The Emma Rice musical Romantics Anonymous, based on the film Les Émotifs Anonymes, is performed at Bristol Old Vic and broadcast live globally as a "digital tour" between September 22 and 26. The broadcasts follow the cancellation of the musical's U.S. tour due to the ongoing pandemic.
Partner theatres across the world are selling tickets for different nights of the week. Each night will be tailored to audiences in different parts of the world; the production teases that a sprinkle of local flavor will be added before each stream begins.
The U.S. stream is set for September 26 at 4 PM ET with partner theatres The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Berkeley Rep, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Spoleto Festival, St. Ann's Warehouse, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
The final performance, on September 27, will welcome an in-person, socially distanced audience at the U.K. venue.
The cast, all reprising their roles, includes Marc Antolin as Jean-René, Carly Bawden as Angélique, Me’sha Bryan as Suzanne/Mimi, Harry Hepple as Ludo/Remi, Laura Jane Matthewson as Young Woman, Sandra Marvin as Magda/Brigitte/Dr. Maxim, Philip Cox as Father/Pierre/Receptionist, Gareth Snook as Mercier/Mumbler/Marini, and Omari Douglas as Salesman/Fred.
Members of the company each had a coronavirus test before forming a bubble in Bristol, with the show subsequently being performed without social distancing.
Romantics Anonymous, which has a book by Rice, lyrics by Christopher Dimond, and music by Michael Kooman, concerns Angélique, a gifted chocolate maker crippled by social anxiety, and Jean-René, the boss of a failing chocolate factory. Rice also directs.
Rice said in an earlier statement, “I cannot believe that, in less than a week, Wise Children will be in a rehearsal room again, and in less than two, we will be performing our beloved Romantics Anonymous to an audience—live! The last weeks have been filled with scrupulous planning and careful preparations to ensure the safety of the cast and crew, but when we get onto that stage everything will change. Under the lights, for a few short hours, we will forget our fears and remember other essentials in life; imagination, celebration, story, community, and song. Hand in virtual hand with our audience we will feel the joy and exhilaration of a collective experience; that sweet, delicious, much missed treat!”
Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic, and Plush Theatricals produce. Tickets are available at WiseChildrenDigital.com.
(Updated September 22, 2020)