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Maybe you just prefer to watch from home.
Thanks to Unity Online you can because the theatre has launched its new On Demand service so you can stream productions straight to your sofa.
Shows are recorded in front of a live audience, so you get all the feel of actually being there – and for a single payment you can watch as many times, with as many people, as you like.
And if you’re a Unity member, you get the entire playlist sent to you free.
Emily Maguire, Unity Theatre’s Online Lead, says the idea of giving audiences wider access to digital content came about during the pandemic when theatregoers and artists found their options changed by Covid restrictions.
She explains: “Unity wanted to make shows accessible online during the pandemic and we’ve decided to continue doing that because we’ve realised people still want it for a number of reasons. Some people still don’t feel comfortable going out, people might have different access needs, they could have missed a show if it’s only on for one night, or they might have enjoyed it so much they want to watch it again.
“Some of the shows which are available are ones that have been really high demand and sold out so we ended up with wait lists of people who wanted to come and see them live. It’s really nice that this means they get another chance to see something they missed out on.
“Going to live theatre is a very different experience to watching something on telly and hopefully we’ve been able capture that. The theatre has invested in new equipment so it’s really high quality, most live shows are filmed with a two-camera set-up – one will be zoomed in and one will be a wide shot – and we tend to film the dress rehearsal too so you get different angles and feel close to the action.”
Emily stresses the On Demand service isn’t a replacement for live theatre, it’s an add-on which will make at least 70% of the main programme available online.
On Demand content will refresh every few months so a new playlist will drop as seasonal programmes come to an end.
Audiences have the option to either buy a single show, for a one-off £6 price, or get access to every show on the playlist for £25. Unity members will be sent the whole playlist so they can watch all the shows free for around £2.50 per month.
Costs have been kept down to make On Demand as accessible as possible, and Emily says it’s something which is benefiting the artists as well as theatregoers.
“The feedback’s been really encouraging. Audiences enjoy watching, and the artists get payment and also a copy of their film which they can use for marketing and hopefully get programmed elsewhere if they want to go on tour.”
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