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First Major Socially Distanced Play Starring ‘The Crown’ Claire Foy and Matt Smith

First Major Socially Distanced Play Starring ‘The Crown’ Claire Foy and Matt Smith

  • Claire Foy and Matt Smith will perform a play to a virtual audience in accordance to social distance restrictions.

As a move forward to offset the impact of the novel coronavirus, UK based theater The Old Vic will shift to operate in a new type of business model that meets the new normal by live streaming performances from an empty theater onto a virtual audience.

Netflix’s The Crown stars Matt Smith and Award-winning actress Claire Foy will reunite to reprise their roles in Duncan Macmillan’s play Lungs. This play represents the first major play to be live-streamed and to be modified to keep social distance between the actors. This move will also set precedent for other productions to follow while social distancing restrictions are set in place.

The theater’s doors still remain closed today in line with government advice and are expected to stay closed to the public until the latest July. The live stream offering will allow up to 1,000 theatre aficionados per night to experience the play with tickets ranging from £10–£65, US$12-$80, both capacity and prices reflecting the same norm of the venue pre-pandemic.

Macmillan’s drama revolves around two people who wrestle with the idea of bringing a baby into the world while facing the dilemmas of climate change and the melting ice caps, of overpopulation and political unrest. The emotional comedy originally sold out during its 2019 run and was intended to be staged in New York at Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Harvey Theater for a limited run late March of this year, around the time the state became the most affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Old Vic is a charity and is not supported by the regular financial help of the local authority or the Arts Council in the UK. The virtual audience will be encouraged to donate, when possible, in support of The Old Vic theater and the arts it represents.

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