Four Reading writers have penned mini audio plays about their town and their relationship to home in these challenging times.
Reading Rep has partnered with the UK’s leading new writing company Paines Plough to commission the work.
The plays, part of the project called Come to Where I Am, are available free online and, in a first, people who may find it difficult or even impossible to access digital content can hear the plays over the phone. Prospect Park Hospital which treats mental health and Purley Park Trust patients with learning disabilities will receive the free telephone and online readings.
Links to the plays will also be available www.readingrep.com.
The Reading writers are:
•Sam Butler, co-artistic director of Fevered Sleep which works across artforms making performance, installation, books, films and digital art.
•Camile Ucan, a comedy writer-performer and one third of comedy sketch group Birthday Girls whose podcast Birthday Girls’ House Party is available on BBC Sounds now. She has an extensive body of work in TV, film and theatre.
•Ali Taylor, an award-winning playwright and teacher who has created work for stage and radio.
•Adrian Tang, Artistic Director of Exit Pursued By Panda, a theatre company promoting the interests of East Asian writers, directors, actors and other creatives.
Reading Rep founder and artistic director Paul Stacey says: “We have loved collaborating with Paines Plough to create this unique project and it joins the educational outreach work we have been undertaking since theatres shut and Britain went into lockdown.
“The plays also allow isolated audience groups to access on-demand culture.
“We are also excited that we will host live performances of the plays when we begin our first season next year at our new theatre on King’s Road which is currently being built. We have plans that will incorporate social distancing if this is still the guidance by then.
“Meanwhile, please have a listen to the plays and learn more about what Reading means as home to all of us. We have all spent so much time in our home town for the last few months that it makes them especially poignant.”
Actors including David Bradley, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Lisa Hammond and Sally Dynevor will read the plays over the phone for isolated audiences. In total, 30 short plays are being commissioned.