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Antony and Cleopatra (National Theatre/NT Live) @ Broadway Cinema

In November, Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo became the first pair of co-leads in over thirty years to win the two Best Actor prizes at the Evening Standard Theatre awards. The casting alone, perhaps, made this not entirely unexpected; two Oscar-nominated actors in a big prestige National Theatre production directed by Simon Godwin, in one …

Macbeth @ The National Theatre

‘Now, after a civil war’ declared the programme, presaging the latest in a long line of not-quite-now post-apocalyptic settings for a major Shakespearean production. In Rufus Norris’s hands, the concept was at its laziest; not here the specificity of a post-Brexit decline as in Melly Still’s Cymbeline at the RSC. In this Macbeth, Scotland (dominated …

The Winter’s Tale (National Theatre) @ The Dorfman

I’m something of a Winter’s Tale completist these days, so it was a joy to get to see the National’s new touring version for young people. Stripped down to an hour and five minutes, Justin Audibert’s pared-down production took a complex and devastating play, and turned it into a heartwarming, and often uncompromising, examination of …

Richard II (National Theatre/Illuminations) on DVD

We owe Illuminations a huge debt of gratitude. Its ongoing ‘Screen Plays’ series, reviving and making available classic television productions, has already brought us An Age of Kings and The Wars of the Roses, and now it delivers a beautifully transferred recording of Deborah Warner’s seminal Richard II, the 1997 television version of the 1995 …

Everyman (National Theatre/NT Live) @ The Broadway Cinema, Nottingham

The introduction to Chiwitel Ejiofor’s Everyman and his friends, a sequence that must have taken up a good ten minutes of drug snorting, swearing, shagging, drinking, fighting, dancing and selfie-snapping, set out Rufus Norris and Javier de Frutos’s new Everyman as achingly, perhaps even desperately, ‘contemporary’. Distilling the vices of the modern world (particularly the …

King Lear (National Theatre/NT Live) @ The Broadway, Nottingham

This is the second time NT Live has broadcast a version of King Lear. The first, back in 2011, was the Donmar’s extraordinary pared-down version starring Derek Jacobi, drawing its power from the intimate, bare set and performances that utilised whispers to wonderful effect. By contrast, Sam Mendes’ new production for the Olivier was an …

Othello (National Theatre) @ NT Live

When digging out my ticket for the NT Live screening of Othello at Nottingham’s Broadway, I had to go into my archived email from four months ago. Booking for these screenings has become even more competitive, and as I tweeted afterwards I was disappointed to see so few young people in the audience. The extreme …

Edward II (National) @ The Olivier, National Theatre

Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II is an obvious companion piece to Shakespeare’s Richard II, both dealing with the deposition of a king arguably more preoccupied with his friends and sycophants than with his kingdom, and the two have been performed together frequently (including most famously with Ian McKellen in the dual leads, making explicit the homosexual …

Timon of Athens (National Theatre/NT Live) @ The Broadway Cinema, Nottingham

As has been the case for certain previous NT Live productions, tonight’s broadcast of Timon of Athens marked the end of a lengthy and critically acclaimed run for a major National Theatre production. The use of the live broadcast format as valediction as well as product extension was explicitly referred to by the ever-present Emma …

Digital Programmes – The Comedy of Errors (NT Live)

Writing about web page http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/?lid=49018&utm_source=wordfly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NTLiveNewsletter080312-Tess&sSourceCode=5371 When I attended the live screening of The Comedy of Errors last week, I was disappointed to find that only free cast lists were available in the foyer – there was not the opportunity to buy a physical programme, as available in the theatre. However, I realised yesterday that the …