While our doors remain closed in these unusual times, we understand how important it is for us to reach out and support the audiences and artists that form our creative community.
Mercury Online is our programme of digital activity, providing fun theatre content and development opportunities for all ages via your screens.
We are delighted to be able to present our Mercury Online programme for free, however, if you do feel able, we hope you will consider supporting our work with a donation to the Mercury Rising campaign. Thank you.
What we’ve been up to…
Mercury Online Festival 2020
Earlier in the year we joined together with University of Essex, Signals and the Lakeside Theatre to launch a brand new digital theatre and performance festival that took place over a weekend in August.
The online festival was an exciting new opportunity to showcase the best work by creatives from the East of England in a celebration of all things virtual.
We have hosted a whole range of Mercury Masterclasses, run by creative professionals from across the industry, offering chances for budding creatives to engage, learn and network with theatre and arts enthusiasts.
Each week a different creative led a virtual session via Zoom, delving into their specialist subjects to share their knowledge and skills with an online audience for free.
Our enormous thanks go to all of the guest creatives who helped make this happen. Going forwards we intend to continue these on a bi-weekly basis so stayed tuned!
Mercury Songwriting Contest
In association with Perfect Pitch
Here at the Mercury we really do believe we can improve the world one song at a time and that’s why we were over the moon to host a brand new songwriting contest.
We love to present new musicals and showcase the talents of songwriters whenever we can, and in this period of uncertainty we felt this was a great opportunity to discover some new voices.
For this competition, we invited composers, musicians and songwriters to submit an I Want song – the song that sets out the leading character’s dreams and desires, connects us emotionally to them and makes us want to go on the journey with them.
Our winners and runners up have now been announced and you can listen to them all here.
In association with Josef Weinberger Plays
We are thrilled to be joining forces once again with our friends at Josef Weinberger Plays to present an exciting new playwriting development programme, designed to nurture and grow new creative talent in the East of England.
Over the next 9 months, Mercury Playwrights in association with Josef Weinberger Plays will support a group of new writers, to guide and mentor them through the process of creating their own full-length play or piece of theatre.
Together with Josef Weinberger Plays, it is our mission raise playwrights of tomorrow.
We received over 120 applications for this programme, and our 15 successful mentees have now been chosen. Find out more about the programme and our emerging playwrights here.
In association with Josef Weinberger Ltd
Mercury Monologues in association with Josef Weinberger Ltd saw creative hopefuls submit a short monologue each week, based on a pre-determined theme.
Submissions were judged by a panel of professionals as selected by the Mercury and Josef Weinberger and each week a new winner was announced, earning themselves a £100 prize and seeing their monologue read and streamed to the Mercury’s social media channels and website, by a professional, paid actor.
Our Mercury Monologues competition is now closed, but you can still watch all the winning monologues here.
Huge congratulations to:
Diane Crotty – Saltborn (Week 1: Temptation)
Kieran Vyas – To Call a Wolf (Week 2: Magic)
Michelle Payne – Memory Box (Week 3: BOX)
Kelly Jones – Garden Paradis-o (Week 4: Magic 8)
Sepy Baghaei – A Good Day Will Come AND Nadya Menhin – The Second Rule (Week 5: Some People Are Just Born With Tragedy in Their Blood).
Matt Gurr – Motherland (Week 6: Great Britain).
Storytime with Dale
Mercury panto favourite Dale Superville (Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White and many, many more) helped brighten up the beginning of lockdown by appearing on our Facebook page on Tuesday afternoons for Storytime with Dale.
These whimsical, family friendly sessions have now come to a close, but Dale’s fantastic tales can still be enjoyed for free on our Facebook and YouTube pages! Simply click the links below to be transported into one of Dale’s stories.
Story 1 – Dinosaurs in the Supermarket
Story 2 – The Three Little Pigs
Story 3 – What Became of the Red Shoes?
Story 4 – Little Red Riding Hood
Story 5 – The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Story 6 – The Boy Who Cried Wolf
Story 7 – Hank’s Pranks by David Walliams
Mercury Voices Online
As part of our wider Mercury Voices archiving project and in line with our Mercury Online programme, we are pleased to present a series of six recordings, detailing the life and history of the Mercury Theatre and it’s role within the Colchester community.
All six recordings are now available to hear for free, so grab a cup of tea, settle in and listen at your leisure!
Click here to listen to:
Week 1: The Colchester Rep.
Week 2: Pantomime
Week 3: Colchester and The Mercury
Week 4: David Forder’s Mercury
Week 5: Dee Evan’s Theatre
Week 6: Mercury Now