Fleabag actress Sian Clifford is set to star in a brand new romantic comedy, and RadioTimes.com can reveal an exclusive first look at the groundbreaking project.
Good Grief is written by Lorien Hayes and directed by Natalie Abrahami (whose previous credits include Anna at the National Theatre and Machinal at Almeida) and is described as a romantic comedy about grief which is “sharp, funny, brutal, irreverent and quintessentially British.”
Billed as an “online filmed production”, the project is a hybrid of theatre and film, with theatre and screen teams joining forces to create “a theatrical format which will stream online”, boosting employment in the industry in the process.
Clifford, who this year appeared on hit ITV drama Quiz and Sky One comedy series Two Weeks To Live, will star in the project alongside Artemis Fowl actor Nikesh Patel.
Speaking about the production, she said: “It’s neither film nor theatre, it’s a hybrid that’s why it’s so thrilling to be part of it, something that is so innovative and has been born entirely of this chaos.
“It’s really thrilling, a bit of a brain maze, structured around the stages of grief. I always said it would take a lot to get me back on stage, but the play blew me away, I absolutely tore through it, it made me weep. And I loved the idea of doing something radical and helping save our industry and to keep people engaged with the arts.”
In a first look clip below, Clifford urges fans to buy a ticket to the online production, calling it “innovative and bold and beautiful and heartbreaking and made by a majestic team of creatives.”
And in a second clip, we hear from Nikesh Patel, who says: “I wanted to be a part of this project because of Lorien’s wonderful play, the writing is really moving and tender and funny.” He adds that working with Clifford “was a real treat.”
Both clips also include looks behind the scenes of the project, with glimpses of production staff wearing face masks as they complete the online play in compliance with coronavirus restrictions.
The show also features a score and sound design from Isobel Waller-Bridge. The composer previously worked on Fleabag, which was created and led by her sister Phoebe Waller-Bridge – and so Good Grief reunites her with Sian Clifford once again.
Meanwhile, Lorien Hayes said of the production: “When I wrote ‘Good Grief’ – as a heartfelt one-act comedy – no one said it was long enough to produce on stage.
“For it to have a life now – virtually – at a time where we miss and need theatre – is a truly wonderful thing. Theatre has to survive and our art adapt, to make storytelling vital in the midst of this pandemic.
“I am so grateful for this short, sharp play to get out there – and shout ‘GO THEATRE. We’ll be back’. I hope this new stage, the 45-minute virtual playing space, raises the curtain for fresh work, new playwrights and a new form of theatre to guide us through these trying times.
“It should be there to remind people that we will always find a way to tell our stories. Whatever we are up against.”
Tickets are available via Original Theatre and ATG tickets for £29 until Christmas Eve, before moving up to £39 from Christmas Day. The production will be available to view from February 15th until April 15th 2021.