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Matt Smith and Claire Foy are to reunite for a unique socially distanced play streamed live from London’s historic Old Vic theater.

The two actors – who starred as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in the first two seasons of The Crown – will reprise their roles from Lungs, an acclaimed comedy by Duncan Macmillan about a couple wrestling with climate change, which they first starred in at the Old Vic last year.

This time, however, they’ll perform from an empty theater to a virtual audience watching at home. Each performance of the play will be limited to 1,000 viewers – the same capacity as the Old Vic’s auditorium – who will each be asked to pay between £10 ($12.25) and £65 ($80), or whatever they can afford, for a “seat.” These ticket prices mimic the Old Vic’s usual sliding scale, though for the virtual performance each “ticket holder” will obviously have the same view.

Foy and former Doctor Who star Smith were announced earlier this month as ambassadors for the Old Vic’s new online initiative.

The historic theater’s artistic director, Matthew Warchus, who will direct Smith and Foy in Lungs, recently warned that the Old Vic is in a “seriously perilous” financial situation following its temporary closure due to coronavirus.

Lungs will be the first in an “In Camera” series of virtual performances from the theater, which Warchus hopes will help to shore up its future.

Exact dates for Lungs: In Camera have yet to be confirmed, and tickets aren’t on sale yet, but you can sign up here to be informed once further details are announced.

“Rekindling live performance in this irrepressible 202-year-old venue, albeit with minimal staging and accessible only via camera, is a genuine thrill for us,” the Old Vic said in a statement.

“But this series is both an exciting creative experiment and also crucial in igniting the box office now all our usual channels of revenue have been entirely wiped out and we fight to preserve this beloved theatre for our audiences, surrounding schools and communities, staff, crew, and the myriad of writers, performers and creatives that work with us.”

Are you interested in getting a “ticket” to see Matt Smith and Claire Foy on stage?

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Filed Under: Claire Foy, Matt Smith
By Nick Levine