Theatre in Quarantine

For those of us lucky enough to be escaping the clutches of the omnipotent Madame Corana (only feminised because the name ends in the letter ‘a’!), passing time can be an issue in the days spent in at home instead of gallivanting. When the accumulated chores you said you’d get round to one of these days are done and daytime TV holds no charm; when you’ve had your daily exercise and the radio’s playing the wrong kind of music for your mood; when that crossword clue evades and the day’s inventive meal has been prepared, what’s left? Those of us who thrive on the arts can be grateful to the various arts organisations who have put together virtual tours and the chance to watch older performances on-line.

One such initiative comes from Glasgow based company Rapture Theatre. Suitably starting on World Theatre Day, 27th March, the company started publishing a weekly online performance from actors who have worked with Rapture over the years entitled Rapture Mini Bites.

Warmly introduced by Rapture’s founder and artistic co-director Michael Emans, each actor, whose identity is unknown till the day of the screening, performs from their own isolated personal space. 

The first five of these short pieces provide a variety of genres within the small time frame that give a pleasing one to one intimacy with each artist. Opening the series in March was Liverpool actor John McCardle who robustly delivered the so called bastard speech from King Lear in his native Liverpudlian accent as he had done to audition for acting school. Next up was Dave Anderson giving a rendition tinged with a particular poignancy of Aa the Best When it Comes, the song he wrote to close Tony Roper’s  much loved play The Steamie. 

A poetry reading from Robin Kingsland was third on the list where he read, in a gently generic American accent Robert Frost’s enigmatic and philosophical work, The Road Not Taken. The following week saw an oldish film from Raindog theatre company where Monarch of the Glen actor Alexander Morton menacingly delivers a speech as Banquo in a Glaswegian accent. It would have been a pity to have two bits of Shakespeare and no Burns, but Jo Freer made sure that wasn’t so with her fresh and clear version of his hymn to humanity, A Man’s a Man for aa That.

These first 5 hold the promise of a sanity saving treat in the form of a new Mini Bite coming along each Friday during the pandemic, available across all Rapture’s social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. 

In the meantime, you can go back to crocheting an avocado or making a macramé version of the leaning Tower of Pisa!  Stay well.

Irene Brown

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