Theatre in Quarantine 2

As promised back in March this year, Glasgow based company Rapture Theatre has been publishing a weekly online performance from actors who have worked with Rapture over the years entitled Rapture Mini Bites. The first were mentioned in the Radio Summerhall Arts article Theatre in Quarantine and were appropriately kicked off on World Theatre Day, 27th March.

Each Friday during the month of May, five new performances appeared on YouTube and were introduced by Rapture’s increasingly hirsute Artistic Co-Director Michael Means. These wee informal gems, that are filmed during isolation by the actors, offer a brief taste of the range of talent that Rapture has or has had access to over the years.

On Friday 1st May, Sara Stewart, who starred in Rapture’s acclaimed Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? delivered a monologue by the wonderful comedienne Joyce Grenfell, who adapted her characters for a US audience when she moved to the States in the ‘50s.   With a glamour suitable to the piece (and that is remarkable in lockdown!) Stewart speaks with affection and warmth of her childhood memories of listening to Grenfell.   She brings vibrant life to the 6 minute piece as she brilliantly captures the relationship some rich Americans have with their therapist.

Another sartorial lockdown miracle comes from Michael McKenzie who starred in Rapture’s The Browning Version last year. On 15th May, beautifully dapper in a corduroy waistcoated suit and what looks like a dram in hand, he delivers Shakespeare’s All the World’s a Stage, when man’s lifespan is neatly captured in the concision of a few lines, with a real humanity.  

For Mental Health Awareness Week, Scottish playwright Mike Cullen performed his own song Coming Home about PTSD with lyrics helpfully appearing on screen during singing the 7 minute rendition and Shakespeare gets another airing on 8th May when Dylan Blore read Sonnets from Fair Youth

So what and who rounds off the month of May for this variety of mini bites? Friday 29th May saw none other than Jane McCarry, best known for playing the well-loved character Isa in Still Game as her own fresh and cheery self, give a cheeky, feisty rendition of renowned Scots writer, Matthew Fitt’s salutary poem Kate O’Shanter’s Tale.  

Available across all Rapture’s social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, Rapture Theatre will continue to post these theatrical surprises every Friday. Even if you feel like dropping out during lockdown, you won’t drop off listening to these, so tune in and turn on! 

Irene Brown

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