Millions watch Scottish comedy favourite Janey Godley star in online plays made in lockdown

Two short plays starring Edinburgh Festival Fringe favourite Janey Godley have been seen a total of more than 3.7 million times since they were released online.
Janey Godley in the National Theatre of Scotland film Alone.Janey Godley in the National Theatre of Scotland film Alone.
Janey Godley in the National Theatre of Scotland film Alone.

The National Theatre of Scotland has revealed that the Glasgow comic and actress has helped it attract more than 11 million views for a series of digital works made in lockdown around the world.Godley has attracted more than 2.7 million views for Alone, which sees her play a middle-aged woman with a controllinghusband, and a follow-up, which features Scots film star Jack Lowden playing her character’s son, and has already had more than a million views since it was released last week.

The National Theatre of Scotland has joined forces with the BBC to create dozens of online films to help give actors, writers and directors work during the shutdown of arts venues.

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Other films in the Scenes for Survival series to have notched up big audiences including Brian Cox playing Ian Rankin’s grizzled detective John Rebus, Peter Mullan playing a Glaswegian speak to a jackdaw in his back garden, a musical contribution from Outlander star Richard Rankin and Shetland star Mark Bonnar portraying a government scientific adviser forced to apologise for breaching lockdown rules.

Of the 36 films released since the end of May, 25 have attracted an audience of more than 100,000 across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

NTS artistic director Jackie Wylie said: “It has been wonderful to see the reaction to Scenes for Survival over these last few months.

“At what has been an incredibly difficult time for people all over the world, the programme was conceived as a way of reaching out to isolated audiences across Scotland and beyond, as well as to help support the Scottish theatre sector and creatives during a time of crisis, all while raising money for those in the sector most affected by the outbreak.

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“The success of Scenes for Survival so far has been a testament to the extraordinary talent of Scotland’s theatre-makers. Their resilience and creativity in being able to create amazing theatre from their spaces of isolation over these last few months is incredible and inspiring.

"One of theatre’s key strengths as an art form is its ability to be timely and responsive, and these stories have helped us understand the times we are living through as well as collectively imagine what the future might bring.

“The programme has allowed us to seek strength in the power of creative collaboration, working in new ways with partner theatre organisations as well as broadcasters, and we are delighted a selection of the films are set to reach new audiences through our ongoing partnership with the BBC.

"We hope they continue to bring some joy, shared community and solace to audiences watching across Scotland and beyond.”

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