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National Theatre’s FELA! at cinemas throughout U.S. in January

On January 13th, National Theatre Live will broadcast a live performance of the award-winning production


Starring original Broadway star Sahr Ngaujah 

Directed & Choreographed by Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones  


The broadcasts will be shown on screens throughout the U.S. 

“There should be dancing in the streets. There has never been anything like this.”

– Ben Brantley, New York Times 


National Theatre Live continues its season with the award-winning Broadway and London production of FELA! starring Sahr Ngaujah (2010 Tony Award nominee for Best Actor; Obie Award) directed & choreographed by Bill T. Jones (2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography).  National Theatre Live is an initiative by the UK’s National Theatre to broadcast live performances onto cinema screens around the world.


In the New York City area, screenings continue at Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYU’s Skirball Center, City Cinema 123, Kew Gardens Cinema, Fairfield University (CT), the Shakespeare Theatre Company (DC) and more. 


The broadcast will also be shown on screens across the United States including the Mann Theatre in Hollywood, Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe, NM, Coolidge Corner Theatre in Boston, MA, Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada, CA, Shalin Liu Performing Arts Center in Rockport, MA, Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth University and many more.



National Theatre’s HAMLET broadcast tomorrow 12/9

Beginning tomorrow December 9th! 


The National Theatre Live broadcast of their acclaimed production of HAMLET will be shown on screens across NYC and throughout the U.S. 



Starring Rory Kinnear

Directed by Nicholas Hytner


Read what people are saying about tomorrow’s broadcast:

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National Theatre Live begins season two broadcasts on Oct. 14


On October 14th, the second season of National Theatre Live begins with a worldwide broadcast of

Complicite’s acclaimed production of


The broadcasts will be shown on screens across NY City & throughout the U.S.

“A scintillating & mesmerizing drama with an excellent acting ensemble.  Beautiful Theater.”  – New York Times


Season two of National Theatre Live begins with Complicite’s acclaimed production of A DISAPPEARING NUMBER, conceived and directed by Simon McBurney.

National Theatre Live is an initiative by the UK’s National Theatre to broadcast live performances onto cinema screens around the world.  Over 200,000 people saw the first season, which launched in 2009 with the acclaimed broadcast of Phèdre, starring Helen Mirren directed by Nicholas Hytner.

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Encore of Phèdre starring Helen Mirren broadcast worldwide on 9/23

The National Theatre, London announces a special encore broadcast of PHÈDRE starring Academy Award winner Helen Mirren prior to the second season of “National Theatre Live”

Phèdre will be broadcast on September 23, 2010.

The National Theatre is pleased to announce a special encore broadcast of Phèdre, by Jean Racine in a version by Ted Hughes starring Helen Mirren (The Queen) and Dominic Cooper (Mamma Mia! film), directed by Nicholas Hytner on September 23, 2010Phèdre was originally performed live on June 25, 2009, launching the National’s initiative to broadcast performances to cinemas worldwide.  This encore broadcast heralds the second season of National Theatre Live, beginning this fall.

The first season of National Theatre Live was seen by over 150,000 people on 320 screens in 22 countries.

Phèdre will play in dozens of locations across the U.S. including: the Shakespeare Theatre in D.C., Skirball at New York University, Coolidge Corner in Boston, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and many more from California to Florida.  The broadcast of Phèdre will also include a trailer and preview of the six new productions to feature in National Theatre Live’s second season.

National Theatre Live’s new season will also include: Hamlet, Frankenstein, Fela!, The Cherry Orchard, the Donmar Warehouse’s King Lear and Complicite’s A Disappearing Number. Exhibition dates and cinema locations will be announced later this summer.  All live performances will be broadcast from the National Theatre, except for the October 14th performance of Complicite’s A Disappearing Number from the Theatre Royal Plymouth, marking the first time an NT Live performance will originate outside London.  The Donmar’s production of King Lear will also be broadcast from the Donmar Warehouse stage in February 2011.

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Donmar’s KING LEAR to be broadcast by NT Live





As The Prince of Homburg opens at the Donmar, Michael Grandage, the company’s Artistic Director announces a major expansion to the run of his forthcoming production of King Lear, which will see the company tour nationally, and will be broadcast to over 22 countries worldwide in collaboration with National Theatre Live.

The production will embark on an eight week national tour following performances at the Donmar. This increases the company’s UK touring programme which in previous years has visited three English venues and sees the Donmar engage with more regional venues than ever before throughout England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

As the Donmar expands its digital and broadcast output to create a platform to enable the public greater access to the company’s work, it will screen King Lear on 3rd February 2011 as part of National Theatre Live. Responding to the constantly evolving and exciting changes within the theatre community, the Donmar is proud to partner with the National Theatre and give a potentially vast international audience an opportunity to engage with its work.

The Donmar continues its education work with the schools matinee programme and a project which rolls out nationwide to complement the company’s touring work.

Artistic Director Michael Grandage said today, “This initiative is born of a desire to share our work with as many people as possible. I believe Derek Jacobi’s King Lear will be an event that deserves to be seen beyond the Donmar Warehouse and I’m delighted we are expanding our UK touring programme, as well as going out live to over 300 cinemas worldwide. It means a Donmar production featuring one of our finest Shakespearean actors will be available to more people than we could ever hold in our Covent Garden home.

“I am proud to be teaming up with the National Theatre to broadcast King Lear and excited by the opportunities that it will present to us. It is important for us create long term partnerships and shared goals in the coming years and the announcement to expand our digital output  demonstrates the Donmar’s commitment to the changing times that lie ahead.”

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NT Live featured in LA Times critic notebook


June 2, 2010

Critic’s notebook: National Theatre’s NT Live season screens big

The London company’s initiative to broadcast plays to cinemas worldwide seems to be a smashing success to a small group of fans in L.A.

By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic

Late spring, give or take a couple of weeks, traditionally marks the end of the theater season. And while taking stock of the last year, I’d like to make note of a group of plays I caught in Hollywood — Helen Mirren in “Phèdre,” Richard Griffiths and Frances de la Tour in the world premiere production of Alan Bennett’s “The Habit of Art” and, on Monday night in the program’s ecstatic capper, Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw in a revival of Dion Boucicault’s ” London Assurance.”

Haven’t heard about these offerings? Well, they were all at Mann Chinese 6. Yes, that Mann Chinese 6 — where “Iron Man 2” and “Shrek Forever After” are the big draw and the escalator ride from the parking structure to the mall seems designed to test one’s junk food restraint. (Exercise some willpower, however, and each theatrical outing will set you back only about $20, plus parking.)

Although NT Live’s recently concluded inaugural season hasn’t made much of a blip on the cultural radar screen, I’d have to call this initiative of London’s National Theatre to broadcast performances of plays to cinemas across the globe a smashing success. I missed the showings of Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well” and Terry Pratchett’s “Nation,” but the Bennett and Boucicault were thoroughly enjoyable — and best of all, they spared me a costly transatlantic pilgrimage, something I had been impractically considering ever since reading about these mouth-watering openings.

Whenever I attend an NT Live event, I have the sensation of being part of a secret society. Curious about my fellow audience members, I asked a few how they heard about “London Assurance.” One small circle of friends was organized by an Englishwoman who keeps up with National Theatre doings. Another group said it had entered the NT Live loop through the Met: Live in HD circuit.

Most of the people I canvassed mentioned e-mail alerts (which you can sign up for on the National Theatre’s NT Live home page: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/ntlive. And no one seemed too keen for the word to get out, an attitude akin to foodies who have discovered a little place they’d rather not see invaded by the Zagat tribes.

Theater on film is usually a neutered experience. The “liveness” of the stage — the palpable connection between actors and audience — is integral to its power. Technology, however, has improved matters, as the Metropolitan Opera’s high-definition satellite broadcasts have shown over the last few years. And NT Live has been exploiting these advances to approximate as closely as possible the theatergoing experience.

The grounds of the National Theatre complex are surveyed to give you a feel of the place (yes, branding is central to the mission). Cameras capture the rustling anticipation of the audience, and a brief interview with artistic director Nicholas Hytner helps set the work into context. During a 20-minute intermission, images from inside and outside the London theater stream across the screen. And at the end, different views of the curtain call allow you to vicariously enjoy the rush of adulation enveloping the cast.

The linchpin of NT Live’s effectiveness, however, is the fleet camerawork that usefully changes perspective. The productions never seem flat or static. (Depth perception is strategically employed.) Sets circulate, and as they roll in, the theatrical simultaneity of fiction and fiction-making is magically preserved.

The sophistication of the presentation — offered in a delayed exhibition in Los Angeles, which is too many time zones away to make “live” desirable — has resulted in one big surprise. I expected contemporary realism to dominate, but the works have been highly theatrical in ways that aren’t what you’d encounter even in the more adventurous reaches of PBS or premium cable.



National Theatre’s NT Live announces Season 2 titles & dates


The National Theatre

Announces show titles for second NT Live season to begin in Fall 2010.


Titles include Hamlet, Frankenstein, Fela!, The Cherry Orchard & A Disappearing Number.



The National Theatre is delighted to announce show titles for the second season of National Theatre Live (NT LIVE), a successful new initiative to broadcast live performances from the National’s stages to cinemas worldwide.  The first season of events, which began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phedre starring Helen Mirren, was seen by over 150,000 people on 320 screens in 22 countries.  NT Live’s season two will launch in Fall 2010. 


“We couldn’t have foreseen that the experimental NT Live season would be such a hit with audiences around the world, who are hungry to see our work in their local cinema”, says Nicholas Hytner, Director of the National Theatre.  “We’re delighted that we can confidently build on its success with a second season of broadcasts.”


Season two titles include: Hamlet, Frankenstein, Fela!, The Cherry Orchard and A Disappearing Number.  Exhibition dates and cinema locations will be announced later this summer.  All live performances will be broadcast from the National Theatre, except for the October 14th performance from the Plymouth Theatre Royal, marking the first time an NT Live performance will originate outside London.


October 14, 2010

Complicite’s A Disappearing Number, directed by Simon McBurney.  Awards include the Olivier Award for Best New Play (2008), the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play (2007) and The Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best New Play (2007).


December 9, 2010

Shakespeare’s HAMLET, directed by Nicholas Hytner, featuring cast Rory Kinnear in the title role, David Calder as Polonius, Clare Higgins as Gertrude, Patrick Malahide as Claudius and Ruth Negga as Ophelia.


January 13, 2011

Currently playing on Broadway, the Tony winning musical Fela! comes to the National with Sahr Ngaujah as Fela Anikulpao-Kuti.


March 17, 2011

Danny Boyle’s production of FRANKENSTEIN, a play by Nick Dear, based on the novel by Mary Shelley.


Spring 2011

Also in the new season will be Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, directed by NT Associate Director Howard Davies, whose recent productions of Russian plays (including Philistines, Burnt by the Sun and The White Guard) have earned huge critical acclaim.  Zoë Wanamaker will play Madame Ranevskaya.


Tickets will be on sale in Summer 2010.  To learn more, visit www.ntlive.com


NT Live is distributed internationally (ex-UK) by New York-based BY Experience: www.byexperience.net


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