In Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, the seats are empty, waiting for an audience that hasn’t been able to enjoy live entertainment in the traditional sense for almost a year now.
But just because the audience is not physically present, it doesn’t mean that work is not being made.
The Olympia’s streamed Christmas Panto was shown in 24 countries, for example, and later this month audiences can enjoy Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, starring Siobhan McSweeney, live from the theatre.
Supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media as part of the Pilot Live Performance Support Scheme, it’s one of two live shows being produced by Landmark Productions this month.
The Approach, by Mark O’Rowe will also be streamed from the Project Theatre in Temple Bar next Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Landmark’s Anne Clarke says that staging the performances live will help give audiences the feeling of being at a show, while actress Cathy Belton described bringing live theatre to homes worldwide as ‘a privilege’.
“This is an extraordinary play at any time, but even more extraordinary given the circumstances we are in” says Derry Girls star Siobhan McSweeney about Happy Days.
She says that just as the theatre industry has shown resilience in the face of Covid-19, Winnie in Happy Days also shows resilience, and that’s it’s the perfect play to stage in this way.
Further details of the productions, and information on tickets can be found at Landmark Productions.