Red Ladder Theatre Company: Connected During Covid

Connected 2020

Following the closure of its national tour of Smile Club, Red Ladder Theatre Company is bringing a new drama directly to audiences while theatres remain shut during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Connected is a witty audio play written by Leeds playwright Chris O’Connor and Leeds actor Paul Fox. It’s released in short episodes via a weekly podcast on Red Ladder’s website. It can also be found on Mantality, a multifaceted platform for promoting and supporting men’s mental health. Mantality was founded in 2016 by Leeds Rhinos captain Stevie Ward.

Taking a starring role in the audio play, the professional rugby player performs alongside Leeds actor and co-writer Paul Fox. Fox is a plasterer and actor who’s performed roles for Red Ladder before. They play Leeds lads Paul and Danny, who meet in the pub every Wednesday for a pint after work. But 2020 is different.

Connected 2020

“Authentic dialogue”

Connected sees the reality of the crisis unfolding through a witty and relevant comic play. It takes listeners from their carefree days enjoying banter and a beer after work through to the outbreak of the Coronavirus and beyond. And it examines its effects on two working class Yorkshire blokes as the world around them falls into chaos.

Connected is directed by Red Ladder’s Artistic director Rod Dixon who has now gone on furlough. It features sound by Dom Smith and music composed by Claire-Marie Seddon.

Red Ladder Artistic Director Rod Dixon said: “In response to the Coronavirus and with our national tour of Smile Club brought to a close, Red Ladder has commissioned local playwright Chris O’Connor and actor Paul Fox to write a series of short podcast plays. Connected is being recorded by our creative teams in the isolation of their own homes. In each episode of Connected we see how the lockdown and social distancing affect two characters – Paul and Danny.”

Connected co-writer Chris O’Connor said: “Having written for Red Ladder, as well as co-hosted the Mantality podcast, it is brilliant to bring the two together on something creative. Our industries have been hit hard by the current pandemic and when we began to lose work, we thought about creating a series of audio plays which would take us week by week through these unusual times.”

Connected is released as a weekly podcast and can be listened to via Red Ladder and Mantality’s websites.
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Main image: Anthony Robling


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