Thursday, January 15, 2009

Live theatre, at the movies

What a great idea: Britain's National Theatre is going to broadcast plays live, in 50 movie theatres across the United Kingdom, beginning in June with Helen Mirren in the classic tragedy Phedre.

Four plays in all will be presented, for one performance only. Tickets will cost 10 pounds apiece, which I think is about $15. And to recoup some of the expense, the National Theatre's director, Nicholas Hytner, says that broadcast rights will be sold to to other countries.

One of the productions he mentioned as a possibility for a future showing is War Horse, which I would love to see. It's about a boy and his beloved horse and takes place against the backdrop of World War I. The horses are puppets operated by three actors, and they look amazingly lifelike. Here's a video that'll give you an idea:

And I like this quote from Hytner: "I keep thinking that if Olivier's National Theatre had been available in a cinema in Manchester when I was a teenager I'd have gone every time and it would have been fantastic."


Vance said...

Cineplex in Canada is showing The Stratford Shakespeare Festivals Caesar and Cleopatra (with Christopher Plummer and Nikki M James) from this past summer (won't be live, they filmed over 3 days) later this month in movie theatres across Canada.

I'd go if I hadn't already seen it (and paid $14 for my real ticket, which I think is cheaper than what it's going to cost in cinemas but that's just me and I happened to find that awesome deal. haha...)

Esther said...

Wow, that's pretty cool! I would definitely pay to go see it in a movie theatre. And I did enjoy seeing the last performance of Rent at the movies.