The London world premiere of “Sleepless,” a stage musical adaptation of Nora Ephron, David S. Ward and Jeff Arch’s Oscar and BAFTA-nominated original screenplay, will go ahead with daily, rapid-response COVID-19 testing system for cast, musicians, crew and theater staff during rehearsals and the show’s run.
The testing, which is called FRANKD (Fast, Reliable, Accurate, Nucleic-based Kit for COVID-19 Diagnostic Detection), will be carried out on-site, since the technology does not require a laboratory. Test results will be sent directly to crew, cast and staff phones via a secure app within an hour of a swab being taken.
“We are so excited to be leading the way for our industry and to be the first fully staged, indoor musical back up and running and we have been working around the clock to make it possible,” said Michael Rose and Damien Sanders, on behalf of Encore Theatre Productions, producers of “Sleepless.”
“This technology is currently being trialled by airports, government departments, sports teams and multinational companies in the U.K. and we are delighted to be the first to trial the system in the theater and live event industry.”
FRANKD is developed by Poland’s GeneMe and results are delivered via the U.K.’s Yoti app.
The “Sleepless” book is by Michael Burdette with music and lyrics by Robert Scott and Brendan Cull. It will feature a 12-piece jazz orchestra. Director is Morgan Young (“White Christmas”), while the cast includes Jay McGuiness, Kimberley Walsh and Daniel Casey.
“Sleepless” will premiere at London’s Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre on Sept. 1, with previews from Aug. 25. Audiences will be socially distanced and the producers and venue will follow COVID-secure guidelines for cast, crew and audiences.
The show was originally due to begin performances on March 24, prior to the U.K. government shutdown of theaters.