Roz Bell, Head of Live Performance at Eden Court, reflects on the difficulties facing live theatre programming - and why our Stage on Screen season presents some solace.
At a time when the live programme for both our Empire and OneTouch stages has been completely decimated because of the coronavirus pandemic, we are really lucky to have our very own Paul MacDonald-Taylor (Head of Film & Visual Art), who has put together a brilliant programme of drama, musicals, opera and music to whet the appetite of those, like me, who prefer their performances ‘live’ and are suffering withdrawal symptoms. It has been incredibly hard for the Programming team to be unable to bring work to our stages for you all to enjoy and the words "reschedule, postpone or cancel" are ones we really don’t want to keep using for too much longer!
I grew up seeing my Dad on various stages across Scotland, but particularly in Edinburgh at The Royal Lyceum Theatre when he was in rep for most of my teenage years. Here is one of my favourites – as Mr Badger in The Wind in the Willows.
My parents also ran a touring company Prime Productions before they both retired, which brought many amazing productions to venues across the Highlands and Islands, including Eden Court.
Now in their 90s, they were still going to see live theatre and opera until just a few years ago.
They are heart-broken at the current situation and if they were still able to, I am absolutely sure they would be first in the queue to see some of the Stage on Screen productions to keep alive the joy of seeing performances on stage and seeing productions that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to at all.
Some of the upcoming Stage on Screen titles we have programmed in our cinemas have also previously graced our Empire stage including Cosi fan Tutte, The Nutcracker, All My Sons, The Snow Queen and Cinderella.
I think that whatever form of live theatre or concert you enjoy there will always be something here to entice you into Eden Court. However, if you are more of a film fan, this is your chance to experience something new.
What would I like to see most? An almost impossible choice!
I have a sneaking suspicion that I will see a whole lot more, the temptation will be too much!
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