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National Theatre Screenings 

When: Sun., Sept. 23, 7 p.m., Fri., Sept. 28, 7 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 9, 7 p.m. 2018
Price: $20/per screening

While theater-lovers of the world rave about London’s acclaimed National Theatre stage productions, for those of us too broke (or lazy) to cross the pond for the “in-person” experience, 34 West Theater Co. is bringing the action directly to us. These three productions are much-loved tales of secrecy, hubris, and insanity, while invoking the intense magic that can come to life onstage.

Featuring state-of-the-art simulcasts, on Sept. 23 National Theatre Live kicks off with the NT’s production of Julie, starring Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) in the titular role in this new adaptation of August Strindberg’s play Miss Julie, the 19th-century tale of a clandestine love affair turned tragic. On Sept. 28, Sir Ian McKellen stars as King Lear, the doomed Shakespearean ruler who is literally felled by flattery, which ignites a chain reaction that eventually engulfs his family. The final production is the Dec. 9 broadcast of The Madness of George III, Alan Bennett’s 1991 fictionalized take on King George III and his decay into mental illness.

The idea for National Theatre Live came to Stephen Wayne, 34 West’s creative artistic director, and managing artistic director Jeff Querin, while the pair were juggling their love of dramatic productions with their busy work schedules. “We don’t get a chance to see other shows because we’re always producing our own,” explains Wayne. “It’s a chance for us to research and keep up with what’s going on elsewhere without ever leaving town.”

Previously the pair have screened Angels in America and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; both shows enjoyed great local turnouts. Along with the affordability of each screening, Wayne believes that the high definition digital stream gives the audience a “front row” feel in seeing “top-notch” London productions. Not to mention some down-home, Charleston comfort. “We’ve seen broadcasts similar to these in New York and other places, but never in a venue like ours where you can have a glass of wine, or literally sit on the stage under the screen in padded chairs, if you wish.” —Daniel A. Brown

— Daniel A. Brown


click to enlarge PROVIDED - On Sept. 28, Sir Ian McKellen stars as King Lear
  • Provided
  • On Sept. 28, Sir Ian McKellen stars as King Lear


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