Romance and laughter is in the air as exuberant musical streams live

By Peter Ormerod
Thursday, 10th September 2020, 11:03 am
Updated Thursday, 10th September 2020, 11:36 am

A critically acclaimed musical from one of Britain’s leading directors will embark on a virtual tour of the country this month.

Performed live on stage at Bristol Old Vic, Romantics Anonymous will be performed and streamed for different regions each evening from Tuesday September 22 to Saturday September 26. Venues across the nation will be selling tickets in a display of industry solidarity.

Romantics Anonymous is a love story about breaking the mould and finding the courage to be happy. It is based on the film Les Émotifs Anonymes by Jean-Pierre Améris and Philippe Blasband.

Comical and tender, it follows Angélique, a gifted chocolate-maker crippled by social anxiety, and Jean-René, the boss of a failing chocolate factory, so awkward that he relies on self-help tapes and is prone to embarrassing sweating. When the timid Angélique takes a job in Jean-René’s struggling factory, a fragile love affair gradually unfolds.

The show has been adapted and directed for the stage by Emma Rice, a former artistic director at Shakespeare’s Globe and creator of the theatrical sensation Wise Children.

Rice said: “I have devoted my life to the live experience and the collective imagination - things that have proved impossible over the last few months. Whilst nothing will be able to replace the thrill of a night out at the theatre, this live broadcast is going to be as close to that delicious experience as we can possibly make it!

Carly Bawden, Gareth Snook, Sandra Marvin, Jane Matthewson, Harry Hepple and Brett Brown in Romantic Anonymous (photo: Steve Tanner)

“Live, fresh, fun and intimate, this will remind us of what it is to share stories, hear music and, if true love has its way, even kiss. Imagine that!

“We are taking the utmost care to protect all of our valued team and, for one week only, we can all experience a live performance again, get lost in a wonderful love story and remember what it was to be socially intimate.”

Following approved sport and film production guidance, rigorous measures will be put in place to enable the cast to perform the entire show without social distancing.