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  • Anna Soden

Adapting to Lockdown..

The original plans were to share pilot performances of "Five Children and It" in December 2020, however, due to my work on York Theatre Royal's Travelling pantomime, the dates were moved to January 2021.

And then lockdown 3 hit. After a day in early January of postponing the live shows indefinitely in York Explore library, I tried to settle into being stuck at home with not much to do.

A few days went by, and I realised I was missing a brilliant opportunity to bring some magic to young people, also stuck at home. We had always planned to film "Five Children and It" at the pilot performances- so why not film it, without an audience, and share it online via York Library's youtube channel, for young people to enjoy at home for free!

A big part ACE grant was to enable me to make work for myself and other freelancers, and keep us in the sector, so it made perfect sense to adapt the project around the pandemic.

We set to work at replanning- could we film outside on a beach? We eventually realised this wouldn't be possible due to travel restrictions, and anticipated sound problems.. and lets be honest, weather worries!

Luckily, in early February, our project partners, York Theatre Royal, allowed us to use their rehearsal space, to rehearse and film the piece in.

After multiple COVID tests, lots of new risk assessments, script adjustments and a brilliant rehearsal period- Five Children and It was filmed on the 20th of February.

We're really excited to share the piece online in the next month, so lots of youngsters can have a little bit of escapism from their lockdown lives.


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