News that acclaimed director Emma Rice was revitalising her adaption of Daniel Jamieson’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk and bringing it to Oxford Playhouse audiences from tomorrow has already sent sales into overdrive.

As a result Oxford Playhouse has extended the initial run from Thursday 3 – Saturday 5 December 2020 with an on demand recorded option from Dec 11-18. 

“whilst nothing will ever replace the thrill of a night out at the theatre, live broadcast is a wonderful new adventure,” director Emma Rice

The brilliant reimagining of the relationship between the famous artist Marc Chagall and his wife Bella, means that the Kneehigh production has received rave reviews, and will be performed on stage at Bristol Old Vic and broadcast live to Oxford Playhouse audiences.

Partners in life and on canvas, Marc and Bella were immortalised as the picture of romance. But whilst on canvas they flew, in life they walked through some of the most devastating times in history.

Emma Rice says: “The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk is an almost perfect show – though I might be biased! It really does have everything; romance, history, music, heartbreak and humour. I hope that audiences will come away from this production feeling moved, entertained and inspired. They will have been on a journey filled with so much beauty, music and hope – things we all need in these challenging times! 

Audrey Brisson

As for the actors Marc Antolin and Audrey Brisson, Emma says: “After so many months in lockdown I feel like the luckiest woman on the planet to be able to watch them work. Marc and Audrey are incredibly talented, and both their careers have taken off since 2016. I feel lucky to have been able to get them in the room again to revisit this gem of a show.”

“With the help of technology we can reach so many more people this way and reach those who might otherwise not be able to make it to the theatre”

Tom Morris, Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic agrees: The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk is one of those very rare and very special shows that people just fall in love with. You go weak at the knees. You giggle. You weep. And very often people tell us they have never forgotten it. The show is shaded with the dark brutality of the mid-20th century, but love is at its heart.”

Working together digitally has been really important for Kneehigh’s Mike Shepherd and Carl Grose who explain: “Collaboration is more vital than ever and we can’t wait to share and explore together what live streaming means for the timeless story of Marc and Bella Chagall.”

But perhaps Emma Rice should have the last word on why we should be watching The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk this week. “Whilst nothing will ever replace the thrill of a night out at the theatre, live broadcast is a wonderful new adventure. Fresh, fun and intimate; it feels like we are flying on a motorcycle with nothing ahead of us. So for one short week, we immerse ourselves in the spiritually intimate and genuinely moving, real life love story of Marc and Bella Chagall.

“We are excited to embrace this, not as a replacement for our beloved theatre shows, but as an addition! Live broadcast smashes down the barriers of attendance, whether they are geographic, physical, cultural, emotional or financial. It’s a revelation!”

“With the help of technology we can reach so many more people this way and reach those who might otherwise not be able to make it to the theatre.”

To book The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk at Oxford Playhouse from Dec 3- 5 go to: www.oxfordplayhouse.com or book on the banner ad at the top of the oxinabox.co.uk website

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