London-based Lambert Jackson productions has come up with a way to keep entertaining as coronavirus brings things to a halt. The company behind the U.K productions of “The Secret Garden” and “Love at the Musicals” has teamed up with London’s Theatre Cafe to keep the lights on as theaters around the country go dark. The live-streamed series “Leave a Light On” will begin on March 23 beginning with 3, 45-minute concerts performed each day.
Creative director Eliza Jackson said, “When we heard that there was a potential that theatres were going to go dark, it was hard to contemplate just how many people in the theatre industry would be effected – from performers, creatives, technical crews, producers, front of house and so many more, we knew we had to do something to help out.” And like other companies, Jackson has scrambled to reschedule shows but is set to suffer a huge financial loss.
The effect of coronavirus means many shows will have to shut down completely with no possibility of reopening, and Jackson says, “it may take months, or even years to fully recover.”
And that’s when Lambert Jackson came up with the idea of putting on a series of paid, live-streamed concerts that will help keep theater performers working and provide an income. “Leave a Light On” will be live-streamed from the cafe and for a small fee, viewers will be able to tune in to watch the piano vocal concerts from the intimate environment.
Since announcing the initiative less than 24-hours ago, Jackson has been able to secure the following performers: David Hunter (star of “Waitress” and “Kinky Boots”), Alice Fearn (star of “Come From Away” and “Wicked”) and Aimie Atkinson (star of “Pretty Woman” and “Six”).
“We’re in for something special,” Jackson promises. “This can be a scary world for a freelance worker, so we all need to do what we can to support each other and this is Jamie and my small way of doing our bit to help our community.”
Jackson adds that safety is a prime concern for artists and staff. “We are keeping the shows extremely intimate, in most cases, just a solo artist and piano.” In addition to limiting the performers, Jackson will also limit the number of crew (videographers and producers). “We will be alert and sensible so we can make sure this series can go ahead without any problems.”
The online location that will house these live stream performances has not yet been decided, but check back for more updates and links to watch.
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