As Pune lockdown gets extended, people can find meaning, solace from global arts organisations

From a fear of Zoom meetings to social divisions created by the pandemic, performers try various ways to engage with the virus.

Isolation, loneliness and the fear of Zoom meetings — these are some of the themes of the performances that were filmed as part of Scenes for Survival, an initiative of the National Theatre Scotland to ensure that creativity continues from the home. Watch Aleister Crowley Summon the Devil, a play featuring a protagonist who is tired of every day feeling the same. In Isolation, a lonely woman struggles to come through the hellish, isolating odyssey of her illness. Access the works here.

COVID-19 has deeply divided societies across the world. Jennifer Tang and Anthony Lau of UK’s Moongate Productions and Omnibus theatre have created  10 short plays, titled WeRNotVirus, which revolve around the racism that Britain’s Asian and south-east Asian people have been confronting. The pieces have been created by some of the country’s sensitive writers. Several videos are available on Youtube.

Love in the Lockdown is a performance that follows medieval musician Emilia and playwright Giovanni who enter into a relationship awkwardly through Zoom dates. Over 3 months, the separated lovers get closer and work on a project that is inspired by the book The Decameron by Boccaccio. Boccaccio placed The Decameron as a “14th Century box set” of 100 stories told by young people to while away their quarantine during the Black Death in Florence in 1348.

Giovanni plans to reimagine The Decameron, drawing out parallels with the COVID-19 pandemic, while Emilia and her ensemble, played by The Telling, plan the music. But a number of forces are at work to challenge the lovers and test their relationship. What happens next? Presented by UK-based The Telling, Love in the Lockdown is available on YouTube till May 31.

The play, Unusual Suspect, is an immersive murder mystery that unfolds online. A group of friends has come together on a video call for their college reunion. Things get hairy when they’re unwillingly roped in to solve a murder of their friend. You now have to race against time to make sure that you’re not the next victim of the murderer. The play involves solving puzzles, random tasks and your skills to protect yourself and find the murderer.

On April May 2 on Zoom. Tickets: Rs 249 on BookMyShow

Sivagamiyin Sabatham or The vow of Sivagami is a Tamil historical novel, written by Kalki, and published as a book in 1948. It is regarded as one of the greatest novels of Tamil literature. A play, based on it, takes you to 7th-century south India, a time of great historical events and figures, and focuses on ideals such as honour, love and friendship.

On May 1, 6.30 pm, on BookMyShow. Charges: Rs 199

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