New short plays by Caryl Churchill, Inua Ellams and Simon Stephens are being recorded for a podcast developed in isolation.
The plays will be recorded remotely by actors including Patsy Ferran, Sule Rimi, Kate O’Flynn and Lydia Wilson, with the initiative raising money for homeless charity St Mungo’s.
The Lockdown Plays launches today (April 14) on podcast platform Acast, with Ferran and Rimi reading Fragments by Cordelia Lynn.
A new episode will be released every Tuesday for 10 weeks. Episode two will see O’Flynn and Shane Zaza perform The Gap by Stephens.
Other writers involved include Robert Alan Evans, Luke Barnes, Clint Dyer, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Rachel De-lahay and Athena Stevens, while the other actors confirmed are Fiona Button, Paul Hilton, Jasmine Lee-Jones and Anjli Mohindra.
The Lockdown Plays is created by Tom Mothersdale and Wilf Scolding, who host the show, and producer Anoushka Warden.
Mothersdale said: “When the virus hit, the industry slammed shut. Overnight film and television shutdown, theatres closed, radio projects were cancelled. Actors, directors, ushers, writers, crew, stage management effectively became unemployed with no income whatsoever and no idea of when the next job was going to come. It’s the biggest crisis we’ve seen. But there are vulnerable people out there who need our help and support more than ever. The homeless can’t self-isolate in the same way as most of us. People who are homeless are hit especially hard by the coronavirus outbreak.
“You can’t protect yourself from a virus when you’re living on the street. Rough sleepers need support as a matter of urgency. As do the homeless services who support them. A huge thank you to all the writers and actors who have donated their time for The Lockdown Plays meaning all funds raised will go straight to St Mungo’s.”