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Theatre becomes democratic

It's been sad but equally fascinating to see how theatre has reacted to the lockdown.

Sad? Because so much hard work by so many people has gone to waste. I especially feel for those young actors who had just got their 'big break' and had all that joy and hope doused.

Fascinating? Because there has been a step-change in democratisation of theatre as suddenly plays that were only open to the reasonably well-off or cognescenti were firstly broadcast to cinemas (better availability but still for those who perhaps already loved it) but now it's been streamed free to homes. Switch off Eastenders, lets have Paapa Essiedu's Hamlet from the RSC (outstanding). Turn off Brtitatin's Got Talent, Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Frankenstein at the National.

I kind of hope it stays this way. It will probably take years for theatres to feel properly safe again and in that time the audience can either bleed away or be engaged directly as it is at present. And once a play is done what is there to lose in making it available to the public?

And for people like me, TV is no substitute for the excitement of live theatre and I'll be back, but in the meantime I'm loving catching so many brilliant pieces of work that I missed first time around.

Make the most of it, people!

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