#FinboroughForFree: Late Night Staring At High Res Pixels

by Athena Stevens

1 February - 30 March 2021

“Editing reality is more important than loyalty.”

A series of asides, streamed daily on YouTube

Join us at 7pm on Monday 1st March for an online Q&A with Finborough Theatre Playwright in Residence Athena Stevens and the creative team behind Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels, hosted by Srabani Sen OBE. The event is free to attend but places are limited. Actor Evelyn Lockley, director Lily McLeish, designer Anna Reid, and lighting designer Anthony Doran will discuss the challenges of repurposing a piece of theatre for online viewing and Athena will talk about the events that led her to write the play. There will also be a screening of Episode 1 and an opportunity for attendees to ask questions. Email sacha@aegisproductions.co.uk to register and to receive a Zoom link.

A new play repurposed for online viewing, from the creative team behind Scrounger, which premiered at the Finborough Theatre in February 2020 – the first of the Finborough Theatre’s #FinboroughForFree original online content, new for every month during 2021.

Presented in 28 separate episodes, Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels will be streamed at 6.00pm every day from 1 February 2021 via the Finborough Theatre’s YouTube channel, culminating in a recording of the whole play which will be available from 1 March until 30 March 2021. The episodes and the full play will also be simultaneously available with subtitles on Scenesaver.

All videos are free to view, and available WITHOUT SUBTITLES from our YouTube channel. Click here to watch now.

Simultaneously available WITH SUBTITLES on Scenesaver. Click here to watch subtitled versions now.

Two women. One photograph. A young woman sends a topless selfie to her boyfriend as a bit of flirtatious fun. When he shows it to his best friend for a laugh, he can’t imagine her having any other reaction. But what starts out as a joke soon turns into an accusation of something much darker. At what point does admiration become a form of control? How do we say ‘stop’ when it becomes apparent that we are complicit in hurting other women? If someone you know to be a good person, starts to prove themselves otherwise, how do you walk away?

Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels explores the issue of assumed consent and how it contributes to a culture of complicity and control towards women. Men have long held power in relationships with tools that have no name; this story aims to identify those methods.

Athena Stevens has been using online platforms and iPhones to tell stories since 2013. While the traditional channels are dark, Stevens and her creative team have invented a new form of theatre, combining a play written by Stevens with elements of web-series and vlogs. Created via Zoom across eight time zones, and filmed on iPads, the series follows two women in their separate spaces, as they realise that their lives are more entwined than they could have ever imagined.

Writer and performer Athena Stevens says “The events that led me to write this play were the same events that made me become a feminist and to work for the Women’s Equality Party. I suddenly had the realisation that I was expected to follow a script in my relationships, one that was inevitably harmful to other women. Oppression is always dependent on silence. I refuse to be a cog in the machine built to oppress women.”

As part of the Finborough Theatre’s #FinboroughForFree initiative, the theatre will be releasing a new work every month during our closure to watch online for free. Following our successful release of archive recordings during 2020, the Finborough Theatre is now moving into original content for 2021. For more information about this and other Finborough Theatre productions currently available to stream online, visit the Finborough Theatre website at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk

Follow the Finborough Theatre on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more updates about future #FinboroughForFree releases.

About The Playwright Athena Stevens

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Scrounger and Schism.

Athena is a writer, performer and director, and currently a Playwright in Residence at the Finborough Theatre. She is the Artistic Director of Aegis Productions Ltd, a Creative Council member and an Associate Artist at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Other collaborations include the Royal Shakespeare Company, Sadler’s Wells, National Theatre Studio, National Youth Theatre, BBC and Channel 4.

In 2011 she made her West End debut, as a writer and actress, in The Amazing Vancetti Sisters, and in 2016 her second play, Schism, had its world premiere at the Finborough Theatre. Schism transferred to the Park Theatre in 2018 for which Athena was nominated for an OffWestEnd Award for Best Female Performance and an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre in 2019.

Athena's work for Shakespeare's Globe includes Sonnet Sunday, Dark Night of The Soul and Notes To The Forgotten She Wolves.

Theatre includes A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (Trafalgar Studios) and Redefining Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Athena's other work includes the feature documentary Day of Small Things (Channel 4), the short film The Conference (BBC) and three web series for YouTube.

Athena is a contributor to The Stage, The Guardian and The Independent. Athena is a TEDx speaker and founding member of the Women’s Equality Party and Primadonna Literary Festival.

Athena is currently under commission to the National Youth Theatre and Sky TV.

Born in Chicago, she now lives in London. Athena was born with athetoid cerebral palsy.

About The Director Lily McLeish

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Scrounger.

Lily McLeish is a British-German theatre director working in theatre, dance, film, video-installation and podcast. She is the Artistic Director of Fizzy Sherbet, a new writing initiative for women playwrights, a creative fellow of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and long-time Associate Director to Katie Mitchell.

Direction includes White Tuesday, recently awarded a Sarah Award – International Audio Fiction Award, and Special Occasions (Fizzy Sherbet Podcast), Killing It (The Vaults), While You Are Here (Dance East and The Place), Schism (Park Theatre), The White Bike (The Space), Unlocked (Glenside Hospital Museum and alldaybreakfast, Bristol), A Colder Water Than Here which was awarded the Origins Award For Outstanding New Work (The Vaults), Three Lives (Fringe Arts Bath), Housekeeping (Southwark Playhouse), Absence (The Young Vic), This Despised Love (Royal Shakespeare Company), Old Times (Artheater, Cologne) and Footfalls (Severins-Burg-Theater, Cologne).

Associate Direction includes Orlando (Schaubühne, Berlin), Norma Jeane Baker of Troy (The Shed, New York), Anatomy of a Suicide and Ophelias Zimmer (Royal Court Theatre).

Assistant Direction includes When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other, Cleansed and The Beaux' Stratagem (National Theatre) and The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Royal Shakespeare Company).

About The Designer Anna Reid

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Scrounger and I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard.

Anna is a set and costume designer based in London and a graduate of Wimbledon College of Art.

Designs include Dust (New York Theatre Workshop), Cash Cow, Paradise and The Hoes (Hampstead Theatre), Four Minutes Twelve Seconds, The Kitchen Sink and Jumpers for Goalposts (Oldham Coliseum), The Sweet Science of Bruising (Wilton's Music Hall), Our Country's Good and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Tobacco Factory Theatre), Soft Animals, Fury (Soho Theatre), Mary's Babies and Dry Land (Jermyn Street Theatre),Twelfth Night, Collective Rage, Dear Brutus, The Cardinal and School Play (Southwark Playhouse), Rasheeda Speaking (Trafalgar Studios), Schism (Park Theatre), Grotty (The Bunker), Tiny Dynamite (Old Red Lion Theatre), Rattle Snake (Live Theatre Newcastle, York Theatre Royal, and Soho Theatre), Arthur's World (Bush Theatre) and Hamlet (Riverside Studios).

Anna was selected to represent the UK as an emerging designer at World Stage Design 2017.

About the Lighting Designer Anthony Doran

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Scrounger.

Trained in Lighting Design at Rose Bruford College.

Lighting Designs include Katie Mitchell's cinema productions of Orlando (Schaubühne), La Maladie de la Mort (Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord), Shadows (Eurydice Speaks) (Schaubühne), Bluets (Deutsches Schauspielhaus) and Norma Jeane Baker of Troy (The Shed).

Dance includes Psychoacoustic and Asymptote for Jack Philp Dance.

Associate Lighting Designs include collaborating with Jack Knowles on Reisende auf einem Bein (Traveling on One Leg).

Anthony has also toured extensively as a re-lighter and worked on numerous fashion events.

About the Sound Designer and Composer Julian Starr

Julian is the Associate Sound Designer to the Finborough Theatre where his productions have included Scrounger, The Wind of Heaven and A Winning Hazard.

Julian is a Sound Designer and Composer specialising in theatre, events, installations and media, and twice nominated for the OffWestEnd Award for Sound Design.

Sound Designs include Sleepwalking (Hampstead Theatre), ZOG (UK Tour), Othello (Union Theatre), Cry Havoc and Martha and Josie and the Chinese Elvis, (Park Theatre), Alice in Slasherland (Old Fitz Theatre, Sydney), Surf Séance (Sydney Arts Festival), The Comedy of Errors and Pericles (Czech Republic, Valtice Castle), You Only Live Forever (Soho Theatre and UK Tour), White Noise and Killing It (The Vaults) Precious Little (Brockley Jack Theatre), The Orchestra (Omnibus Theatre), The Good Scout (Edinburgh Fringe and Above The Stag Theatre), The Giant Killers (UK Tour), Eris (Bunker Theatre) and Gulliver Returns (UK Tour).

Design Assistant and Associate work includes Disney’s Aladdin The Musical (Queensland QPAC, Assistant Sound Designer to Australasia Sound Associate), and Talk and Richard III (Sydney Opera House).

Production Sound Engineer includes An Inspector Calls (UK and Ireland Tour) and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (Edinburgh Castle).

Media as sound designer and composer includes the Salty Women Podcast and Fizzy Sherbet Podcast.

The Press on Scrounger at the Finborough Theatre

★★★★ “Athena Stevens’ excellent new play… provocative, smart and calls out its liberal audience” Rosemary Waugh, Time Out (Show of the Week)

★★★★ “In many ways Scrounger does for disability what Fairview does for the white, liberal gaze on race. It is unashamedly provocative; justifiably angry.” Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

★★★★ “Scrounger is gut-wrenching. It’s memorable. It’s made to generate discomfort so that change can ensue.” Ghazaleh Golpira, The Upcoming

★★★★ “Athena Stevens’ latest play is full of quiet fury.” JN Benjamin, The Stage

★★★★ “A great demonstration of Stevens’ writing ability, championing a topic on which we clearly have a long way to go.” Rob Warren, Everything Theatre

★★★★ “An exciting and angry piece of storytelling.” Paul Ewing, The Londonist

The Press on the Online Release of Scrounger

★★★★ “Avant-garde in its concerns, advancing a woefully belated discussion about making people with disabilities welcome in the theatre both as audiences and artists” Jesse Green, The New York Times

★★★★ “During the current pandemic, stories about isolation have a particular resonance… One of the most prescient is Athena Stevens’ Scrounger… beautifully conveys both its modernistic aesthetic and its emotional and political charge” Aleks Sierz, The Arts Desk

★★★★ “Stevens is magnetic, a masterful storyteller” Abbie Grundy, The Upcoming

The Press on Previous #FinboroughForFree Online Releases

OffWestEnd OnComm Award Online Commendations for It Is Easy To Be Dead, Continuity, Jane Clegg, Scrounger, Death of a Hunter and I Wish To Die Singing – Voices from the Armenian Genocide.

“A very welcome digital revival from a lifeblood theatre we simply cannot afford to lose.” ★★★★ Mayer Wakefield, Morning Star Online on It Is Easy To Be Dead

“Unmissable is a word too often carelessly used, and I did miss the production at the Finborough being away at the time, so this came as a revelation. It is exactly that. Not to be missed.” ★★★★ William Russell, ReviewsGate on It Is Easy To Be Dead

Continuity is an excellent 75 minutes of tense theatre, which continues the venue’s great track record of presenting great new writing.” Aleks Sierz on Continuity

1 February - 30 March 2021