National Theatre Live will turn ten on 25 June this year -the date of the first ever NT Live broadcast of Phédre starring Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren. During the past decade over 80 theatre productions have been shown in 3500 venues worldwide, reaching an overall audience of nearly 9 million people.
NT Live currently screens in 2500 venues across 65 countries, including in South Africa at Ster-Kinekor’s Cinema Nouveau screens in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, at Gateway Commercial in Kwa-Zulu Natal, and at The Fugard Bioscope in Cape Town, while a range of free student screenings at The Market Lab in Johannesburg make NT Live productions accessible to all third level students in the city.
To celebrate the ground-breaking initiative’s first decade on screen, two landmark productions –The Audience and Hamlet– are returning for encore presentations.
Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren –who launched NT Live in June 2009– plays Queen Elizabeth II in the critically acclaimed and Tony Award-winning production of The Audience. Written by Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) and directed by Stephen Daldry (The Reader, The Crown), The Audience was captured live from London’s West End in 2013.
Filmed in 2015 during its sold-out run at the Barbican Theatre and starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role, NT Live’s smash-hit presentation of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy Hamlet continues to be the most-attended NT Live event in the history of the programme, already seen by over 900,000 people worldwide.
In addition to these encores, there will be a range of new NT Live screenings throughout the year, including Arthur Miller’s All My Sons starring Academy Award-winner Sally Field (Steel Magnolias, Brothers & Sisters) and Bill Pullman (The Sinner, Independence Day) filmed live at The Old Vic in London; Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel Small Island brought to life by a company of 40 actors at the National Theatre; and The Lehman Trilogy from London’s West End, directed by Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall).
Lisa Burger, Executive Director of the National Theatre said: “We’re thrilled to be able to celebrate ten years of National Theatre Live with this fantastic line-up of broadcasts. When we started NT Live back in June 2009, our main aim was – and still is - to give as many people as possible access to the best of British theatre. We’re really proud that we’ve been able to share so many incredible productions with people across the UK and the world who otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to see them.”
Directed by Jeremy Herrin and set in America in 1947, All My Sons follows Joe and Kate Keller, who despite some hard knocks have built a home, raised two sons and established a thriving business. But nothing lasts forever and their contented lives, already shadowed by the loss of their eldest boy to war, are about to shatter. Watch the trailer HERE.
Embarking on a journey from Jamaica to Britain, through the Second World War to 1948 – the year the ship Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury, England –Small Island follows three intricately connected stories in a timely and moving story. Directed by the National Theatre’s artistic director Rufus Norris, watch the teaser trailer for this critically acclaimed five star production here.
NT Live will also be broadcasting the hit production The Lehman Trilogy from the Noël Coward Theatre in London’s West End, following runs at the National Theatre and New York’s Park Avenue Armory. In 1844 a young man from Bavaria stands on a New York dockside, dreaming of a new life in the new world. He is joined by his two brothers and an American epic begins. 163 years later, the firm they establish –Lehman Brothers– spectacularly collapses into bankruptcy, and triggers the largest financial crisis in history.
For updates on National Theatre Live screenings at your nearest venue visit www.ntlive.com, follow @sterkinekor @nouveaubuzz @thefugard @themarketlab or visit their websites for full details.