The six-episode, 15-minute show features “the cast of a play — the cream of the crop of British acting talent — who are furloughed when their upcoming West End production is suddenly brought to a halt.”
In the entertainment industry, as with most other businesses, survival during pandemic lockdown depends on creativity, ingenuity and resilience. In light of this, the BBC on Friday unveiled that David Tennant and Michael Sheen would star in Staged, a new comedy for flagship channel BBC One set to air in June that will provide laughs in the setting of the lockdown amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The pair worked together previously on Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman‘s Good Omens.
The show, from Infinity Hill and GCB Films, will consist of six 15-minute episodes and revolve around “the cast of a play — the cream of the crop of British acting talent — who are furloughed when their upcoming West End production is suddenly brought to a halt.” The series follows the cast as they try their best to keep the rehearsals on track in lockdown.
Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, said: “It’s so important that the BBC provides moments of humor and light relief, and this mischievous idea shows what great sports Michael and David are.”
Production of anything at all is hampered severely by the latest U.K. government guidelines, but the BBC is using a combination of self-shooting and video conferencing to pull it off. “Absurd and humorous in equal measure,” says the BBC, “Staged takes on the challenges of creating a drama in lockdown, on stage and off, with a lineup including Georgia Tennant, Lucy Eaton and Anna Lundberg.”
The show will also have a selection of guest stars, including Nina Sosanya (Last Tango in Halifax), with more to be confirmed later.
Based on an original idea by Simon Evans and Phin Glynn, Staged is written and directed by Evans. The producers are Phin and Victor Glynn and Georgia Tennant. David Tennant and Michael Sheen are also executive producers of the series, which suggests that it was their idea in the first place. Executive producers for Infinity Hill are Axel Kuschevatzky and Cindy Teperman, with Geoff Iles having the same role for GCB.