With the new national lockdown, many events have been impacted.

One of those is bonfire night, with many displays cancelled to stop crowds gathering, we might not get to see the warm glow of a fire.

However, Bradford Theatres has saved the day. Tonight, at 18:30 the theatre is taking part in SIGNAL FIRES a collaboration between volunteers from the local community and the Royal Shakespeare Company to highlight the vibrancy of touring theatre and the threat the industry continues to face.

The display will be streamed on Bradford Theatres’ YouTube channel with filmed performances of a selection of the Bard’s famous speeches from plays such as Macbeth, Hamlet, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet. Volunteers include students from Bradford College and Performing Arts students from Bradford University.

It will be one of many fires lighting up across the UK for performers and audiences to share in one of the original forms of theatre: storytelling around a burning flame.

Each fire will span different disciplines, reflecting the diversity, and will be presented outdoors in front of socially distanced audiences, or digitally for those who are shielding or unable to travel.

Bradford key worker Georgina Jovanovic, recently enjoyed a zoom rehearsal of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 55 with professional actor Zoe Lambert, who lives in Holmfirth, and Producer Ian Wainwright. She chose Sonnet 55, because its theme is the endurance of love.

She said: “During lockdown, it’s been a particularly challenging time to remain focused on anything other than the issues going on around us. As a key worker and full-time student priorities have shifted as the world becomes a more challenging place to live in. I believe that staying creative is a form of self-care and can also be used to turn seemingly negative situations into more positive ones.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places said: “We are delighted to be part of the Shakespeare Nation project with the RSC and so proud of the creative voices and new storytelling that has emerged from our community, bringing a strength and positivity to the fore at this challenging time.”

Bradley Cookson-Patterson, from Bradford and studying Performing Arts at Bradford University, is performing a speech by Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan in the play The Tempest. He said: “My advice to stay creative is to keep yourself invested in the arts by watching plays, reading scripts, and listening to musical theatre soundtracks!”

 You will be able to view the event here: https://www.youtube.com/user/BradfordTheatres