Alys Metcalf's Reel Life UK digital tour and cast announced

reel life

A revival of Alys Metcalf’s Reel Life will head on a digital tour of the UK.

Folio, partnered with ETT (English Touring Theatre) and Pound Arts have announced the tour will begin at The Pound Arts Centre in Corsham, before touring to Penzance, Crowcombe, Beverley, Dawlish and Burnham-on-Sea, with further dates for the rest of the year to be announced.


Adam Lenson directs Michael Palmer (Mark/T), Lizzie Stables (Jo) and Matt Tait (Huw/G) in the revival.

At the edge of a remote riverbank, two unlikely strangers meet. Jo, a children’s writer, is teaching herself to fish. Mark, a dryly eccentric recluse, has come to practice his daily Tai Chi. In a different time and space, a lone stranger addresses a partner from a once happy relationship.

Performed and filmed live on location in Wiltshire, exclusively for a digital theatre audience, Reel Life grapples with themes of recovery, love and loss – and what really lies beneath the surface.

This remount of Folio’s 2016 stage production gives Alys Metcalf’s beautiful play the new life it deserves and explores the relationship between theatre and film.

The creative team is made up of technical director Christian Czornyj, designer Libby Todd based on original designs for the stage by Sam Wilde, lighting designer Matt Daw and associate lighting designer Gabriel Finn.

Artistic Director of Folio Theatre Company Lizzie Stables said: “Folio have focussed on online work over the course of the pandemic period and have been excited by how digital theatre removes many barriers to access – particularly for our audiences in rural areas. Digital theatre has also provided the opportunity to access audiences for new writing, and to support theatres in providing an offering of new work, when studio touring continues to be challenging.

“Folio originally developed Reel Life in 2016 for a theatre tour in association with St James Theatre and Trowbridge Town Hall Arts. When the opportunity arose to create a filmed version for a digital tour – on location in our home, Wiltshire, where the play is also set – we relished the chance to bring the original team back together supported by our partners ETT (English Touring Theatre) and Pound Arts.

“Our 2022 digital production of Reel Life was filmed in three locations, over three days, using a fixed rig. Each scene was shot from beginning to end in one continuous take, to retain the live theatricality of the piece.”

For more information, full tour dates and tickets visit

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