Creativity in lockdown

Lockdown has seen a rise in some wonderfully creative thinking from our brilliant industry when it comes to finding different ways to deliver performances to audiences despite restrictions. Here we highlight some of the work our clients have been involved with during lockdown.

Marc Zayat has been kept busy with the new and hilarious comedy play, Bog Roll Bandits. Hosted by Ethereal Theatre Company, which Marc also co-founded, and in collaboration with The Cockpit Broadcast, Bog Roll Bandits follows six neighbours in lockdown prepared to risk everything to pull off the biggest toilet paper heist of 2020. Set in the magical world of Zoom, with friendships, jobs and Banana Bread on the line, will they succeed? Marc is co-creator of the project and plays the role of the lovable, geeky conspiracy theorist, Tyler.

Another Actorum member creating brilliant lockdown-inspired work is Maria Forrester who is currently co-writing, co-producing and co-starring in new web series, The Insiders. Available to view on YouTube, the series follows the highs and lows of a couple isolating together during the Covid-19 lockdown in London. It’s a feel-good, modern series that tackles a relevant and difficult subject with loads of heart and courage. Impressively, the series is all shot on one iPhone in a small one-bed flat.

It’s not all about brand new work though, Actorum’s Ben Galpin recently took part in a live-streamed reading of Shakespeare’s Love Labour’s Lost as part of The Show Must Go Online. The project comprises a global cast in weekly readings of the Complete Plays of Shakespeare, read in the order they were believed to have been written. Ben played the love-struck Berowne, complete with a green parrot, collection of hats and a wooden spoon tree! Full show available here.

Nadia Shash can be seen on The Little Angel Theatre’s YouTube channel reading the well-loved classic Beauty and the Beast. These recordings are part of The Little Angel Theatre’s ‘Stories for Children’ series, taking tales, read by some of their brilliant actor-puppeteers, in to their audience’s homes to provide some comfort and entertainment whilst the theatre is having to be closed. Nadia has previously worked with Little Angel Theatre on both Zeraffa Giraffa and Emily Rising.

Rosie Abraham can also be seen online reading a children’s story and hers is for dramatherapy charity, Roundabout. Since the start of lockdown Roundabout has been providing therapeutic online resources for their clients, one of which is “Roundabout-A-Story”. It aims to create a bank of stories for children and their families to share at this challenging time. Rosie wrote and recorded a story called Magnificent Dolores, which is about a pony who doesn’t know she’s a unicorn.

Ben Galpin & Marc Zayat perform at Sharjah Fringe Festival

Ben Galpin and Marc Zayat travelled to the inaugural Sharjah Fringe Festival in the United Arab Emirates to perform in Joyce.

Ben played Dad and Marc played Bo-Bo the Hamster, who journey together into the world of a storybook in this hilarious and heart-warming family show. On their way, they meet some extraordinary characters including a stick of Dynamite who could explode at any moment; an inventive, futuristic Spacewoman; a daydreaming medieval Prince; and a Giant who yearns to be small.

Complete with puppetry, music and live magic, this enchanting and colourful new adventure dazzled audiences from 18 Jan – 1 Feb 2020. Read more on the Sharjah Fringe website or enjoy the trailer below.

Carys Gaylor & Marc Zayat in Bigger People

Two Actorum members Carys Gaylor and Marc Zayat worked with Pentabus Theatre and The Local Group to develop work-in-progress performances of Bigger People.

Written by Róise Goan and directed by Pentabus’ Artistic Director Sophie Motley the show explored the experience of being a fat person in a world that works hard to make you smaller. The show was supported by Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray and Cork Midsummer Festival.

Read more on the Pentabus Theatre website.

Marc Zayat in Watford Palace’s Panto

Exciting new Actorum signing and recent ArtsEd graduate Marc Zayat is joining the company for Watford Palace Theatre’s magical pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.

Watford Palace promise a lavish spectacle with live musicians on stage, stunning sets and costumes, song, dance and slapstick, performed straight from the heart by a talented company of new faces and Palace favourites.

Marc plays the all-singing, all-dancing (and not to forget rapping!) Moo Moo The Cow. No traditional panto cow, Moo Moo is a sassy yet lovable, gender neutral, turnip loving sidekick and loyal friend to Jack.

Jack and the Beanstalk runs from 5 December 2018 – 5 January 2019, full details on the Watford Palace website.