An award-winning Northern theatre company has released a series of online Covid-19 Monologues written by and starring talent from across the country. Elysium Theatre Company, which has bases in Durham and Manchester, was forced to cancel all its planned live performances when lockdown hit in 2019, leaving the company at a crossroads.
Its Artistic Director and founder, Jake Murray, decided to adapt the company to its new surroundings, and commissioned a host of writers to create one-person pieces which were performed, filmed and directed using social distancing.
Its two series of Monologues – totalling eleven individual pieces – were a roaring success, reaching tens of thousands of people online and receiving awards and accolades in the process.
Awards for the Monologues
Elysium’s dedication to this championing of new writing earned Elysium the prestigious Olwen Wymark Award from the Writers Guild of Great Britain in 2021, while one of its Monologues – ‘The Moth’, was selected for 24 international film festivals.
Another three Monologues, grouped together into ‘The Covid-19 Trilogy’, won Best Monologue in the Thornhill Theatre Space Online Festival 2021.
Because of their success, Jake has decided to embark on a third volume of Monologues, written by and starring talent from mainly the North East and Manchester, and this is set to take two live productions on tour this autumn.
Watch the Monologues online
All of Elysium’s online productions, including the latest six, which have just been released, are available here.
“Covid-19 forced us online, and it goes to show that necessity really is the mother of invention. We haven’t looked back since our first foray into online work. It is a whole new medium for us that we want to continue moving forward – it’s not film and it’s not theatre, but somewhere in between.
“While most of our previous Monologues focused on the pandemic itself and living within it, with these latest pieces we are able to both look back on the worst of the pandemic and begin to look forward.
“We are so excited to be bringing another six fantastic plays to the people, created by a set of supremely-talented writers, from a diverse range of background, and performed by some incredible actors. This new medium has opened up a whole new landscape for us and enabled us to move from performing classics and modern plays to getting involved with creating original work.
“The future looks very exciting for Elysium!”
You can also see Elysium Theatre live onstage in their production of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.
Tour dates: for A Doll’s House
28 & 29 Sept – Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham
30 Sept – The Witham, Barnard Castle
1 Oct – The Exchange, North Shields
3 Oct – Alnwick Playhouse, Alnwick
5 – 8 Oct – Assembly Rooms Theatre, Durham
11 Oct – Princess Alexandria, Yarm
12 Oct – Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond
13 Oct – Fire Station, Sunderland
14 Oct – Town Hall, Bishop Auckland
15 Oct – Civic Theatre, Gosforth
And Elysium Theatre also have a tour coming up in November. This is Reiver – Tales from the Borders. More coming soon…