The Crown stars reunite for a play… in an empty theatre on a socially distanced stage 

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The Crown stars reunite for a play… in an empty theatre on a socially distanced stage 

Luvvies in the time of coronavirus: The Crown stars reunite for a play... in an empty theatre on a socially distanced stageClaire Foy

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Luvvies in the time of coronavirus: The Crown stars reunite for a play… in an empty theatre on a socially distanced stage

  • Claire Foy and Matt Smith return to the theatre to rehearse for the play Lungs
  • Theatres can reopen from July 4 but cannot perform plays to live audiences
  • Screenings may be shown instead with one-metre social distancing in place

This acting duo were all about intimacy when they played a couple at the Old Vic in London last year.

But Claire Foy and Matt Smith are maintaining a careful distance as they return to the stage. 

At a rehearsal this week for a live performance being streamed from today, they were several feet apart.

Acting out: Matt Smith and Claire Foy rehearse. The production is part of Old Vic: In Camera, which also includes a series of rehearsed play-readings streamed live

Acting out: Matt Smith and Claire Foy rehearse. The production is part of Old Vic: In Camera, which also includes a series of rehearsed play-readings streamed live

The pair, who starred as the Queen and Prince Philip in The Crown series, are reprising their roles in the play Lungs, which had a sell-out run last year.

But the auditorium of the theatre will be empty for its first shows since lockdown began. 

Miss Foy, 36, and former Doctor Who star Smith, 37, are playing a couple wrestling with the dilemmas of the planet in Duncan Macmillan’s work.

Not short of space: The pair practise lines this week. Theatres can reopen from July 4 but they are not allowed to stage live performances for live audiences

Not short of space: The pair practise lines this week. Theatres can reopen from July 4 but they are not allowed to stage live performances for live audiences

Physically close scenes have been reworked to observe social distancing.

The production is part of Old Vic: In Camera, which also includes a series of rehearsed play-readings streamed live. 

Pre-corona: Performing last year. The project is an attempt to revive the theatre’s box office revenue, which was wiped out by the coronavirus crisis

Pre-corona: Performing last year. The project is an attempt to revive the theatre’s box office revenue, which was wiped out by the coronavirus crisis

The project is an attempt to revive the theatre’s box office revenue, which was wiped out by the coronavirus crisis.

Theatres can reopen from July 4 but they are not allowed to stage live performances for live audiences. 

Screenings may be shown instead, and one-metre social distancing must be in place.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has also encouraged theatres to hold outdoor performances with socially distanced spectators as part of a new plan for the return of live performances.

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