Gemma Barnett will be one of the cast starring in All the Web’s a Stage, an online event featuring a variety of live performances, from the likes of Danny Mac, Marisha Wallace, David Hunter, La Voix, and many more. Performances will be streamed live on Shakespeare Day, 23 April, a date marked to celebrate the Bard and the performing arts.

The funds raised will go towards Acting for Others and Help Musicians to support those in the arts facing hardship now as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as to The Golsoncott Foundation, supporting individuals or organisations who have been impacted by the crisis to return with a piece of work once the industry begins to recover.

Audiences will be able to watch for free on www.theatretogether.co.uk To donate please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/theatre-together

You’re taking part in All The Web’s a Stage, what can you tell us about it?

It’s a whole day (23rd April) of packed entertainment for everyone and anyone to live stream from the comfort of their own home. The line up is so exciting! Poetry, magic, theatre, songs – there will be something for everyone. I can’t wait to watch. I feel really honoured to be a little part of something looking to raise money for Acting For Others, Help Musicians UK and The Golsoncott Foundation. These amazing charities seek to support those in the arts that most desperately need it.

How did you get involved with Theatre Together and All The Web’s a Stage?

I’m lucky enough to know a couple of the legends that have been working their butts off to put this all together. When I knew they were involved I wanted to be.

What can viewers expect from you on the day?

I played Rory in Tatty Hennessy’s ‘A Hundred Words for Snow’ and we (Tatty, Lucy Jane Atkinson and Me) may be bringing her back for a check in. You can expect some awful/great puns and riddles, a pot of invisible tomatoes and a mini adventure in her very own flat.

What kind of opportunities do you think this kind of online performance gives both audiences and creatives?

I think it helps us feel a little more connected. The thing I’ve always loved about theatre is the community it creates. I don’t think an online platform can, will, or should ever replace the real life experience but it can keep us going until things are a bit less pandemic like. As a creative I feel pretty powerless right now, whilst the other heroes are still at work keeping our society functioning, but if I can bring a little bit of joy and humour to a virtual audience member, I’d be happy with that.

How will All The Web’s a Stage support the industry at this difficult time?

Just by tuning in you are supporting All the Web’s a Stage. It shows that there IS a demand for the arts and entertainment industries. You can support even more by donating to the amazing charities it’s raising money for. Lots of people have no idea when their next job is going be and that is scary and unsettling and made a bit easier with some financial support.

How have you been surviving lockdown and do you have any tips for other creatives out there?

I think surviving is the key word. I have been (trying with great difficulty) to be kind to myself and spend this moment in time without self-judgement. I have absolutely not been baking or cooking anything fancy (I hate it). I have worked on writing if I’ve felt like it and haven’t if I haven’t. Spoken to my family and friends a lot. Watched A LOT of AMAZING TV (Unorthodox and In my Skin OMG so good.) Haven’t been able to read a single page of anything. Have run a lot and got very annoyed at runners over-taking me which I feel is justified now so that’s nice. Basically you do you.

What are you looking forward to most about this performance?

Getting down and dirty in soil (Thanks Tatty)

What would you say to anyone thinking of tuning in to All The Web’s a Stage?

I would say – Hello! I hope you are all good and I hope we can take you out of your own head for a bit. And maybe have some fun. And if you do have some fun please donate some money so we can have more fun in the future.

Main Image: Gemma Barnett

Greg is an award-winning writer with a huge passion for theatre. He has appeared on stage, as well as having directed several plays in his native Scotland. Greg is the founder and editor of Theatre Weekly

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