Virtual audience on Royal Variety Performance compared to Black Mirror

‘I thought Black Mirror was supposed to be fiction?’ Virtual audience on the Royal Variety Performance is likened to the hit Netflix show as viewers brand it ‘the most dystopian thing they’ve seen’

  • Virtual audience on the Royal Variety Performance compared to Black Mirror
  • TV screens lined seats of the Blackpool Opera House due to COVID restrictions
  • Viewers at home branded the set-up ‘the most dystopian thing they’ve seen’

The virtual audience on the Royal Variety Performance has been compared to Netflix’s Black Mirror by viewers, who branded the set-up ‘the most dystopian thing they’ve seen’.

This year, the event took place at the Blackpool Opera House, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, featured a virtual audience rather than the usual filled auditorium for the first time in its history.

Hosted by Jason Manford, the variety show, which aired last night on ITV, saw TV screens line the seats of the venue – in scenes eerily similar to the Black Mirror’s Fifteen Million Merits.

The chilling episode spoofed the talent show format, with actors Daniel Kaluuya and Jessica Brown Findlay performing in a reality TV-style competition in front of a computerized audience.

The virtual audience on the Royal Variety Performance (pictured) has been compared to Netflix’s Black Mirror by viewers, who branded the set-up ‘the most dystopian thing they’ve seen’

Hosted by Jason Manford, the variety show, which aired last night on ITV, saw TV screens line the seats of the venue – in scenes eerily similar to the Black Mirror’s Fifteen Million Merits (pictured)

Taking to Twitter to share their thoughts, one viewer said: ‘Serious Black Mirror vibes from #RoyalVarietyPerformance.’ 

Another wrote: ‘This is pure Black Mirror with the audience of monitors, while a third added: ‘This is like an episode of Black Mirror.’

A fourth commented: ‘I thought Black Mirror was supposed to be fiction? #RoyalVarietyPerformance #FifteenMillionMerits.’

While a fifth added: ‘If the #RoyalVarietyPerformance isn’t the most dystopian thing I’ve seen… they’re literally performing to a bunch of screens. What episode of Black Mirror is this?’  

This year, the event took place at the Blackpool Opera House, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, featured a virtual audience (above) rather than the usual filled auditorium for the first time in its history

Reaction: Taking to Twitter to share their thoughts, one viewer said: ‘Serious Black Mirror vibes from #RoyalVarietyPerformance.’

Returning to the North after nine years, the Royal Variety Performance proved to be an unforgettable evening of exceptional performers, world class British theatre and superb comedy, along with some exciting surprises.

2020’s stellar line-up included the inspirational and much-loved Captain Sir Thomas Moore, who captured the nation’s hearts with his fundraising efforts during the pandemic. 

He joined forces from his home for an exclusive performance with legendary singer and entertainer Michael Ball who was on stage at the Opera House with the NHS choir to perform their chart-topping anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. 

Plus, there was a special solo appearance by British superstar Gary Barlow.

This year, the variety show was hosted by Jason Manford (pictured). The Royal Variety Performance is staged in aid of the Royal Variety Charity, whose patron is Her Majesty The Queen.

The evening also herald the welcome return of musical theatre with an exclusive performance from the award-winning Sheridan Smith as Cilla in the heart-warming and spectacular Cilla The Musical and a mesmerising exclusive from Frozen the Musical starring leading lady Samantha Barks. 

Also taking to the stage with a specially composed and heart-warming performance was musical comedian and Britain’s Got Talent 2020 winner Jon Courtenay.

Presenter Jason Manford said: ‘After appearing at the Royal Variety Performance three times since 2009, it is an honour and a privilege to be hosting the show this year. 

‘It’s been a hugely difficult year for everybody, so I hope that for a couple of hours on a cold Winter’s night in Blackpool, we can take people’s minds off things and do what us Brits do best; have a laugh.’

The Royal Variety Performance is staged in aid of the Royal Variety Charity, whose patron is Her Majesty The Queen. The money raised from the show helps those people from the world of entertainment in need of care and assistance. 

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