What’s NT Live?
Change is afoot at movie cinemas from Boston to Bozeman. Despite some lingering Luddite tendencies, this one invention may have sold me on technology forever.
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, in which case . . . 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 miraculously see 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 better get yourself there. You may doubt the successful juxtaposition of stage and cinema screen, but try it. And it’s gonna be pricier than the latest J. J. Abrams flick, but (all together now): 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 venues, and count yourself lucky if you are near the Massachusetts theaters in Boston, Amherst, Great Barrington, Rockport, or Williamstown…YOU WIN! Get your tickets!
And thanks to my Mom for the pair of Grand Rapids Civic Theatre season tickets she gifted me during my high school years. Thanks to my old friend John, who sportingly came along on a number of nights.
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)