What’s NT Live?
Change is afoot at movie cinemas from Boston to Bozeman, and for people like me, it is thrilling.
If you love me, take me to the theater. If you really love me, take me to the theater in London. No secret’s-out, $120-a-seat West End shows, please . . . let’s just stroll down to Embankment and walk across Hungerford Bridge to The Royal National Theatre. We’ll go on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, politely inquire about standby, and get in on the cheap. We may have to split up to get some plum seats, but no matter. I’ll see you at the interval!
I probably went to 25 productions at The National during the years I lived in London, many of them alone. I would float right out of there on a wave of language so glorious and connection so vital that I barely registered the journey home.
What’s that you say? You love me and all, but London’s a bit . . . out of the question?
Well, where do you go to the movies? Because now you can enjoy The National’s exceptional productions at the movie theater. It’s called “NT Live,” and if you get any charge from the stage at all, you should get yourself there. You may doubt the successful juxtaposition of stage and screen, but try it. I’m afraid it’s going to be pricier than the latest J. J. Abrams, but again I say: TRY. IT.
Recent productions include an encore of the critically acclaimed adaptation of Mark Haddon’s book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (coming to Broadway in autumn 2014) and King Lear starring British stage acting royalty Simon Russell Beale. Summer 2014 will see the broadcast of A Small Family Business by Alan Ayckbourn. It’s been called “a fast and furious farce,” and I can’t wait.
Go here for a list of participating cinemas, and count yourself lucky if you are near the Massachusetts venues in Boston, Amherst, Great Barrington, Rockport, or Williamstown . . . YOU WIN! Get your tickets!
Lastly, thanks to my Mom for the pair of Grand Rapids Civic Theatre season tickets she gifted me for each year of high school. And props to my sporting friend John D., who often came along. In the thrilling moment when the lights dimmed, the crowd hushed, the eyes riveted to the slow rise of the crimson curtain, and a single, unamplified voice struck the silence, I knew I’d found some sort of home.
NT Live Performance Reviews by Lynne Blaszak
A Small Family Business & Ayckbourn’s Art of Playmaking (June 2014)
Dear Christopher: A Meditation on #CuriousIncident (May 2014)
Othello by William Shakespeare (Sept 2013)
This House: A Fab New Play by James Graham (May 2013)