Love theatre – live

Feb 11 2021 | By More

Live online perfs for roulette premiere

Production Lines is to premiere Claire Wood’s racy new play, roulette, live – and online – for Valentines, with the Edinburgh grassroots company streaming five performances this weekend (13/14 Feb 2021) and next.

The eight-hander goes even further though, with an interactive format based around fictional game show, Love Roulette, in which the audience decide which contestants get paired in hope of finding lifelong love.

Production Lines go live and interactive, online.

Wood wrote roulette in response to the need for theatre to be performed online. The production makes the most of the digital format, using the interactive capabilities of a Zoom meeting to give the audience the power to shape the action.

“While we can’t make theatre in person, I’m interested in exploring how digital technology can be used to involve the audience more directly in the show,” says Wood.

Her answer is to invent “the nation’s raciest game show” with hosts Rex and Dion who seduce contestants into baring their souls, as they battle it out to win total freedom from all restrictions – so they can kindle a romance of an un-socially distant kind.


“Streamed theatre hasn’t been able to elicit the same connection to the performance that we feel sat in a theatre, but I think the potential is there to make the audience feel more involved,” Wood adds.

“In roulette, the audience get to choose what they see next – and ultimately, decide on the shows outcome. They’re as close to the action as they can be, with a direct influence on the story being told. It’s exciting and terrifying, all at the same time.”

Cast members: Lorna Craig (Harriet), Richard Lydecker (Tristen) and Vanashree Thapliyal (Saira).

Unlike the majority of streamed theatre over the Covid-19 pandemic, roulette is performed live. Which Wood admits is a gamble, with the snow already causing performers to temporarily lose their wifi during rehearsals.

But Wood is adamant:” For me, the magic of theatre is the fact that it’s live. From the audience’s perspective, there’s something special in knowing that you’re the only ones who will see this particular version of a show.

“Shared experiences have become more important than ever during the pandemic. Knowing that you’re watching something at the same time as the people you’d normally share a show with, is a strange comfort, even if you’re not sitting next to each other in a theatre.”

Cast members: Gregor Haddow (Vardo), Caroline Mathison (Eartha) and Keegan Siebken (Dion).

Creating work in Zoom also gives the company to take the post-show discussion online and allow the audience to mingle. The format builds on what Wood learned in Production Lines’ previous online production, shrapnel.

Wood says: “I was really keen to not just make a show that happened to be shared online but create something that could only happen online. And from that, spun the idea of the audience shaping the story.”


Weekends: Sat 13, Sun 14; & Fri 18-Sun 20 February 2021.
All performances: 8pm.
Tickets and details: Book via Eventbrite
All tickets are free to book but audiences are asked to make a donation to Acting for Others, which provides financial and emotional support to theatre workers in times of need through its 14 member charities. 

roulette creatives and cast:
Writer: Claire Wood
Director: Ross Hope
Design Director: Michelle Pegg
Costume Design: Jennie Landels
Composers: Neil Colquhoun & Fraser Macdermid
Technical Director: Andy Ellis
Lighting: Gordon Hughes
Technical Support: Bob Wood
Continuity: Liz Brock, Brian Neill & Mary Woodward


Rex: Alan Paterson
Dion: Keegan Seibken
Maestro: Neil Colquhoun
Vardo: Gregor Haddow
Tristen: Richard Lydecker
Saira: Vanashree Thapliyal
Eartha: Caroline Mathison
Harriet: Lorna Craig


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