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Arts of the UK 2020: David Monteith-Hodge’s new short film documenting Theatres in Lockdown now live

Screenshot 2020-12-08 at 8.50.30 AM

LONDON – Theatres in Lockdown is a filmic journey around 53 of London’s most iconic theatres during the nation’s second lockdown. Created by filmmaker and photographer David Monteith-Hodge, the film is a striking cinematic collage of the exterior of the city’s theatres, a reminder of the importance of our communal spaces in this time of crisis.

After seeing stirring images of London’s deserted theatres during the first lockdown, David was inspired to take this further by merging photography with aspects of documentary filmmaking. The resulting film captures eerily quiet train carriages, empty Underground stations and closed theatre entrances, some with signage alerting the public that they hope to reopen soon. The visual imagery is accompanied by the soundscape of a muted London.

David comments: “When the country closed down for the first time, I, like many other artists, struggled with the motivation to be creative and felt guilty for not being able to do so. During this second lockdown I finally felt able to pursue a passion project like this one. I wanted to use the short film to make a statement about the importance of taking care of ourselves and others by inviting the viewer to join me on my journey of ‘checking in’ on London’s theatres, an experience which aided my own mental health. I hope the absence of people in the shots of the theatres reminds the viewer to think about the staff and freelance artists who would usually be inhabiting those buildings and creating exciting and valuable work.”

Many theatres across the country had to close their doors a second time after navigating the logistics of socially distanced performances. The film is intended to inspire people to support their local theatres and practitioners in any way they can during these hard times.

Theatres in Lockdown is free to view here

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