Leighton Buzzard actor Louise Dearman aims to provide lockdown laughs with The Fosse Forest Ballet

A new online sitcom looking to entertain an audience which has been starved of theatrical content during the pandemic is being launched this week.

Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 12:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 1:00 pm

The pilot episode of The Fosse Forest Ballet is released on Friday, November 13, and stars Leighton Buzzard’s very own West End actor Louise Dearman.

It follows the journey of a fictional smash-hit pantomime about to open in London: The Fosse Forest Ballet.

Louise stars alongside Amy Bailey (The Producers), Philip Joel (Closer to Heaven), Nuwan Hugh-Perer (Side Show), David Muscat (Billy Elliot), Zoe Birkett (The Bodyguard), Tosh Wanogho-Maud (Dreamgirls) and Kerry Ellis.

The Fosse Forest Ballet will be released on Friday and stars Louise Dearman from Leighton Buzzard

The Fosse Forest Ballet was inspired by Philip Joel’s hilarious and satirical sketches on social media during lockdown.

David Muscat of Emerge Production House saw an opportunity to develop a concept with the aim of delivering ‘a little bit of theatre, into the comfort of people’s homes’.

With many theatre professionals involved both behind and in front of the camera, The Fosse Forest Ballet is directed by Racky Plews (American Idiot), filmed on location at Upstairs At The Gatehouse in London by Graded Films, with music by Adam Langston (films: Cats, Les Misérables), animation by Bruno Collins (Treasure Island) and assistant direction by Blair Anderson (Mary Poppins).

The pilot episode, recorded over two days in September, will be released online exclusively at www.thefosseforestballet.com. For the price of a West End coffee (£3.49) viewers can enjoy the 40-minute episode filled with humour, drama and several of Philip Joel’s much-loved characters.

All profits raised will be donated back into the theatre community via two nominated charities, with a goal of raising £10,000 to be distributed between Acting for Others, which provides support for artists, and Theatres Trust, which provides support for venues across the country.

Philip Joel said: “What started out as a few silly videos in my living room has turned into acting alongside my absolute theatre faves, whilst giving back to the industry that I love.”

A spokesman for the production added: “The main aim of this project has always been two-fold. Create opportunities for theatre professionals during a time where opportunities are few and far between. But also, and most importantly, try to help an industry that we all love in its time of most need.”