The former The Crown stars will be performing at the play's original venue, The Old Vic Theatre in London, to help the theatre during this difficult time.
Earlier this month, The Guardian reported that the iconic theatre is in a "seriously perilous" position. The Old Vic Theatre's artistic director Matthew Warchus warned that the independent, not-for-profit theatre has been hit hard with COVID-19 and the temporary closure of its space since mid-March. The Old Vic is a charity that relies entirely on ticket sales, sponsorship and donations, and its reserve funds will not last more than a "small number of months," according to the director. Additionally, it is not eligible for Arts Council England's £160m emergency relief fund, according to the BBC.
In an effort to adapt to this trying time, The Old Vic has launched new initiatives including the socially distanced performances of Lungs, where Matt and Claire will reprise their original roles of M and W, respectively.
Viewers will have the chance to virtually see the play during several live performances in June. In a nod to the physical venue's seating capacity, tickets for each performance will be limited to 1,000 viewers, and tickets will range from £10 to £65 (approximately $17 to $110).
All viewers will technically have the same view when watching online, but they will be asked to "select a seat" and ticket price, as one typically would have when buying theatre tickets online.
There will be no audience inside the theatre to ensure safety and social distancing.
"This series is both an exciting creative experiment and also crucial in igniting the box office now all our usual channels of revenue have been entirely wiped out and we fight to preserve this beloved theatre for our audiences," a statement from The Old Vic read.
It continued on Twitter, "Yes it’s not the perfect circumstances, but let’s go into this with open arms."
‘Yes it’s not the perfect circumstances, but let’s go into this with open arms’
Claire Foy and Matt Smith will perform a socially distanced version of Lungs live from our stage for a limited number of live streamed performances in June #OVInCamerahttps://t.co/2r4VqFT2fYpic.twitter.com/6OTbEljmBY
— The Old Vic (@oldvictheatre) May 27, 2020
Lungs was directed by Matthew Warchus and written by Duncan Macmillan. It is described as a "hilarious emotional rollercoaster of a play about a couple wrestling with life’s biggest dilemmas," including debating about when to start a family.
Claire and Matt had a successful run at The Old Vic Theatre in the parts in 2019. They were originally going to reprise their roles on the stage in Brooklyn this spring, according to Playbill. However, the spread of the coronavirus halted the production.
Fans of seeing Claire portray Queen Elizabeth II on The Crown in seasons one and two alongside Matt's Prince Philip will no doubt be pleased to see the pair reuniting and showing their support to the arts world and The Old Vic.
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