roulette – Production Lines Preview

Being single sucks. Especially during a pandemic.

With that in mind, now is surely the best time to resurrect the hit game show, Love Roulette? Unable to return to a studio format in the current climate, the show moves online. Still broadcast to a live audience, it’s up to the viewers at home to decide which contestants get paired in the hopes of finding romance. But this time, the prize isn’t some schmaltzy weekend away, this time they’re playing to win complete freedom from restrictions so they can reignite the romances of the un-socially distant variety.

Hosting this raunchy event are the nation’s favourite game show hosts Rex and Dion, played by Alan Paterson and Keegan Seibken. And where would a game show be without contestants? Meet the lucky bunch taking part in this Valentine’s Day special – who will be your favourite? The saucy Saira? Maybe the eccentric Eartha or hard-nut Harriet. Or are you taken by tricksy Tristen or the voracious Vardo? In Love Roulette, it’s your choice – quite literally.

Enthusiastic about the possibilites technology offers, writer Claire Wood said: “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. 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. In roulette, the audience get to choose what they see next – and ultimately, decide on the shows outcome… It’s exciting and terrifying, all at the same time.”

Roulette will be the company’s second Zoom piece, performed live online, following their most recent production, shrapnel, which took a digital insight into loneliness during the pandemic. Written by Claire Wood (skirt, shrapnel, beauty) with direction from Ross Hope (Jerusalem, All About My Mother), roulette has been written specifically in response to the digital shift for theatre productions. 

Far from merely adopting the format, like their previous production, Production Lines makes the most of the digital medium, incorporating interactive Zoom features to give the audience the power to shape the action and witness the consequences. At the mercy of the onlookers, the audience can vote via Zoom poll to decide which scenes take place and have a deciding factor in the storie’s conclusion.

In offering escapism and the jovial nature of the show, director Ross Hope adds: “The latest series of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing got the highest viewing figures producers had seen in years. Amidst the pandemic and all the restrictions, it was glorious escapism… roulette is frivolous, fun and frothy and delivers its message by stealth. We hope you’ll come along for the ride.”

In continuing to promote accessibility, tickets for roulette are free, although Production Lines has asked for its viewers to consider making a donation to Acting for Others, which provides financial and emotional support to theatre workers in times of need through its 14 member charities.

justgiving.com/fundraising/roulette

Performances of roulette occur on the 13th, 14th, 18th, 19th & 20th of February at 8pm. Tickets are free and available from EventBrite

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