Making theatre in a time of COVID-19: an audio tour

Mon 14 - Wed 16 Jun 2021, 10:00 - 21:00

Contact the events team for further information about accessibility at this event

Cellist performs for a small socially distanced group in a candle-lit alleyway
St Paul's Church, Bedford Street, London, WC2E 9ED

Why does live performance matter? How does it help us to connect with others? Has living through a pandemic changed it? In March 2020, the doors of theatres and other cultural venues closed. During this period of crisis, theatre makers and theatregoers alike began to reflect on what is lost when live performance cannot take place, and how they could capture this during COVID-19.

This interactive audio tour invites you to explore the grounds of the Actors’ Church, Covent Garden – a place that has a centuries-long association with theatre in London. On the eve of the second national lockdown, artists from theatre company Potential Difference created a socially distanced performance around the churchyard as part of a British Academy funded project researching attitudes to liveness and gathering during the pandemic.

Follow in the footsteps of the performance; hear and see its echoes. Listen to the artists speak about making theatre during the pandemic and share your thoughts on what theatre should be saying during this time.

Sign up to receive the full details of how to access the tour. Join the conversation online too, using the hashtag #ForCuriousMinds.

This self-guided audio tour is entirely outdoors and will take approximately 45 minutes to complete. An android smartphone or iPhone, headphones and internet connection are needed take part.

There is step-free access to the church via Bedford St and Henrietta St. While on the tour you will move around the churchyard including through paved and grassy areas. There is one area of the church’s grounds which is not wheelchair accessible: the audio tour for that area can be enjoyed from a nearby observation point. An accessible toilet is available onsite and can be accessed on request.

A link to enjoy an accessible website version of the tour will be made available here from Thursday 17 June onwards.

Dr Laura Swift, Senior Lecturer in Classical Studies, Open University
Produced by Potential Difference
With support from Iris Theatre

Laura Swift is a recipient of a British Academy Special Research Grants: COVID-19 Award 2020 – funded by BEIS.

Free, booking required

If you have any questions about this event please refer to our Public Events FAQs. If your question is not answered, please email [email protected].

Image: Photograph by Richard Wyllie.

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