Looking back at the new world of Theatre at The Student
In the year that theatres around the world closed their doors, the stage has undoubtedly suffered. Luckily, the theatre community is not one that falls silent too easily. Adaptations, recordings, and even radio drama have come through in a massive way to save the day – and so much of it was covered here at The Student. Read on for a round up of what has been probably the weirdest, but also maybe the most inspiring, year of theatre journalism.
Still managing to do what we know best, our writers were busy this year consuming and reviewing shows. While they confirmed that watching a stage film while tucked up in your own bed is not quite as exciting and atmospheric as going to an actual theatre, it also allowed for the discovery of some impressive new shows, specially made for online viewing. With several interactive Zoom shows like The Journey (Traverse Theatre) and Sherlock in Holmes (Wardrobe Theatre), crowd work was able to live on into your own home in an entirely new way, linking audiences all over the place. If anything, it shows that this year of theatre has aided in connecting people at a time where this is of such importance.
Something we can thank working from home and Zoom for is the ease with which we can reach people all over the world, at least digitally. Not being based in Edinburgh or even the UK has not stopped many of our writers this year from speaking to some great artists and creators, from aspiring theatre students to new companies. The Student has spoken to the behind the scenes teams from several digitally adapted and designed shows, such as EUSSC’s Click to Connect, giving an insight into online theatre and how the University’s clubs and societies have been adjusting to the lack of spaces like Bedlam. Ingenious as ever, the student theatre community has seen some amazing forays into the digital world – creating, producing, and performing plays without ever being in the same room is not somewhere we ever thought we would be.
In past years, reviews have of course been the bread and butter of Theatre coverage here at The Student. However it has been wonderful to be able to stray from the usual this year and have such an increase in thought pieces and features from various areas of theatre. From an impactful piece about how theatre could be used as a platform for climate change awareness by Will Nye, to a historical dive into all aspects of opera by Keisha Frimpong, hearing from writers on new areas has been more than insightful. On top of these, several pieces on post-Covid theatre have brought speculation and discussion towards what could be in store for the future of theatre. Overwhelmingly, these kinds of pieces have shown that we are all as eager as each other to keep theatre thriving, whether it be online or on stage.
Illustration: Eve Miller