I’m finished with Richard Armitage and on to Tom Hiddleston – when it comes to live stage performances that is. This, thanks to National Theater Live. I’m seeing Coriolanus next Thursday, live streamed from London, in a theater just across town. And it just might be within distance for you, too.
I rarely tout anything on my blog – but in light of the bug we all caught with Richard Armitage’s live performance this week, I thought I’d share this.
National Theater Live is the British National Theater’s initiative to bring their stage productions to audiences throughout the world via live streaming to local movie theaters that sign up as designated venues. Taped encore productions are also shown -Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller ( TWO Sherlocks together?) is playing in February.
While I knew about one particular live stream performance that was shown in a theater near me, The Symphony Space, I never connected it with the National Theater. But recently, guest blogger KatharineD shared with me a marvelous experience she had in a Sydney theater celebrating 50 years of The National Theater. The program , 50 years on Stage contained live performances by a cast of 100, including Judi Densch, Helen Mirren, Christopher Eccleston, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi, Rory Kinnear, Adrian Lester, Anna Maxwell Martin, Helen Mirren, Andrew Scott, Maggie Smith and more. (This program is going to be shown on PBS next month here in the U.S.)
Katharine’s description rang a bell with me, and when I went online I confirmed that The Audience, with Helen Mirren, was an NT Live production that I had just missed seeing last summer.
There are designated theaters in countries throughout the world, from Mexico to Bulgaria, from Germany to Slovakia, from Italy to India and more. ( NTLive is looking for more theaters to sign up) Tickets, at least here in the U.S., are moderately priced at $35,00 available through online ordering.
If you’re interested, I also suggest spending time on the website, where the NT has podcasts of talks and behind the scenes visits to some of their recent performances.
For some time, I’ve been wishing I could see Hiddleston’s Coriolanus, and a live stream performance in a theater, while not as good as being in London ( or him being here) it’s a close second. So, I’ll be putting the The Proust Screenplay away, but too far away- I discovered today that there’s an embedded signature, made with a stolen fine point pen, to trace my finger over. I’ll replace the screenplay with my college copy of The Complete Works of Shakespeare. The only signature in that book is mine, with my maiden name and dorm room.
I was already excited to see this performance broadcast but this clip of Tom Hiddleston preparing for his performance makes it hard to contain it :