In partnership with Battersea Arts Centre and Arts Council England, the BBC is bringing live theatre back to Television Centre for Live from Television Centre. Jessica Thom aka Touretteshero will be performing a special rendition, Broadcast from Biscuit Land alongside four other 'genre-busting' theatre pieces live on BBC Four.
Live from Television Centre will feature interweaving and eclectic performances from Gecko, Richard Dedomenici, Touretteshero and Common Wealth across a two-hour live broadcast on BBC Four on Sunday 15 November 2015 at 9pm. Islington Community Theatre will create a fifth performance released exclusively on BBC iPlayer the same day.
All will be filmed in the iconic Television Centre complex, the headquarters of BBC Television between 1960 and 2013, at locations within Studio One and the Drama Block for the BBC’s first live broadcast there since 2013.
This exciting development in theatre for television will include brand new performances and adaptations of existing pieces with short pre-recorded segments integrated with the live broadcast.
Live from Television Centre is part of the BBC’s On Stage - a season of programming across the BBC that celebrates all of Britain’s incredible theatre talent, from world-class actors to cutting-edge regional theatre.
Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor of BBC Four, says:
“This project will see live television happening at Television Centre for the first time since the building was decommissioned in 2013. It’s going to be surprising, moving and a lot of fun, as BBC Four opens up the airwaves to a range of voices in our society, and new approaches to making performance, that haven’t had the benefit of a primetime TV showcase ever before.”
David Jubb, Artistic Director and CEO of Battersea Arts Centre, says:
“For a long time, theatre created by independent artists has been perceived as fringe or experimental, as opposed to that created by big-building-based theatres. This has always seemed odd to me because much of the theatre by independent artists is deeply accessible. In the music business, independent bands and musicians have mass followings and there is wide appreciation of the value they contribute to the scene. So I am excited by this first step in UK theatre and for these five independent theatre makers to present their work to a larger audience on television. I am delighted this collaboration is happening between Battersea Arts Centre, Arts Council England and the BBC because I think the ideas and perspectives of these independent theatre-makers can speak to a large audience who might not be interested in more conventional forms of theatre.”
Neil Darlison, Director of Theatre at Arts Council England, says:
“I am delighted we’re able to support this exciting and innovative project. I hope it will attract new audiences to theatre whilst exploring new ways for theatre and programme-makers to collaborate on commissioning and creating new work for television, online and other platforms.”
Jess Thom, whose tourettes causes her to say 'biscuit' 16,000 a day, has wowed audiences with her performances of Backstage in Biscuit Land. Crowning Live from Television Centre, Broadcast from Biscuitland will be a unique show.
Thom will be filmed in her makeshift dressing room as she prepares for her television debut as part of the Live From Television Centre finale. But as props and costumes are delivered to her door it becomes apparent that her verbal tics have led to comic misunderstandings. She’s left to wonder if half an hour will be enough time to make it to set in one piece and if her act in the impending finale will run to plan.