News: NT launches new streaming service National Theatre at Home

The National Theatre, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, has today launched  National Theatre at Home, a brand-new streaming platform making their much-loved productions available online to watch anytime, anywhere worldwide.

Launching today with productions including the first ever National Theatre Live, Phèdre with Helen Mirren,  Othellowith Adrian Lester and the Young Vic’s Yermawith Billie Piper, new titles from the NT’s unrivalled catalogue of filmed theatre will be added to the platform every month.

In addition to productions previously broadcast to cinemas by National Theatre Live, a selection of plays filmed for the NT’s Archive will be released online for the first time through National Theatre at Home, including Lucy Kirkwood’s Mosquitoes with Olivia Colman and Inua Ellams’ new version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters (a co-production with Fuel).   Continue reading “News: NT launches new streaming service National Theatre at Home”

Review: Three Sisters, National Theatre

Inua Ellams’ relocation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters to the Biafran Civil War proves devastatingly effective at the National Theatre

“I don’t understand all this suffering…when we die we will find out but I wish we knew now”

A cracking cast heralds the return of Uncle Vanya to the West End early next year but even with Conor McPherson and Ian Rickson on adaptation and directorial duties respectively, it’s hard to get too excited about what – on the face of it – looks to be a fairly conventional interpretation (I could well be proven wrong, and hope I am…). For me, there’s something much more appealing, and thrilling, about people willing to grab Chekhov by the scruff of the neck and yank him way out of the familiar. Robert Icke and Simon McBurney replanting The Cherry Orchard in the Netherlands, or Inua Ellams and Nadia Fall relocating Three Sisters to 1960s Nigeria.

In the latter case, the result is a challenging but exhilarating reworking, set against the backdrop of the Biafran Civil War but retaining much of the Chekhovian structure, so that we feel the weight of all the tragedy that has to come. The skill of Ellams’ writing – this is dubbed a new play, after Chekhov – is knowing when to dovetail with his source material and when to allow his own choices to flourish, bringing with them a raft of glinting surprises that break through the familiarity (that some of us have). Continue reading “Review: Three Sisters, National Theatre”

Review: Everything by my side, LIFT 2016 at Crossrail Place

(c) Laura Limp

“There was a moment in time…”

The things we end up doing for theatre, like climbing into a bed in the middle of a busy footbridge in Canary Wharf for a good quarter of an hour… And not alone either, there was a woman in there too, I can’t even remember the last time I was between the sheets with a member of the opposite sex! But such is the set-up for the Argentinian Fernando Rubio’s Everything by my side, part of the 2016 London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), and what a subtly beautiful thing it is.

Seven double beds are lined up in the tunnel and in each one a storyteller awaits, as each member of our group is allocated a number and given the simple instructions – take off your shoes, get into bed, and remain silent. Once there, it’s a most incongruous feeling, such close proximity with a complete stranger and the noise of commuters continuing to rush by. But slowly, as the whispered tale begins, as the storybook opens, an extraordinary sense of intimacy builds up. Continue reading “Review: Everything by my side, LIFT 2016 at Crossrail Place”