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In collaboration with The Guardian, the venue will share on demand three of its most acclaimed shows, in order to help the audience cope with the lockdown. Featuring plays which revolve around historic events and real characters, each production will be available for a whole week. This series is part of an initiative called #HampsteadTheatreAtHome, which was started in mid-March with a broadcast on Instagram.

We said it last week and we say it again today: the venues may be closed, but the theatre can never be shut down. And though it’s true that the magic of a live show will be on hold for a little while, the allure of stage fiction will keep enchanting us thanks to the endeavour of many brave companies. Hampstead Theatre joins the ‘home-entertainment’ group with a new offer featuring some of its most acclaimed plays. In collaboration with the renowned newspaper The Guardian, the organization will stream three of its most recent montages, which will be available on demand for the next three weeks.

“I am delighted and grateful to be in a position to offer this new series from Hampstead’s digital archive”, said the venue’s artistic director, Roxana Silbert. “I hope these productions offer audiences entertainment, connection and nourishment in a time of uncertainty and isolation. These three plays all shine a light on turbulent points in our international history which, along with acknowledging the worst of human behaviour, celebrates the ingenuity, humour, compassion and resilience of the best”.

The series, which is called #HampsteadTheatreAtHome, premiered last Monday with Mike Bartlett’s Wild (2016).  Available until next Sunday at 10 pm (GMT), this dark comedy directed by James Macdonald explores the consequences of challenging the system – in a story inspired by the case of Edward Snowden, who leaked classified information from the US National Security Agency in 2013. From from Monday 6 April, 10 am to Sunday 12 April, 10pm, it will be time to enjoy Beth Steel’s Wonderland (2014), which revolves around the historic ’84-85 miner strike in the UK, which changed the face and course of a nation. Finally, from Monday 13 April, 10 am to Sunday 19 April, 10 pm (GMT), the audience will be able to Howard Brenton’s Drawing the Line (2013). Directed by Howard Davis and narrated through a a large ensemble, the play celebrates the strength of humanity during the partitioning of India in 1947.

After closing on March 16th due to the Gorvenment advice, Hampstead Theatre has developed several initiatives to help people cope with the lockdown. The first one was broadcast on Instagram’s IGTV platform and featured Lauren Gunderson’s I and You. Starring Starring Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and Zach Wyatt, the play was a box office and critical success at the theatre in 2018 and was previously shared on Instagram from 30 November to 3 December 2018.

You can watch Hampstead Theatre’s streaming offer on the following links: theguardian.com and hampsteadtheatre.com.

By Guillermo Názara