National Theatre Live aims to take famous plays from the UK all over the world.
Ever wanted to watch some of the most popular British theater productions but couldn’t catch a trip to the UK? Well, London-based company National Theatre Live is bringing the best British plays to cinemas all over the world.
Through a partnership with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), nine productions will have special screenings at Greenbelt cinemas starting September 26, 2023.
“The magic of London National Theatre is finally here,” the CCP posted on its Facebook page. “We’re off to experience the best of British theatre here in the Philippines! Don’t miss the chance to witness world-class performances from your favorite plays on the silver screen!”
Regular ticket price is at P250 while the special ticket price for students is P150. While waiting for the shows to begin, here’s a quick rundown of all the plays that will be available to watch in the first season of this collaboration.
Life of Pi
Based on Yann Martel’s 2001 best-selling novel, Lolita Chakrabarti adapted Life of Pi for the stage. The play tells the story of a boy named Pi who—after an epic storm in the Pacific Ocean—is stuck on a lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a Royal Bengal tiger.
“Puppetry, magic, and storytelling combine in an epic tale of endurance and hope,” the CCP wrote. Life of Pi is the first of the nine productions to be shown in Philippine cinemas, on September 26, 2023.
You may have heard of Fleabag the TV show, but did you know that the series was originally a one-woman play? Written and performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag is a “rip-roaring look at some sort of woman living her sort of life.”
Between dealing with a considerable sexual appetite, running a struggling guinea pig café, and grieving the loss of her best friend, the woman sure has a lot on her plate. Catch Fleabag in the cinemas on October 31, 2023.
Featuring Emilia Clarke’s West End debut, Anya Reiss’ take on The Seagull is a unique 21st century modernization of Anton Chekhov’s original play.
Following several struggling individuals, “In an isolated home in the countryside where dreams are in tatters, hopes dashed, hearts broken and there is nowhere left to turn, the only option is to turn on each other.” The play will be screened later in the year, on November 28, 2023.
Much Ado About Nothing
Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy of new beginnings gets a revamped setting, now taking place in the Italian Riviera in 1945.
In the play, the cast of young lovers and steadfastly single individuals “have their limits tested like never before in a wild mix of games, pranks, and mischievous plots.” Much Ado About Nothing is scheduled to show on December 19, 2023.
Next year, on January 30, the gripping play by Arthur Miller will make its debut in Philippine cinemas. Telling the story of a witch hunt in Salem, Massachusetts, a group of young girls discover the terrible power their words hold, spreading fear and paranoia throughout their community.
The new production features Milly Alcock (House of the Dragon) as Abigail Williams, Caitlin FitzGerald (Masters of Sex, Succession) as Elizabeth Proctor, and Brian Gleeson (Bad Sisters) as John Proctor.
Cast out into the hostile world by his horrified maker, Frankenstein’s creature grows increasingly desperate and vengeful.
Featuring Jonny Lee Miller as the creature and Benedict Cumberbatch as Victor Frankenstein, watch as the two characters strike a terrifying deal. The play will be screened in the Philippines on February 27, 2024.
One of Shakespeare’s most enduring tragedies, Othello tells the story of two people who find love across racial lines, but it comes at a cost.
“Wed in secret, Desdemona and Othello crave a new life together. But as unseen forces conspire against them, they find their future is not theirs to decide.” Watch the tragedy unfold in cinemas on March 26, 2024.
In another one of Shakespeare’s great tragedies, Sir Ian McKellen brings King Lear to life on stage. In the play, two fathers—a King and his courtier—snub the children who love them, unleashing a literal and figurative storm.
The contemporary retelling directed by Johnathan Munby will be available in Philippine cinemas on April 30, 2024.
The last Shakespearean play in the list, and the final production of the season, is Hamlet. Also starring Benedict Cumberbatch, the play was the fastest-selling event in London theater history.
Watch as a country arms itself for war while a family tears itself apart. Hamlet will be showing in cinemas on May 28, 2024.
Banner image via Instagram @nationaltheatre.