London's Young Vic is to live stream all future productions - in an innovative way - setting the stage for others to follow.
The Young Vic plans to livestream all of its future productions, its artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah says, insisting theatre can never go back to being something that can only be experienced by physically being there and that the pandemic had changed theatre forever, with the livestreaming of plays becoming the 'future normal' of how the industry will operate.
Kwei-Armah said that during lockdown he had resolved to “innovate, not just replicate” resulting in a project titled Best Seat in Your House which will use multiple cameras and allow online audiences to change what they are looking at.
The issue with Zoom plays, he told The Guardian, was they are “curated through the lens” of the director. “What do I love about the live experience? Even though the director pushes me in the direction of where he or she wants me to look, I have the final say. I can choose to look at the person who is stage left. I can choose to look at the person who is stage right. I can choose to look at my fellow audience members. That’s really where the idea was born - of giving the audience the choice to change seats.”
There will also be the option to do none of that and opt for the “director’s cut”. Wouldn't it be good news if this is how the delight of live theatre reaches a wider audience?