David Tennant and Michael Sheen are the latest celebs to take to self-shooting to bring fresh entertainment to audiences. The Good Omen stars are reuniting through video chats for the new comedy series Staged, which is hitting BBC One in June.
Staged will star Tennant and Sheen alongside their real-life partners, Georgia Tennant and Anna Lundberg, with special guest appearances by Nina Sosanya and others to be announced later. Conceived by British theater director Simon Evans and Infinity Hill producer-partner Phin Glynn, the show follows a theater troupe that was prepping for a West End stage show when lockdowns shut down all live theater. Still, the show—or at least it’s rehearsals—must go on. So, the play’s cast meets via video chat to ready for their victorious return to the stage.
The setup seems to blend fiction with some frustrating realities, like the vexation many furloughed people feel along with the conflicts inherent in a creative collaboration. Then, of course, there’s the bit where we’ll be getting a potentially intrusive look into the lives, homes, and mindsets of Staged’s stars. Like Slings and Arrows in a time of a maddening quarantine.
Rather than the standard 22-minute episode format common for sitcoms, Staged will offer six 15-minute episodes. Following its initial run on BBC One, the lot will be made available as a box set on BBC iPlayer.
Beyond this, details on Staged are scarce. However, I have a bit of speculation to add.
The press release teases that Sheen and Tenant’s characters will be “the cream of the crop of British acting talent.” Variety notes these stars will be “portraying lockdown at the expense of their own dignity.” And director of BBC Content, Charlotte Moore, said this of the soon-to-hit series, “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.” (Emphasis ours.)
All this has me wondering, will Tenant and Sheen be playing themselves? Or more keenly, will they portray a lampooned version of themselves that wrings comedy out of quarantine, their personas, and the angst of extroverts in this time of lockdown?
We’ll find out when Staged debuts next month.
Header Image Source: BBC One