Schedule Announced for BBC's Short Play Showcase Unprecedented, Featuring Denise Gough, Arthur Darville, More

International News   Schedule Announced for BBC's Short Play Showcase Unprecedented, Featuring Denise Gough, Arthur Darville, More
 
The digital short plays will air in May as part of the BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine initiative.
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Denise Gough Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Dozens of U.K. stage, film, and television stars will appear in the short digital play series Unprecedented, airing May 26–28 at 10 PM BST on BBC Four and the BBC iPlayer. The full schedule (below) includes two-time Olivier Award winner Gough (Angels in America), Broadway alum Arthur Darvill (Once), Olivier winner Monica Dolan (All About Eve), Jodie McNee (Faustus: That Damned Woman), Rory Keenan (Long Day's Journey Into Night), and Gemma Arterton (Saint Joan).

The series features over a dozen new works by playwrights Chloe Moss, Jennifer Haley, James Graham, Jasmine Lee-Jones, Duncan Macmillan, and more. Each piece is presented using digital conferencing technology and combining live and pre-recorded material.

Part of BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine initiative and curated by Headlong, Century Films, and BBC Arts, the series explores our rapidly evolving world, responding to how perceptions of community, education, work, relationships, family, culture, climate, and capitalism are evolving on an unprecedented scale.

Check out the full schedule below:

Episode One: May 26 at 10 PM BST on BBC Four

Viral, by James Graham
Directed by Ola Ince
Starring Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Laurie Kynaston, Archie Madekwe, and Stuart Thompson
After schools shut and A Levels are postponed, three teenagers use lockdown to come up with the next big viral craze.

Penny, by Charlene James
Directed by Holly Race Roughan
Starring Lennie James
Ray has been moved into a hotel for the foreseeable future, yet he knows that survival is a lot more complicated than having a roof over your head.

Going Forward by John Donnelly
Directed by Blanche McIntyre
Starring Paul Chahidi, Frances Grey, Lisa Kerr, Enyi Okoronkwo, Boadicea Ricketts, Sid Sagar, Gyuri Sarossy, Kiruna Stamell, Amy Trigg, Dickon Tyrrell, Gabby Wong, and Sargon Yelda
When team meetings move online, an under-pressure team leader takes drastic measures to make sure targets are met.

Episode Two: May 27 at 10 PM BST on BBC Four

Romantic Distancing, by Tim Price
Directed by Jeremy Herrin
Starring Inès De Clercq and Arthur Darvill
Love in the time of coronavirus: can technology bridge the emotional gap as well as the geographical?

Safer at Home, by Anna Maloney
Directed by Brian Hill
Starring Gemma Arterton, Geraldine James, and Rory Keenan
As families and couples are forced into isolation, we see Mike taking pride in looking after his pregnant partner, Ellie. Mike’s mother, Betsy, is delighted, she’s extremely fond of Ellie; but she starts to see things about their relationship that unsettle her.

House Party, by April De Angelis
Directed by Holly Race Roughan
Starring Patricia Allison, Risteárd Cooper, Gabriel Harland, Cecilia Noble, James Norton, Rhashan Stone, Meera Syal, Olivia Williams, and Fenella Woolgar
A street in South London get together on "Houseparty" for a virtual drinking session in the first week of isolation, but not everyone is in the mood for a party...

Episode Three: May 28 at 10 PM BST on BBC Four

Grounded, by Duncan Macmillan
Directed by Jeremy Herrin
Starring Arlo Dollimore, Michael Elwyn, Katherine Parkinson, and Alison Steadman
Liz is stressed by her parents’ cavalier attitude to the virus. Their age and health conditions put them heavily at risk. However, when overcome by the stress of her work, Liz is the one who needs looking after.

Fear Fatigue, by Prasanna Puwanarajah
Directed by Brian Hill
Starring Esh Alladi, Natalie Dew, Paterson Joseph, Rory Kinnear, Anna Madeley, and Jodie McNee
Based on conversations with NHS workers in March 2020, Fear Fatigue documents the feelings and fears of frontline staff in the days and weeks before the coronavirus lockdown.

Episode Four: May 28 at 10:30 PM BST on BBC Four

Kat and Zaccy, by Deborah Bruce
Directed by Deborah Bruce
Starring Monica Dolan and Alex Lawther
Zac is reluctant to come home from university during lockdown; how long can he ignore his mother’s emotional pleas for his return?

The Unexpected Expert, by Matilda Ibini
Directed by Debbie Hannan
Starring Saida Ahmed, Lucianne McEvoy, and Golda Rosheuvel
This crisis will have a huge impact on Roxy’s social care package. The Local Authority thanks her for her understanding, yet she feels significantly misunderstood.

The Night After, by Josh Azouz
Directed by Ned Bennett
Starring Kathryn Hunter and Marcello Magni
A couple in their sixties try to make contact with the outside world. Is it a distress signal? Or a message to a specific loved one? Greek Gods, a noose, and the past all threaten to overwhelm them. A touching tale of toast, taboos and toddlers.

Available exclusively on BBC iPlayer

Central Hill, by Nathaniel Martello-White
Directed by Nathaniel Martello-White
Starring Julian Barratt, Erin Doherty, and Abraham Popoola
Coronavirus flings a couple into a long-distance relationship. A freelance actor cannot afford to eat. Ginger and toilet paper have become the most sought-after items on the planet. A likely farce, or a horror movie waiting to happen?

Everybody’s Talkin’, by Chloe Moss
Directed by Caitlin McLeod
Starring Denise Gough, Sue Johnston, Rochenda Sandall, and Rebekah Staton
Liz, Rebecca and Katherine are full of ideas for their mother: Facebook Pilates, Zoom Art Classes, FaceTime therapy… anything to help her feel connected.

Batshit by Jasmine Lee-Jones
Directed by Tinuke Craig
Starring Kae Alexander
It’s 2021. The global pandemic continues to sweep the earth. In the midst of massive loss, grief and mourning, many have searched for a party to blame—with some civilians taking justice into their own hands. As ceaseless chaos sweeps the earth, shit is well and truly about to hit the fan...

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