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  • Miles Hedley


Updated: Sep 5, 2020

Teatro Vivo’s long-running promenade theatre thread Grimms Collecting Agency has illuminated the local arts scene for many years with shows involving the folklorist brothers guiding audiences through the streets, shops and pubs of - most recently - Deptford, Catford and New Cross in dazzling multisensory performances.

Covid19 has thwarted their latest planned outing, in Croydon, and instead the brothers’ great great great great great grandchildren Sabine and Reinhardt (Kas Darley and Joe Cullen) have turned to Zoom to collect a new set of stories for a video entitled Under Lockdown.

The siblings, with technical help from Ms Merkel (Molly Leigh-Moy), asked Brits from as far afield as Dundee and Dorset to describe their experiences of coronavirus self-isolation. And the results range from the heart-warming to the whimsical to the downright weird.

Over nearly 40 minutes, we hear about the kindness of pugilists, mermaids in the Bermuda Triangle, the strange case of the disappearing (and reappearing) specs, leaking houseboats, an inspiring tale of enduring love amid a battle for life, tree-hugging, quarantini cocktails, avuncular shortcomings, gifts of tadpoles, mental fragility, volunteering overload, WhatsApp discos, neighbourhood solidarity, apocalyptic thinking, reflections of the things that truly matter in life and most people’s apparently boundless capacity for looking out for one another.

The upshot is a marvellous film, directed by Mark Stevenson and edited by Maddy Arthur, that will make you laugh, make you cry, make you count your blessings and make you proud to be a member of the human race. Watch it now at

And once you’ve done that, here’s a great bonus - Evelyn’s Roots, Teatro Vivo’s free audio history-cum-walking tour around Deptford, which you can find at


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