSK
Following the success of the live broadcast of Romantics Anonymous, watched by more than 20,000 people worldwide, Wise Children today announce their plan to offer live broadcast events as part of all future programming. The online format that they trailblazed for Romantics Anonymous was so successful that the company believe they will continue working in this way, long into the future.
A revival of The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk will be directed by Emma Ricein a co-production with Kneehigh and Bristol Old Vic, with further details to be announced soon.
Last month, following theatre closures and the cancellation of the US tour of Romantics Anonymous as a result of Covid-19, Wise Children adapted to the new world by broadcasting Romantics Anonymous live from the Bristol Old Vic. Implementing a Covid-secure procedure borrowed from the TV and Film industry, the company formed a bubble and were able to perform the show in its original form – singing, dancing and even kissing!
Using a radical new live broadcast system, and collaborating with 34 theatres across the world, Wise Children were able to offer affordable tickets and reach a global audience, selling almost 12,000 tickets for the production’s limited 5-day run. In addition, the project provided work for 38 freelance theatre makers, a group that represent 70% of the theatre industry.
Artistic Director of Wise Children, Emma Rice today said, “Over the last few months, Wise Children have learnt things we never thought we’d need to know, with the core team taking on new roles ranging from Covid Safety Officer to Camera Operator. This was our chance to ensure that ‘the show will go on’, by doing what we do best: dreaming, daring, innovating, collaborating, creating and inspiring – even in the face of a global pandemic.
This new way of working allows us to reach people across the globe and our aim as Wise Children is now to continue to offer live broadcasts of our shows – even after we return to ‘normal’. This de-stabilising time has impacted our industry in many ways, but the accessibility and availability of dynamic and engaging theatre should, and must, continue. Not in spite of COVID but because of it, stories must continue to be shared and our diverse community celebrated. With this in mind, I can’t wait for The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk to land in the homes of our audience wherever they are on the planet. It really is a brave new world.”
Tom Morris, Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic, commented, “Like a lot of theatres, Bristol Old Vic has seen its business turned upside-down by COVID 19. But within that turmoil there are opportunities for radical change and growth. We’ve long wanted to connect better with our national and international audiences and the technology which allows us to play simultaneously to audiences in our theatre and online gives us the chance to test that ambition. Sitting alongside other experiments we’re planning in hybrid live stream theatre, the broadcasts of Flying Lovers will unlock new possibilities for us and our audiences. Through experiments like this, the theatre industry is discovering a new ways to celebrate the unique thrill of live performance some of which will remain with us long after the pandemic has been quelled.“
Mike Shepherd and Carl Grose, Kneehigh’s Artistic Directors added, “Since March, we have been incorporating digital elements and innovation into our ideas and practice in a way we’ve never done before but when it comes to productions, we’ve always struggled with how we’d present work online while still staying faithful to the spontaneous, live element that’s so intrinsic to theatre. Seeing the digital tour of Romantics Anonymous made us realise both that it is possible, and that there is a need and demand for live theatre, even if we can’t be there in person. We’re excited about developing this through working alongside Wise Children and Bristol Old Vic: collaboration is more vital than ever and we can’t wait to learn and explore together what live streaming means for the timeless story of The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk.”