National Theatre Live broadcast the best of British theatre live from the London stage to cinemas across the UK and around the world, while some venues broadcast ‘encores’ at a later date.
Launched in June 2009, National Theatre Live have broadcast more than twenty theatre productions live from the National Theatre, and various other theatres to over 3.5 million people in more than 1,100 venues around the world.
So how do they do it I hear you ask? The simple answer is with satellites.
Each production is filmed in front of a live theatre audience with many cameras positioned throughout the auditorium to ensure that cinema audiences get the ‘best seat in the house.’ Satellites then allow the productions to be broadcast live, without delay.
Some of the big name actors who have been involved since National Theatre Live debuted in 2009 with their production of Phèdre with Helen Mirren, include Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, War Horse, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and Sam Mendes’ King Lear with Simon Russell Beale.
This month sees National Theatre Live presenting Jane Eyre and broadcast live at The Playhouse.
The 170 year old Charlotte Brontë classic is directed by Sally Cookson, having first staged the production at the Bristol Old Vic last year when it was performed over two evenings.
The story is set in northern England where Jane is sent to live with her aunt having been orphaned as a baby. She suffers emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her aunt and cousins before being sent off to Lowood Institution, a school for poor or orphaned girls where the abuse continues.
This classic masterpiece tells Jane’s story as she faces life’s obstacles head-on, how she survives poverty, injustice and betrayal before makes the decision to follow her heart.