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ET2: Festivals ahoy! Live theatre returns!

Welcome to issue 2 of the ET newsletter. Hopefully you enjoyed the first and found something of interest. Over time we hope that we can grow the newsletter to cover much more, so your support is really appreciated.

In this edition, as well as highlighting our most recent reviews, we want to tell you about some great festivals happening over the summer. Excitingly, some of these include the chance to actually attend a live show again. I'm sure you, like us, are just itching to get back to live theatre, so check out what is coming up and maybe we'll see you there.

Latest Reviews

All these reviews are for online shows, many of which are still freely available to watch. If any take your fancy, check on our website for more details about them.

Out of Control

Author: Mike Carter

A diverting selection of new writing that makes for an enjoyable showcase, even if you're feeling slightly jaded by Lockdown’s digital content.
Out of Control, Online - Review

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk – Live in Your Living Room, Online – Review
Author: Mary Pollard

A traditional, enthusiastic panto given a techno twist on Zoom.


Author: Gabriel Wilding

A thoroughly modern horror story provoking a deeply personal connection: not for the faint of heart!
Claws, Theatre via Telephone - Review

Zoom! A Play for Lockdown

Zoom! A Play for Lockdown, Online - Review
Author: Cat Leyland

A wonderful reminder of the joy of am-dram, made by a group of people who clearly love performing and have found a fun way to keep drama going throughout Lockdown.

The Search for Freedom in Your Head

Author: Mary Pollard

Estate Endz have crafted an admirably positive piece from fragments of a crisis, which sensitively captures the humanity and commonality within a challenge shared.
The Search for Freedom in Your Head, Online - Review

Moon River

Moon River, Online - Review
Author: Mary Pollard

This is a production which embraces imagination, escape and togetherness, all vital elements to help us through Lockdown.

Select A Quest

Author: Clare Annamalai

Daft and superficially DIY this may be, but it’s cleverly put together, with great dialogue, an atmospheric soundtrack and simple but effective functionality.
Select A Quest, Online – Review

Twitter Poll

Last time out we asked if you'd be willing to pay to watch theatre online. We were really happy to see that just over half of you said you would, whilst just 10% thought it should be all be free. This week we're asking what platform you would prefer to view online theatre on. Head over to our Twitter account to take part.

You might be interested in...

Behind the Scenes

We recently reviewed Within, a live broadcast via Facebook. Threedumb Theatre have now made this short YouTube video to explain how they created parts of the show. It's an interesting insight into how things are done on a shoestring budget.

Grab your waterproofs, it's festival time.

There might not be an Edinburgh Fringe this year but that doesn't mean there are no festivals. Thankfully, with outdoor events now permitted, you even have a chance to go and see a show for real. But if you aren't ready to be outside just yet, well, there are plenty of online offerings here as well.

For those of us who are missing the actual Edinburgh Fringe, rest assured that while we haven't included details here, we'll be dedicating the next newsletter to that very thing, there is lots coming up to look forward to.

The Space's Fest 2.0

The Space is a venue that defies its small physical status, so it's no surprise they have organised an online festival right now.

They commissioned eight playwrights to write plays of up to 30 minutes in length and for two performers. The results of this can be seen at The Space's Fest 2.0, taking place on 31 July and 1 August.

Greenwich & Docklands International Festival

Taking place from 28 August to 12 September, this is London’s leading festival of free outdoor theatre and performing arts. This year, to ensure social distancing, there is a need to pre-book for certain events. One we'd highly recommend is Told by an Idiot's family friendly Get Happy. We saw them perform earlier this year in "an irresistible night of physical comedy". Tickets are available from 6 August.

Reading Fringe Festival

Officially the festival ended on 26 July, but as it's digital, many of the shows are remaining online until the end of August, so it's well worth having a look to see what was/ is on offer. And we might be biased here at ET, but we'd love to recommend High Rise Estate of the Mind from our friends at Beats & Elements, a show we described as "a perfect start to the festival" when it was part of BAC's Homegrown festival in 2019.

WAF in Your Living Room

WAF stands for Wandsworth Arts Fringe, an annual festival that would normally take place in May. Instead they have taken the festival online, and made much of it available all summer. With 104 events, including theatre, dance, comedy and music, there really is something for everyone here.

The New Normal Festival

More real life sit-in-an-audience offerings from this festival hosted by Le Gothique at the The Royal Victoria Patriotic Building in Wandsworth. It's a stone's throw from Clapham Junction so don your face mask and hop on a train. Lots on offer here, although we are most taken by Bard In The Yard, a group who have been offering to come to your back garden to perform so it's lovely to see them having an audience coming to them instead now.

Electric Dreams Online

Runing now until 16 August, this online festival is full of immersive and interactive offerings,including another chance to take part in Jury Duty, the show that earlier this year we called "a thrilling and wholly engrossing experience". This festival certainly looks to make full use of technology and is one for those who might want to be more than just a viewer.

We couldn't let this pass us by

We never realised but what we've all been missing right now is hearing extracts of Hamilton sung in Japanese. Thankfully Japanese performer Gen Parton-Shin is here to fill that void. You can catch him performing 'My Shot' on his YouTube channel. It is certainly something to behold.

Until next time

Well, that's about it for this edition. It's great to finally see that live theatre is coming back: it is what we are all here for after all. The next newsletter will be all things Edinburgh, so if you have any recommendations you think we should know about, please do get in touch at
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