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Deadline: 1 July 2021
by Athena Stevens
OFFIE Award Winners:
Best New Play: Scrounger by Athena Stevens
Best Supporting Performance: Leigh Quinn
SCENESAVER Birthday Honours Winner:
Best Supporting Performance: Leigh Quinn
LATE NIGHT STARING AT HIGH RES PIXELS
by Athena Stevens
A series of asides written & performed by Athena Stevens with Evelyn Lockley.
Directed by Lily McLeish.
★★★★ Four Stars, The Guardian
★★★★ Four Stars, North West End
★★★★ Four Stars, London Pub Theatres
★★★★ Four Stars, The Reviews Hub
★★★★ Four Stars, The Upcoming
★★★★ Four Stars, LondonTheatre1
★★★★ Four Stars, iNews
London Pub Theatres Standing Ovation Award Nomination
OffWestEnd OnComm Award Nomination
Presented as 28 separate episodes, the entire playlist for Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels was available on the Finborough Theatre's YouTube channel and the Scenesaver YouTube channel with subtitles
1 March - 30 April 2021.
Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels was a new play repurposed for online viewing from the OFFIE winning creative team behind SCROUNGER.
It was the first of the Finborough Theatre’s #FinboroughForFree original online content.
Two women. One photograph. A young woman sends a topless selfie to her boyfriend as a bit of flirtatious fun. When he shows it to his best friend for a laugh, he can’t imagine her having any other reaction. But what starts out as a joke soon turns into an accusation of something much darker. At what point does admiration become a form of control? How do we say ‘stop’ when it becomes apparent that we are complicit in hurting other women? If someone you know to be a good person, starts to prove themselves otherwise, how do you walk away?
Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels explores the issue of assumed consent and how it contributes to a culture of complicity and control towards women. Men have long held power in relationships with tools that have no name; this story aims to identify those methods.
The Press on LATE NIGHT STARING AT HIGH RES PIXELS:
“Everything about Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels is sleek and stylish…Conceived for the stage but repurposed for online viewing, it resembles a Netflix series that knows just how to lure us in.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian
“As we approach the anniversary of theatre closures, McLeish and Reid in particular have notably demonstrated how sophisticated digital theatre has become in that year.” Maryam Philpott, Cultural Capital
“Heart wrenching and alarming by turn, the piece exposes the darker side of the reality we present to the world via our social media.” Donna M Day, North West End
“Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels is a satisfying 2021 watch, an in-depth study of navigating relationships and what rejecting normal social narratives can do.” Brooke Snowe, The Upcoming
“A dark and unnerving piece of online theatre.” Donna M Day, North West End
“A clear-eyed, delicate and disturbing examination of the dynamics of power and gender.” Sam Marlowe, iNews
“Incredibly stylish, even chic.” Maryam Philpott, Cultural Capital
“Instantly moreish.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian
“This series can be watched piecemeal on consecutive nights, or binge-watched as a whole: I found myself impatient to see what was going to happen next, such was the quality of the writing, the acting, and the production.” Louise Penn, Lou Reviews
“An intelligent play looking at friendship, love, consent and manipulation.” Kate Pettigrew, London Pub Theatres
“A dense and intense piece of work.” John Chapman, 2nd From Bottom
“A drama that is beautiful across all its surfaces and riven by toxicity and turbulence beneath.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian
“A subtle spiral of gradual, devastating awareness of toxic behaviour.” Sam Marlowe, iNews
“Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels became an anticipatory event waiting for the next daily instalment to appear at 6pm, and, if you can refrain from consuming all 28 episodes in one sitting, there is considerable value in experiencing these as Stevens and McLeish intended, as a slow-burn pause for thought that will consume more than their allotted 6-7 minutes as you muse on these character confessionals and their cumulative meaning.” Maryam Philpott, Cultural Capital
“What’s exciting about the project are its bite-sized episodes, impossible in a theatre, that are carefully crafted to grow and build. So, watch slowly and take your time.” Edward Lukes, Once A Week Theatre
“An exploration of toxic masculinity and the complex and contradictory responses of two women connected to the unseen male character. But this is not about a large scale abuse of power but the smaller, casual and everyday experiences of coercion and control.” Maryam Philpott, Cultural Capital
“Stevens notably tackles head-on the oppression and control of women, and captures the heartbreaking reality of a friendship broken apart by the action by another individual.” Brooke Snowe, The Upcoming
“Stevens is sharp on the ways in which romantic clichés and manicured social-media lives shape our perceptions of relationships.” Sam Marlowe, iNews
“Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels demonstrates when and how lines are crossed. These are meaty and complex debates that Stevens tackles head-on, leaving her audience as much as her characters examining their own conduct….A gripping anatomy of relationships and the attempts to manipulate two quite different women.” Maryam Philpott, Cultural Capital
“Athena Stevens’ Late Night Staring at High-Res Pixels skirts as an episodic romantic-comedy but meticulously carves an unravelling narrative with dark twists, exploring issues of age, power and the complicity of harming others.” Dominic Corr, The Reviews Hub
“Both Stevens and her play are a triumph.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian
“Tackling diverse subjects with little concern for sugar-coating, Steven’s Late Night speaks to generations of women who followed a doctrine of perceptions and patriarchal expectations of relationships, and just how far admiration can lead to complacent oppression.” Dominic Corr, The Reviews Hub
“Peppered with moments of comic relief, this intriguing production shows how relationships can be immensely painful even with a complete absence of physical violence.” Chris Omaweng, LondonTheatre1
“Packs years’ worth of thoughts, concerns and harm into a series of aside episodes, each well-constructed and performed with understanding, grace, and humour.” Dominic Corr, The Reviews Hub
“These women – actors and characters – open themselves out and engage completely with this story of female friendship, strength, and vulnerability. Their performances are uniformly strong and effective.” Louise Penn, Lou Reviews
“Both actors are equally captivating…both magnetic to watch.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian
“Engrossing performances.” Maryam Philpott, Cultural Capital
“Lockley and Stevens give sensitive performances.” Kate Pettigrew, London Pub Theatres
“Immersive, gripping performances.” Maryam Philpott, Cultural Capital
“Lockley’s performance…is a pinnacle for the production.” Dominic Corr, The Reviews Hub
“Evelyn Lockley gives a powerful performance…skilfully dealing with the questions of fragility and how needy or demanding (those are the accusations!) she might actually be.” Edward Lukes, Once A Week Theatre
“As the writing dissects the women’s relationships, McLeish’s framing of the shots carves up their bodies into component parts…It feels aptly voyeuristic, and we’re gripped.” Sam Marlowe, iNews
“Lily McLeish’s clever direction.” John Chapman, 2nd From Bottom
“McLeish’s smart direction.” Maryam Philpott, Cultural Capital
“Director Lily McLeish employs an impressive range of televisual tricks to heighten the psychological drama.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian
“Director Lily McLeish along with Designer Anna Reid have created one of the most visually arresting hybrid productions of recent months.” Maryam Philpott, Cultural Capital
“Reid’s delicious visual design.” Maryam Philpott, Cultural Capital
“Julian Starr’s score is hypnotic and creates dreaminess, but also unease.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian
“Anthony Doran’s stunning lighting.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian
“Anna Reid’s design gave great thought to the colour palate and Anthony Doran’s lighting added depth. Julian Starr’s sound with music bubbling underneath brought tension.” Kate Pettigrew, London Pub Theatres
Schsim by Athena Stevens. Premiered at the Finborough Theatre in 2016. Transfers to Park Theatre in May 2018.
Aegis Productions was founded in 2008 by Athena Stevens, an American writer, director and actor. Athena was born with athetoid cerebral palsy.
Aegis strives to stretch the boundaries of imagination and to equip others to do the same.
The ongoing web series Day of Small Things is produced by Aegis Productions, it examines the relativity of achievement through interviews with the great, the good and the everyman. Aegis Productions has produced three web series, Late Night Staring At High Rez Pixels, Assistive Devices and Vote Z which seek to actively and accurately reflect the world in which we live, not just a world for the fittest or most physically able.
The company has produced three of Athena’s plays: Scrounger (Finborough Theatre), The Amazing Vancetti Sisters (Tristan Bates Theatre) and Schism (Finborugh Theatre an Park Theatre), in which she also starred.
Aegis Productions portfolio is stridently diverse and its work is being recognised both in the UK and abroad