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WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY: Roulette by Claire Wood

Being single sucks. Especially during a pandemic.

So what better time to resurrect hit game show, Love Roulette? This time though, there’s a difference. Current restrictions mean the producers have moved the show online. The show is still broadcast live. The audience still decide which contestants get paired in hope of finding lifelong love. But the wannabe lovers don’t just win a weekend away. They win total freedom from all restrictions so they can kindle a romance of an un-socially distant kind.

Enjoy the nation’s raciest game show hosts, Rex and Dion, seducing our contestants into baring their souls. Meet the Valentine’s Day show contestants: saucy Saira, eccentric Eartha, hard nut Harriet, tricksy Tristen and voracious Vardo. And let Maestro set your mood for love. Who’ll be happily ever after and who’ll be hurled onto the slagheap of singledom? In Love Roulette, it’s all up to you.

Written by Claire Wood (skirtbeauty) and directed by Ross Hope (JerusalemAll About My Mother), roulette is a new play, written specifically in response to theatre being performed online. The production makes the most of the digital format, using the interactive capabilities of a Zoom meeting to give the audience the power to shape the action.

Claire Wood is enthusiastic about the possibilities the technology presents.
“While we can’t make theatre in person, I’m interested in exploring how digital technology can be used to involve the audience more directly in the show. Streamed theatre hasn’t been able to elicit the same connection to the performance that we feel sat in a theatre, but I think the potential is there to make the audience feel more involved. In roulette, the audience get to choose what they see next – and ultimately, decide on the shows outcome. They’re as close to the action as they can be, with a direct influence on the story being told. It’s exciting and terrifying, all at the same time.”

Director Ross Hope adds:
“The latest series of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing got the highest viewing figures producers had seen in years. Amidst the pandemic and all the restrictions, it was glorious escapism. You won’t catch our contestants dancing but we can’t wait to see our audiences put them through their paces. roulette is frivolous, fun and frothy and delivers its message by stealth. We hope you’ll come along for the ride.”

Established in 2016 by Wood, Production Lines creates “theatre that makes a statement”. Its first production was #likes in 2016. Since the closure of theatres due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Production Lines has turned its attention to producing theatre written to be performed using the digital mediums that now connect us in our day to day lives.  Their most recent production, shrapnel, used the all too familiar Zoom format to take an insightful look at loneliness during the pandemic and all the forms it takes. roulette will be the company’s second piece performed live online.

Tickets for roulette are free, although Production Lines has asked for its viewers to consider making a donation to the Equity Benevolent Fund, which contributes to the performing arts unions subscription solidarity drive, to keep its members under the protection of the union during these difficult times for the industry.

Claire Wood
Performances 13, 14, 18, 19 & 20 February at 8pm
Tickets are free and are available from https://productionlines.eventbrite.co.uk