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Sunday, 21 January 2018

From stage to screen | Live Theatre Broadcasts

When West End theatre is good it sells out. You will struggle to get tickets for the extraordinary “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” at Palace Theatre in the next 12 months or for the Broadway transfer “Hamilton” which opened late last year. Equally it is extraordinary that Tom Hiddleston's “Hamlet” directed by Ken Branagh at RADA's 160 seat theatre as a fund raiser for the academy should have such limited chance to raise funds which could have subsidised places for those who might not otherwise attend the academy. Yet technology does now allow such shows to reach a wider audience not just in UK but around the world.
Anyone who saw Billie Piper's brilliant performance in “Yerma” this year, broadcast live from the Young Vic, can confirm that the cinema not only allows access to otherwise sold out shows but while retaining the essential theatricality of the production, also adds to the overall enjoyment with exclusive content & dramatic close ups that the theatre audience themselves might miss. 

Ever since I saw Zoe Wanamaker with tears running down her face as the camera zoomed around the front of the Olivier stage during a production of the “Cherry Orchard” live at a cinema near my home, I've been sold on the new medium. With James Corden in “One Man, Two Governors”, the cinema audience went backstage in the interval to see unique action with the drenched audience member from the end of Act 1 in dispute with the cast. It added to the show and captured the brilliant farce for a wider audience.
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