And now they soon will be able to, thanks to Lonny Price who has been in London this week overseeing its filming. Theatre, of course, should always be enjoyed live first and foremost, but that isn't a possibility for everyone, not least because of the availability of tickets, never mind the expense; now, thanks to initiatives like NT Live, theatrical performances are regularly filmed and broadcast live as they happen, and encore screenings take place afterwards.
Next up, the current sell-out Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role — not at the National but at the Barbican — is being broadcast as part of NT Live on Oct. 15; future screenings include a NT Live broadcast of last season's hit Broadway production of Of Mice and Men that starred James Franco and Chris O'Dowd (in UK cinemas Nov. 19) and the National's own current hit production of Jane Eyre (Dec. 8). In January, the Donmar Warehouse's new production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses will be broadcast live Jan. 28.
In a separate initiative, unrelated to NT Live, the recent West End 40th anniversary staging of The Rocky Horror Show is to receive a US screening Oct. 18 on BBC America, as reported here.
Broadway Heading to London: Grey Gardens joins Xanadu and Motown in Future Line-Up
Grey Gardens has joined the slate of recent Broadway musicals heading to London in the coming months. It has been newly announced that stage and screen veteran Sheila Hancock will join Jenna Russell for the U.K premiere of Grey Gardens, at Southwark Playhouse from Jan. 2. Southwark has become a regular home for Broadway shows, like In the Heights which was staged there last year and now transfers this week to officially re-open at the King's Cross Theatre Oct. 13. Meanwhile, next week Xanadu also begins performances at Southwark, Oct. 16, with a cast that includes Alison Jiear.
Casting has also been announced for the West End arrival of Motown at the Shaftesbury from Feb. 11. Broadway's Cedric Neeal will lead the cast as Berry Gordy. At the National, where plans for the New Year also include productions of two great Broadway classics: August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Lorraine Hansberry's Les Blancs, the current Off-Broadway hit production of Annie Baker's The Flick will transfer there in April with Sam Gold's staging.
Opening this Week
Amongst the highlights in the week ahead are:
- At London's Tricycle Theatre, artistic director Indhu Rubasingham directs the world premiere of Marcus Gardley's A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes, opening Oct. 14. An adaptation of Moliere's Tartuffe, it is set in the world of millionaires and mega-churches, and stars Sharon D. Clarke and Lucian Msamati.
- Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton may be hottest ticket on Broadway right now, but his first Broadway musical In the Heights — premiered there in 2008 and winning that year's Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Original Score — returns to London next week, to open at the King's Cross Theatre Oct. 13, in a transfer of Luke Sheppard's production first seen at Southwark Playhouse in 2014.
- Another musical first seen at Southwark Playhouse, Pasek and Paul's Dogfight returns for two concert performances Oct. 11, reuniting members of the original cast including Jamie Muscato as Eddie and Evening Standard Outstanding Newcomer Award winner Laura Jane Matthewson as Rose.
- Already the longest-running musical in West End history, Boublil and Schonberg's Les Miserables marks its 30th anniversary Oct. 8, with a gala charity performance at the Queen's Theatre that will feature the current cast joined by members of the original company and special guests including Colm Wilkinson, Roger Allam, Frances Ruffelle, Alfie Boe, John Owen-Jones and Gerónimo Rauch in a special finale.
- Meanwhile, just a few doors away at the Lyric, Thriller Live launches a brand-new version of the long-running Michael Jackson tribute show Oct. 8, with four new songs, a new opening and new production elements including new video, new costumes and special effects. The show is reported to have taken over $150 million in global box office revenues now in the 32 countries it has played in. According to the producers, "Half this amazing total has come from our record-breaking seven-year West End run and UK tours. One hundred and fifty million dollars is a landmark financial milestone that few modern stage shows attain."
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