Tamasha theatre company spreads #NHSLove
Supported by the actors’ union Equity, #NHSLove is an initiative by the Tamasha theatre company to boost the morale of frontline National Health Service (NHS) staff during the coronavirus crisis. As part of the drive, monologues and messages of love have been shared across social media through the lockdown.
Actors are invited to record a monologue, speech or poem ranging between one and three minutes on the theme of “Love”, and share with the hashtag #NHSLove @tamashatheatre, to give some love to the people putting themselves on the frontline to help save lives.
The #NHSLove pieces have included a range of recordings, such as a Biblical extract performed by Balvinder Sopal, who plays Suki Panesar in ‘EastEnders’, and poems by Rabindranath Tagore are among some of the other creations.
Actors are free to browse a selection of suggested texts curated by Tamasha, both classical and contemporary, or choose their own texts – so long as they are on the theme of Love. Collaborating closely with the artists the company supports, Tamasha is also inviting playwrights to submit new or existing texts and is able to link actors up with its directors to work together remotely in creating #NHSLove pieces.
“Once you’ve found your text, you can record it independently in whatever way you like (phone camera is fine) and enlist family/friends to help film if you want/need, observing social distancing where appropriate,” notes one of the directions for artists.
“We prefer video over audio as visuals are important on social media plus it would be nice to see faces to make more of a connection. If you want to record it somewhere nice in the Spring weather, like balcony or garden, rather than indoors, that is of course great (though be aware of background noise and the usual social distancing),” it adds.
Tamasha describes itself as a diverse cohort of bold and playful theatremakers, foregrounding emerging and established artists from culturally diverse backgrounds. It is known for well-known stage productions such as ‘East is East’ and ‘Made in India’.