Staged actor David Tennant reveals challenges of filming lockdown comedy

David Tennant and Michael Sheen had to overcome lockdown roadblocks.

Staged star David Tennant

Tonight (10th June) marks the launch of David Tennant and Michael Sheen’s new BBC lockdown comedy Staged with a double bill.

Advertisement

The programme sees the pair, who starred opposite each other in Good Omens, playing exaggerated versions of themselves, the premise being that they are two actors forced to rehearse for an upcoming play via video calls when lockdown regulations are brought in.

As a result of the real-life lockdown situation, the cast and creators were limited when it came to filming, using a combination of self-shooting and recorded video calls to make the show.

Tennant’s wife Georgia Tennant co-stars and produces, while Sheen’s actress girlfriend Anna Lundberg also joins the cast.

Using what resources were at hand in lockdown wasn’t without its challenges, though, as Tennant explained during an interview on The One Show last night.

Indicating to Sheen – who had also dialled in to the programme via video link – he quipped: “On that shot you can see right now, that’s Michael throughout the whole show, whereas I’m rarely in the same place twice because we’ve got five kids.

“So, with me, it was always just be experiencing where in the house could I hide at the point we’re filming that scene each day.

“That might look like some kind of meta-commentary on my character trying to keep moving or something – it’s just because I was hiding from the kids,” the former Doctor Who star laughed.

Elsewhere, Sheen shed some light on the scripted and improvised elements of Staged.

“The scripts are written but then there are certain moments which we just sort of riff around and improvise around. And in those moments I think we reveal our true selves,” he said, prompting a chuckle from his co-star Tennant.

“At one point, David just screamed at me, ‘You’re a cut-price Mike Yarwood!’ And I just laughed so much that it was unusable. We couldn’t use that in it. So, I think he reveals his true self in our improvised bits.”

RadioTimes.com called the programme the “perfect lockdown comedy” in our Staged review.

Advertisement

Staged begins tonight (10th June) at 10:45pm on BBC One. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.