Award-winning theatre company Headlong, have today announced their plans for UK-wide touring theatre initiative Signal Fires. Originally intended as a live performance staged for audiences at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church in Liverpool, the company adapted and reimagined their project following the announcement that the city would be entering a Tier 3 lockdown.
On Thursday 5 November, Headlong in association with Coney will present the world premiere of The Ghost Caller a new short work by actor and playwright Luke Barnes (Bottleneck, No One Will Tell Me How To Start A Revolution), recorded by David Morrissey (The Walking Dead, Singapore Grip) Leanne Best (Young Wallander, Line of Duty) and Jamal Ajala (ear for eye), directed by Headlong’s Associate Artistic Director, Holly Race Roughan.
An exploration of grief and loss in 2020, The Ghost Caller, will invite members of the public to text a number which will appear at sundown, projected onto the side of St Luke’s Bombed Out Church. Upon texting the number, audience members will receive a call and become part of an intimate theatrical experience.
Experienced by audiences over the phone, The Ghost Caller starring David Morrissey and Leanne Best will see Headlong bring a theatrical offering to audiences in Liverpool (and across the UK) under the most severe of lockdown restrictions. The number will be projected onto the side of St Luke’s Bombed Out Church, Liverpool on Thursday 5 November and will be available online via www.Headlong.co.uk for seven days from 5 – 12 November. Performances of The Ghost Caller will be accessible to D/deaf, blind and visually impaired audiences.
Holly Race Roughan, Associate Artistic Director, Headlong said: “The Ghost Caller was born out of our desire and determination to continue to bring theatrical experiences to our Liverpool audiences despite the increased government restrictions. Luke Barnes’ cracking new ghost story – originally written for our live show and now adapted for telephone – makes the audience the protagonist and invites us to sit with loss. As the pandemic continues and the nights get longer, theatre is constantly having to adapt and embrace new ways of working in order to weather these challenging times and reach our audiences. With such an astonishing cast we hope this will lift spirits (as well as summon them!) until we can return next, in person.”
The Ghost Caller is part of Signal Fires, a collective touring initiative that will see new work staged UK-wide throughout October and November. The project, conceived by Headlong and English Touring Theatre, brings together over 40 of the most exciting and diverse touring companies to tour a single idea at a time when traditional touring isn’t possible.
Each company involved in the project is self-producing an evening of work – a signal fire – at a different locations from Devon to Inverness in celebration of our fundamental need to tell stories, in order to help make sense of the world around us and reimagine the future.
In light of the current crisis, the signal fires will create beacons across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland warning of the threat the industry continues to face while celebrating the extraordinary vibrancy of touring theatre and the freelancers they engage. Stretching across four nations, this festival of fires will connect audiences, freelance artists and touring companies together in a communal, national act of storytelling.
Headlong’s The Ghost Caller produced in association with Coney, is part of UK-wide touring initiative Signal Fires www.signalfires.co.uk