About This Blog

I really like theatre, and I like writing and talking about it.

This blog is mostly about my relationship with theatre, the moments that make me fall in love with this art form, and the times when we don't always get along.

I'll be writing about things that I like, that I think are good and interesting and want to share. I will probably also write about things that I don't quite get, or think are wierd. I may also write about things that aren't theatre, strictly speaking, because it's my blog and I can.

Monday, February 14, 2011

London Theatre In Your Hometown

I've talked a lot before about going to the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD screenings, but they're not the only ones doing them. The National Theatre in London is doing broadcasts of their shows as well to movie theaters across the country. Their season thus far has included a production of Hamlet which was well-reviewed, but there's lots of good Hamlets around, so I decided to hold out for some unusual fare.

Luckily, NT will be delivering next month with the debut of a new production of Frankenstein, directed by Danny Boyle (best known as a filmmaker, his works include Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire, and 127 Hours).

If that's not exciting enough, they're doing something really interesting with the casting of the leads. Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller are starring in the title roles of the Creature and Victor Frankenstein. Yes, both of them. As in they are alternating the roles. Miller is pretty well known to US audiences for his roles in Trainspotting and the TV show Dexter; Cumberbatch is not exactly a household name (yet), so do yourself a favor and track down the BBC miniseries Sherlock he did this past year with future Hobbit Martin Freeman. Cumberbatch played a modern-day version of the detective--I think the show ran on PBS Mystery in the US, and it also has a cool online element which ties into the use of blogging in the show's plot.

Frankenstein opens in London in a few weeks and runs through April. The live screening will be in March, and I was very excited and curious to see how they would handle the issue of which cast to run. Well, prayers answered, they're screening it twice, so you can see either one you prefer, or (if you're a giant nerd like me) both.

The screening schedule is:
17 March: Benedict Cumberbatch (Creature), Jonny Lee Miller (Victor)

24 March: Jonny Lee Miller (Creature), Benedict Cumberbatch (Victor)

And full details are available at: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/62808/productions/frankenstein.html

Now, if you'd like to watch some British theatre without even leaving your house, I found this article on Playbill.com today about downloading productions from www.digitaltheatre.com. I unfortunately can't check the link out on this computer, but I'm very keen on seeing their production of Into The Woods, as Playbill.com had posted a gallery of photos when the production was running, and it looked like there was some interesting stuff going on. So I'll see for myself later, and let you know how it works!


  1. Very interesting and encouraging to see video productions for sale like that! Can't wait to hear how it works out.

  2. I'm under the impression that these live screenings are very expensive to produce, and I believe that there were a lot of skeptics when the Met first started with them five years ago. But you're starting to see other arts institutions jump on the bandwagon, such as the L.A. Philharmonic, so hopefully it's a model that will continue. And hopefully it will inspire audience members to seek out live entertainment in their own communities, instead of replacing it.