Fierce, outspoken, and as cool as the characters she plays, it is impossible not to love Maisie Williams. If she isn’t tearing up our screens as Game Of Thrones badass, Arya Stark, she is calling out the president of the U.S. But now she is putting down her sword and taking to the stage in I and You, and thanks to some nifty new technology, her performance will be broadcast out for the world to see. That's right, you can watch Maisie Williams in I and You on Instagram. Yes, you read that right. You won’t need to make the trip out, wait in long queues, or even buy a ticket to watch Williams in the new production, which is being performed at the Hampstead Theatre in London. So settle back with some popcorn and your Instagram account, it promises to be a good one.
In a bid to make the theatre more accessible to all, Hampstead Theatre has hooked up with Instagram to show Lauren Gunderson’s critically acclaimed play free of charge, exclusively on Instagram TV. The play, which stars Maisie Williams and Zach Wyatt in the leading roles, will be available to watch for 72 hours from 6 p.m. on Nov 30. to Dec. 3. The production is specially filmed and edited so that anyone can watch the sold out show. All you have to do is follow Hampstead Theatre, Maisie Williams, Zach Wyatt, or the show's writer Lauren Gunderson, and then head to their IGTV channel to find the content. It is that easy.
When speaking about the opportunity to share her play with the world through Instagram, playwright Lauren Gunderson said in a press release:
“I'm truly overjoyed that this definitive production of my play I and You will be shown for free on Instagram. The more theatre we can offer people the better, and this is such a fresh and easy way to give millions of people a unique theatre experience. I and You isn’t just a teenage story, it’s a human story and I’m thrilled that people all across the world will have access to theatre in such an innovative way, completely free of charge.”
I and You tells the compelling story of Caroline (played by Williams) and Anthony (played by Wyatt). Caroline is housebound with illness and only Facebook as her companion. That is until Anthony explodes into her life. As the play unfolds, we slowly learn that the pair they have more in common than they first thought and an unlikely friendship blossoms. Whilst exploring the extraordinary situations that Caroline and Anthony find themselves in, it is also hard not to recognise your own teenage angst and problems in the two characters.
Speaking about their involvement with the play, Wyatt and Williams said, “we have been overwhelmed with the response from audiences throughout the run of I and You and we wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support. The whole experience has been joyous and we don’t want it to end. To be able to give this production a further life online with Instagram is simply awesome.”
Whilst other theatres have attempted to open their doors before by reducing ticket prices and putting on more performances, the move to put I and You on Instagram is massive. I and You tells the story of two young people and it feels massively important that it reaches a younger audience. If ease of access is what puts you off going to the theatre, this will be as easy as watching a show on Netflix.
It opens up the theatre doors to people of all ages, around the world, some of whom may never have been to the theatre before. And it looks like it really is going to be watched globally. Playwright, Lauren Gunderson has already revealed, “I myself will be watching from home in San Francisco with my kids and cat, and cannot wait to share Maisie Williams and Zach Wyatt’s incredible performances up close with the world. I hope people enjoy this opportunity to see two brilliant young actors knocking these roles out of the park in a play that means so much to me.” And I have no doubt Williams and Wyatt are going to nail it.