Three Musketeers hit the road for West Sussex and Brighton dates
After a frustrating few months, West Sussex touring theatre company This Is My Theatre unveil their “socially-distanced picnic plan” for safe theatre as they go on the road.
The show is The Three Musketeers which they will be performing with just three actors multi-roling furiously – plus a puppet.
Ethan Taylor, Athos amongst other roles, is delighted to be back.
Performances include: August 23, 3pm – Upper Beeding Pharmacy, Upper Beeding; August 26, 3pm – The Hawth Theatre, Crawley; August 30, 3pm – Danny House, Hurstpierpoint; and September 6, 2pm – Brighton Open Air Theatre.
“It has been a pretty rocky road for us, just as it has been for everyone. As soon as we heard we were going into lockdown, we got together thinking how we could still pull something together but keep it safe, how we could continue to produce and create. We ended up doing a couple of projects online. We did something for VE Day and also for St George’s Day just to keep people interested. We very much wanted to get something out, but we just had to make sure that we could do it safely.
“We had to pull two big tours that we had coming up, The Tempest and Jane Eyre. We were looking at all the guidance and gauging what we could do, and when it became clear that we couldn’t do The Tempest, we were still thinking ‘Can we do Jane Eyre?’ and when it became clear that we couldn’t do Jane Eyre, we were thinking ‘But can we still do The Three Musketeers?’ Our focus became The Three Musketeers as soon as we could. And we spent a good few months creating our own plans for the measures we could put in place.”
The result is a tour which now runs through until September 6: “We thought it would end up being a much shorter tour, but the venues were all very keen to have us once they heard what we were doing. We have got our socially-distanced picnic plan that we have shown to venues and they are all very keen.”
Theatre-goers have got a choice between small, medium, large and extra-large picnic spots, with each picnic spot carefully set out two metres from the next.
“We won’t be wearing masks on the stage. What we have done instead is we have created our own bubble within the company. We have all been living together. With The Three Musketeers there is a lot of stage combat, and we realised that we wouldn’t be able to do it in a socially-distanced way on stage. So we have created our own bubble and we are going to be socially distanced from the audience.”
The audience will start two metres from the stage: “There is singing in the performance and so we will have to remember to make sure we are three metres away from them when we sing. We will have to go to the back of the stage when we sing to get that extra metre.
“I think it will all be less bizarre than socially-distanced performances indoors where people are more used to being shoulder to shoulder. We quite often perform to people in picnic spaces. Now we will just have to ensure that there is the distance between them. People will enjoy it. It’s great to be back. It has been a difficult few months.”
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