Dr Blood’s Old Travelling Show will perform at some of the country’s most prestigious theatres for a run of socially distanced outdoor performances. And all ticket sale proceeds are being donated to the venues as a “thank you” by show producers Imitating The Dog.
The first performance of the bone-chilling new production will be staged to a standing audience of 100 outside Leeds Playhouse tonight and the three-week tour will also take in The Lowry in Manchester on Saturday
A number of groups from across the industry have banded together to loan vital equipment free of charge, enabling the show to get on the road.
Artistic director Andrew Quick said: “With this show we are moving towards a new way of delivering theatre. We have been increasingly concerned about the damage this period of lockdown has done, and continues to do, to UK theatres.
“Without thriving venues, the ecology of our sector is undermined. Our new outdoor production has been conceived in response to this crisis. We wanted to make a show which could safely tour to venues, in this time of restrictions, and be financially viable for venues to programme.”
The show will also be filmed to enable it to be shown via online platforms at a later date after the tour visits Halifax, Lancaster, Manchester and Coventry.
Imitating The Dog, who created the award-winning Night of the Living Dead Remix production, say they are determined to give venues as “much support as possible during these difficult times”.
Andrew added: “We are making the production free to venues. This tests a radical new model for touring work in the UK.
“It’s a strange time to be making a new show but we are really looking forward to meeting the new challenges of creating work in the present conditions. We felt it was important to keep going and create a piece that was not only magical and entertaining but will abide by social distancing guidance and be COVID 19 safe. It will be a challenge but it is a hugely entertaining production that is scary in parts but also full of fun, with some deep and dark themes running through it.
“I just can’t wait to share with audiences and venues that have supported us over the last decade and for us all to come together and experience all the joys of live theatre outdoors.”
Leeds Playhouse artistic director James Brining said: “We are working together with all our theatre partners to make sure that everyone who is coming back to watching live theatre does so in a safe environment. It is fantastic to see artists and theatre companies who throughout this time have grabbed the opportunity to create new work and explore different ways to entertain an audience.”
For tour information visit www.imitatingthedog.co.uk