‘Living Newspaper’ was delayed by the second lockdown, then moved to digital audiences only by London‘s move to Tier 3 (then 4). At time of writing, Edition 1 has been and gone, Edition 2 is available to watch online until December 27, and edition 3-6 will run in the new year, dates TBA.
The original ‘Living Newspaper’ was the product of the radical, eccentric Federal Theatre Project, an arts programme designed to employ American artists in the wake of the Great Depression that ran between 1935 and 1939.
This return to action for the Royal Court is basically the same idea: six weekly ‘editions’ of its ‘newspaper’, each ‘edited’ by a collective of writers and offering employment to actors, designers, stage managers, technicians and choreographers as they create work that responds to the issues of the day. We’re promised ‘satire, long-form think pieces, dating columns, cartoons, the world in pictures, a sports section and a surprise theatre supplement’.
We’ve been using a long of inverted commas here because frankly this isn’t very easy to picture at this point – and nor should it be, really, as exactly what gets produced will be up to the writers in charge on any given week. But there’s no denying it sounds bloody interesting. The only real stipulations are that it will to topical, socially distanced and – in line with the Court’s recent manifesto – carbon neutral.
Line ups of casts and creatives are TBA, with tickets going on sale in October. Performances will take place around the building rather than simply on the stages, and the building will be open – with appropriate social distancing measures – 11am to 11pm Thursday to Saturday.