Rachael Stirling & Alec Newman Star in
Love In The Lockdown
4 March to Sunday 23 May 2021
by Nicholas Renton
Leading actors of the stage and screen Rachael Stirling and Alec Newman are set to star in a new topical online play with music, due to be released in nine episodes on YouTube next month from 4 March to 23 May 2021.
The drama, directed by Nicholas Renton (BAFTA-nominated Mrs Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters, Musketeers, A Room With A View, Lewis, Silent Witness), follows medieval musician Emilia (Stirling) and playwright Giovanni (Newman) in the early stages of an intense relationship, which starts with awkward early Zoom dates just before lockdown. Each short episode will be streamed in real time on the anniversary of some of the key points in Lockdown 1.0. Comedian, Impressionist and Actor Jon Culshaw has a cameo as the voice of Boris Johnson in episode 3.
Over 3 months, the separated lovers get closer. They
also work on a project together, inspired by The Decameron by Boccaccio, a “14th Century box set” of 100 stories
told by young people to while away their quarantine during the Black Death in
Florence in 1348. Giovanni reimagines this work, drawing out parallels with the
COVID-19 pandemic, while Emilia and her ensemble, played by real medieval music
group The Telling, plan the music.
However, their relationship ultimately gets tested and
the challenges they face lead them on a soul-searching journey to discover
their artistic truth.
The drama is written by playwright and soprano Clare Norburn, with music performed by Norburn’s music ensemble The Telling, who are renowned for their concertplays which immerse audiences in a world where music and theatre collide.
Rachael Stirling comments: “Clare’s beautiful piece dramatises a lockdown experience of a live musician with the generous, funny and painful insight of her first-hand experience. She has written a drama for every creative who was told to retrain.”
Norburn was Inspired to write this play following
her own experience of navigating a relationship long-distance during lockdown, the
playwright says of the storyline: “I realised recently that I have written a
kind of “La La Land in a pandemic” in that it follows an intense
relationship between lovers from two different artistic worlds, music and
drama, and how they ultimately learn through the relationship what their
artistic truth is. Love in the Lockdown
also charts the devastating effect the pandemic is having on those working in
the Arts, with Emilia forced to stack shelves in order to pay her rent.”
Love in the Lockdown will be directed and filmed entirely over Zoom and by actors and musicians on their phones and recording devices. Each episode will be released on YouTube in real time, a year on from the point in 2020. The series can also be viewed in its entirety from 23 – 31 May.
In the Lockdown will be free to watch.
March – 23 May. The series can also be
viewed in its entirety from 23 – 31 May.
Thursday 4th March 2021, 2pm
Friday 5th March 2021, 6pm
Tuesday 23rd March 2021, 8pm
Wednesday 24th March 2021, 5.15pm
Thursday 15th April 2021, 5pm
Wednesday 5th May 2021, 10am
Thursday 13th May 2021, 6pm
Saturday 15th May 2021, 11am
Sunday 23rd May 2021, 7pm
Emilia Rachael Stirling
Voice of Boris Johnson Jon Culshaw
News announcer/Giovanni’s Mum Suzanne Ahmet
Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief
Medical Officer Teresa Banham
Emilia’s ensemble: The
Prüssner, voice, medieval harp, percussion
Smith, harps and percussion
Jimenez, Vielle (early violin)
And Production Team
Writer Clare Norburn
Director Nicholas Renton
Music arranged & performed by The Telling
Producer Clare Norburn
Production Assistant & Editor Stephanie