A series of new events has been added to the ArtsAlive@Home initiative.

With coronavirus restrictions thwarting plans for the Arts Alive autumn line-up of live events across Shropshire & Herefordshire, the ‘@home’ initiative - delivering cultural performances straight to audiences online at home - has been extended. 

The next installment follows the world premiere of five brand new microplays this month. They will be available to watch online via Arts Alive on Saturday 17 October.

Theatre company Open Sky have created the new digital microplays. The plays, which are 'based on a theme of cultural polarisation and question the idea that our differences define us', have been professionally filmed in a Covid-secure way, with cast and crew having regular temperature checks, and crew wearing facemasks. The theatre company filmed each of the five plays in five days in five different locations.

Each play is around five minutes long and could mark a new trend in online performance. “I see microplays really taking off in this strange new era, where we don’t have access to live performances,” said Cerin Mills, live events programmer at Arts Alive. “When you have five minutes to spare at the bus stop, during your morning coffee or just when you need a moment of distraction in your day, you can unleash your imagination and let your creativity flow by viewing a short play on your phone or computer,” 

“The five plays are Stile - a sweary take on economic privilege - Head Over Wheels - a heartfelt comic look at mixed-ability dating - The Ceremony - a searingly honest piece about non-binary marriage - The Importance Of Being Honest - a darkly humorous swipe at bigoted culturalism in the workplace - and Homework - a fast-paced comedy about the horrors of global warming faced by parents and children. This is the opportunity to see some real pedigree performers in action, including Julie Hesmondhalgh, best known as Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street.”

A Q&A with director Lisle Turner, one of the writers and a member of cast in a live Zoom post-show conversation will take place after the online screening.

The plays are suitable for ages 14-plus and are free of charge to view. Arts Alive is asking viewers to collectively watch the plays back-to-back at 2:30pm on Saturday 17 October, and then join the post-show conversation. Contact cerin@artsalive.co.uk for a private link to view the plays and take part in the chat.

Details of all events are listed on the website at artsalive.co.uk.