What a time to star in a play about whether or not it’s a good idea to bring children into this increasingly uncertain world. That’s what The Crown’s Claire Foy and Matt Smith will be doing at the Old Vic in London this June, in a version of Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs. It will be adapted with “socially distanced performances” in light of the coronavirus pandemic to allow the actors to remain two meters (since this is the U.K.) apart. The play will be performed without an audience in the theater, and livestreamed to up to 1,000 people per night, with ticket prices set between 10 and 65 pounds, mirroring the Old Vic’s standard pricing. Foy and Smith previously earned acclaim for their performance in the original staging, directed by Matthew Warchus, and were set to bring it to BAM in New York this spring, before the pandemic canceled those plans. This production is the first major attempt of its kind in the U.K. to perform theater in some kind of socially distant form. It’s part of an initiative from the Old Vic that will include plans to stream rehearsed play readings, and also raise money for the theater, which — like many at the moment — is in dire financial straits.
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