Photo credit: Natasha Marshall in Half Breed (Photo by Helen Maybanks)

BBC Arts to collaborate with British theatres

The 'Lights Up' season will celebrate British actors across television, film and radio.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

Continuing the Culture in Quarantine initiative, BBC Arts will work with British theatres for a new season. Kickstarting in 2021, newly-recorded productions will premiere on television and radio, with BBC Arts partnering with 12 theatres.

As part of 'BBC Lights Up', 15 plays will be recorded, including plays which have never been performed in front of an audience. Director of BBC Arts, Jonty Claypole said: "This has been the hardest year in living memory for the performing arts - and the crisis is far from over. It is only right that the BBC - which has worked arm-in-arm with writers, performers and off-stage talent day-in day-out over the last 100 years - should support and celebrate our performing arts at this time... Theatre has been at the heart of our culture for centuries and will continue to be so for many to come."

Productions announced in the season so far include:

Adam: Inspired by the life of Adam Kashmiry, a young transgender man, Frances Poet's play will be adapted into a telelvision drama. Kashmiry will play the titular role, first staged at the National Theatre of Scotland in 2017.

Buttercup: The Liverpool-based theatre company 20 Stories High will present their newest play on television. It's a story about survival and dealing with childhood trauma.

Harm: Filmed exclusively for television, Phoebe Eclair-Powell's one-woman play explores the effect of social media, loneliness and isolation.

Half Breed: Presented at Soho Theatre, Miranda Cromwell directs Natasha Marshall's dark comic, asking what it means to find your voice.

Pale Sister: Adapting Sophocles' Greek tragedy, Lisa Dwan reprises her performance as Ismene, written by Colm Tóibín.

Sadie: David Ireland's newest work about a complicated relationship makes its international premiere, written by David Ireland and starring Abigail McGibbon. Conleth Hill directs.

Sitting: Katherine Parkinson stars in her debut play, following three people as they sit for a painter. Jeremy Herrin directs Sitting, first seen in London at the Arcola Theatre.

The Fishermen: Seen at Trafalgar Studios, The Fishermen will be adapted for a radio presentation. The company stars Valentine Olukoga, winner of Best Actor at the Black British Theatre Awards 2020. 

Full details of BBC Lights Up are to be confirmed.

Photo credit: Natasha Marshall in Half Breed (Photo by Helen Maybanks)

Originally published on

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