You can’t go to the theatre, so why not bring it to your doorstep?

‘Delete This!’ is a video drama series courtesy of Why Not Theatre Company

Delete this! It’s neither a computer virus nor the shortest bad review in history (it is two letters shorter than “Shit sandwich”), but instead a new video theatre project from the good people at Why Not Theatre Company.

With theatres still shut, they’re bringing their drama to your doorstep – yes, that probably was them loitering outside the other night, although we doubt they left whipped cream capsules everywhere or knocked your bike over – to fill in any gap for cultural sustenance you might have been feeling during the coronavirus lockdown.

After all, it will be a long wait for Why Not’s next production, ‘Happy Days’ by Samuel Beckett, which has been pencilled in for September 3-25 at the group’s spiritual home, Teatret ved Sorte Hest. 

A little joy and warmth this winter
The idea is a simple one: ‘Delete This’ is a collection of video messages left by drunks to loved ones – of the ex or unresolved variety. Quickly surmised, these are tales of “Love, booze and things you wish you hadn’t said”, according to the promo.

“To spread a little joy and warmth this winter Why Not Theatre Company collected a sparkling creative team in order to produce the video theatre project,” explained the project’s associate director, Nina Larissa Bassett.

“Nine very different people have taken a stiff drink when plucking up the courage to leave a message to a loved one. In doing so they send off revealing, touching and even disturbing confessions – which they probably wish to delete afterwards.”

Exploring our increased interconnectedness
According to Bassett, ‘Delete This’ is Why Not resident playwright Tanja Mastilo’s exploration of the effect of our increased interconnectedness on emotional relationships. 

“In these socially-distanced times we are often reminded of the importance of closeness in our daily lives. The need to connect feels stronger and more urgent, as we are told to stay apart,” she ventured. 

“Our secrets, worries, emotional manipulations and disappointments have a tendency to surface after a couple of drinks. And with a little help from our smartphones, it’s easier than ever to pour our heart directly into a message and share it with the world. Constant online access to others means we can express every thought and impulse 24 hours a day. Is this constructive in relationships? Of course not. Is it revealing? Well, yes. Is it regrettable?”

From Cornwall to Queensland
With lockdowns in most countries across the world, the videos have been shot ay a wide range of different locations. 

Not only in Copenhagen, but in Brighton, London and Cornwall and even Queensland, Australia, associates of the theatre group have gamely taken Mastilo’s scripts and gone for it. 

Mastilo, fresh from her success with ‘The Cheyenne are Leaving’, has fashioned nine monologues that again demonstrate her ear for different voices.