National Theatre Live – The best of British theatre broadcast live to a cinema near you
London’s West End is the Broadway of the UK, crammed with musicals, comedies, dramas, and everything in between. As a lover of theater, I consider myself fortunate to see Wicked during my first (and hopefully not my last) trip to London. Prior to that night, I had grown up going to see performances from local high schools to travelling Broadway shows. I was even lucky enough to have parents who supported my years at acting camp and high school drama club where I could learn some of the craft and perform for others. To me, there is nothing quite like the thrill of performance arts, both as an active or passive participant. However, it kills me that I cannot afford to see all the shows I want to. If I had all the money I would go see live theater all the time, and travel to see specific shows if I didn’t have them available to me locally.
That’s where National Theatre Live comes into play.
The Royal National Theatre (also known as just the National Theatre), located in London’s South Bank, has been hosting performances from traditional Shakespeare to new works by contemporary playwrights since 1963, but has been at it’s current location since construction of a new theater was finished in 1976. However, starting in 2009, the theater started recording one live performance of every production and has been showing them in movie theaters across the globe for pitiful sops like myself who can’t afford to fly to London every few months.
There have been recordings of the critically-acclaimed War Horse, Danny Boyle’s adaptation of Frankenstein with the roles of Dr Frankenstein and the Creature played on opposite nights by the majorly talented duo of Johnny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch, The Audience starring Helen Mirren as HRH Queen Elizabeth II, as well as multiple Shakespeare plays such as King Lear with Simon Russell Beale and Coriolanus starring Tom Hiddleston, among many, many others.
So if you’re a theatre enthusiast like myself, or want to see some of your favorite actors in performances that you wouldn’t have normally been able to see, check out National Theatre Live for upcoming performances, both live-streaming and encore.
God save the Queen