It’s been two and a half months since the West End in London drew its last curtain, following New York City’s Broadway into darkness. And while it’s likely to be years before we see a return to packed productions, a handful of forward thinkers have put their efforts into conceptualizing what exactly proto–pandemic theater has to offer struggling playhouses and captive audiences alike. The result is the return of Claire Foy and Matt Smith to their starring roles in Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs, the first in the Old Vic theater’s new series of virtual productions.
The duo will perform in a weeklong run of live shows streamed directly to ticket holders’ electronic devices. Directed by the Old Vic’s artistic director, Matthew Warchus, the nine-year-old play happens to be a perfect fit for our unprecedented times—Foy and Smith comprise its entire cast, and its lack of “meticulous realistic literalist [sets],” says Macmillan, means fewer crew members are needed to pull it off.