A second season of the Zoom comedy Staged is here. The show is brought to British TVs by actors Michael Sheen and David Tennant.
As part of the series, British actors play fictionalised versions of themselves – "Nothing like us at all," the pair stress time and time again in series two. Along the way, a number of notable famous faces dial in to say hello.
The show captures the lockdown mood perfectly. The first series aired in June 2020 and saw Sheen and Tennant trying to rehearse a performance of Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author via video call during lockdown. Simon Evans plays a version of himself as director, who struggles to keep the actors in check.
As part of the second tongue-in-cheek series, Evans will start work on an American version of Staged, without Sheen or Tennant.
In the first season, Samuel L Jackson, Adrian Lester and Judi Dench all made appearances as themselves, as well as Georgia Tennant and Anna Lundberg, the real-life partners of each of the two stars.
Season two of Staged, however, is set to be even more jam-packed with A-list names as it heads stateside.
The cast list reads like a who's who in Hollywood and comedy.
Everyone from Christoph Waltz to Cate Blanchett have been roped in to play themselves in the comedy, along with beloved UK comedy stars, Romesh Ranganathan, Michael Palin, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
The list is rounded out with Ewan McGregor, Hugh Bonneville, Ken Jeong, Jim Parsons and Josh Gad.
Hollywood stars Whoopi Goldberg and Ben Schwartz also star, but not as themselves. Goldberg plays Mary, Sheen and Tennant's character's assistant, while Schwartz plays Tom, Mary's assistant and the pair's agents. Are you keeping up?
Season two starts with Tennant and Sheen appearing on Ranganathan's faux-chat show, Six Months into Lockdown, reflecting on the success of the first series of Staged and insisting that they will not do a second. It is all very meta indeed. At this stage, they are playing versions of themselves twice removed.
The second series of 'Staged' started on Wednesday, January 6, and is available to stream on YouTube now