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Lucy Popescu’s theatre news: Going Viral; The Blackrock Girl; Arts Council’s £160m pledge

27 March, 2020 — By Lucy Popescu

Daniel Bye’s Going Viral

IT’S no surprise to learn that creative people are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, the closures of theatres across the country and our current lock­down. Companies and performers are finding ways to share their shows online and quarantined culture lovers are increasingly tuning in to radio drama.

Daniel Bye has posted his 2015 one-man production, Going Viral, on YouTube. It’s about a plague of weeping and won a Fringe First award at Edinburgh. Find it at

Headlong and Century Films have announced a new digital project entitled Unprecedented: Real Time Theatre from a State of Isolation. They are collaborating with celebrated playwrights including April De Angelis, Clint Dyer and Chloë Moss, directors and actors, to create a series of digital plays responding to the current crisis. Using digital conferencing technology, and combining live and pre-recorded material, these original plays will give a unique insight into this unprecedented communal experience. The series will be published online in April for audiences to stream directly from their homes. Visit: to subscribe for further info.

Local theatres, do keep us updated about your activities so we can share with the local community. Email me at

Meanwhile, let’s not forget radio drama. Lucy Gannon’s two-part drama, The Blackrock Girl, airs on BBC Radio 4 today (Thursday) from 2.15pm to 3pm (and will be available via BBC Radio 4’s website and BBC Sounds after that.) Set in Ireland, Theresa Finn appears in a sleepy rural village, claiming she’s from Blackrock. But there’s something not quite right about Finn and is she really who she says she is? In the first episode, Finn arrives in Bridesway moving into the dilapidated Manse House with a view to doing it up and starting a new life. She begins to befriend the whole village but Martin, a retired policeman, thinks there’s something fishy going on…

• Arts Council England has pledged £160 million to help cultural organisations, freelancers and individual artists survive the coronavirus crisis. The money is intended to prevent them from going under, and to encourage artistic responses “to buoy the public” during the lockdown.


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