Jump to content


- - - - -

Theatre At The Cinema


  • Please log in to reply
27 replies to this topic

#1 Reich

Reich

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1024 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:London

Posted 22 March 2013 - 02:48 PM

What are people’s thoughts on this?

I went last night to People as I couldn’t get tickets for it in the flesh. Generally I liked the experience, the camera work was good and I liked the fact the stage performance was filmed with no mucking around.

I can see why they do it live but it really didn’t feel like a live experience and basically it’s not as good as the real thing.

I do have concerns about the long term affect of it especially for regional theatre. The glamorous sounding NT v’s Crewe Rep Theatre! Also fear it creates a two tier system, one for those who can afford the membership fees, booking fees etc and another for those who can’t. But at the same time if it makes institutions more accessible and encourages new audiences …

Broadway has been very good to me. But then, I've been very good to broadway.


#2 Nicholas

Nicholas

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 330 posts

Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:28 PM

If it damages regional theatre, that'll be a great shame, but I'm really for it.  It's how I saw King Lear at the Donmar, which was great given how the Donmar sells (or used to).  At the cinema, there were people for whom getting in and out of London would be a difficulty, so I think that's really good.  It means we don't necessarily have to spend loads of money on trains up and down, which can add up.  Plus a while back I was speaking to a friend from Durham about Frankenstein, which was lovely.  Also, the little introductory bits with Emma Freud and video skits have been really interesting - I've only been myself twice, to Lear and to Frankenstein (I saw one way at the cinema, the other at the theatre, saving a bit of money and getting to see it both ways), and there was a lovely info-bit at the Donmar and about the production method respectively.  It means we can actively recommend theatre to friends and relatives quite far away which makes a nice change from simply describing it.  Yes, it's not like live theatre, it couldn't be, but I really think it's something positive, as it opens up theatre for so many more people.  Specifically NT live, it opens the NT from just the South Bank, and when the Donmar was involved that really offered something, as I think lots of people were keen to see Jacobi as Lear and obviously only a small number of people could.  I heard (this might be untrue) that more people saw Lear at the cinema than would overall at the Donmar, and given that's the case I really can't object to it.  I know family who'll probably be interested in The Audience but won't be able to make it to London, so bully for them it's on at the cinema!

That said, does anyone know the box office figures for Great Expectations when it was live at the cinema?

Incidentally, when I saw King Lear, midway through Lear's most prominent mad scene, the visuals blipped, then went out.  After about a minute of darkness some poor bloke said "Sorry, we're going to have to stop now" and for ten minutes they had to reassemble the dish - it was one of those incredibly windy days.  They got it back and the actors went from the very beginning of the scene, beginning from Edgar's speech to Gloucester atop the "cliff" (they were substantially past that scene, so they were troupers for going from there and not losing any emotions or drama - they picked it up astonishingly).  And my parents tried to see Collaborators, but there were no visuals and the sound went in and out, so they all complained and got both money back and a free cinema ticket each and in the end saw it at the Olivier.  But for the most part (as far as I'm aware, having been a couple of times and knowing people who've been a couple of times more than I, it works really well.

#3 Nicholas

Nicholas

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 330 posts

Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:30 PM

Rambled slightly, sorry!

#4 Nicholas

Nicholas

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 330 posts

Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:39 PM

One final thing - last year I saw the RSC Nicholas Nickleby, all eight hours (ultimately I think it was over twelve including breaks and talk), at the BFI.  It had a panel talk with Trevor Nunn (who was wearing the same jacket as me), John Caird and David Edgar, which was nice, but actually that experience was as visual and visceral as seeing it at the theatre, despite the 30 year gap and some cast members being dead.  Maybe, because it's so long, it's just that we went with it, but it was filmed really well and looked and felt like the theatre.  I look back on that like I look back on something from on the stage and when people ask me the best theatre I've seen I sometimes feel justified in saying a production from over a decade before I was born.  I'd be interested to know what Digital Theatre's like - last year they were showing old filmed productions at the V&A and I can imagine that being a different experience.

#5 Honoured Guest

Honoured Guest

    Dis Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2522 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:44 PM

I think this started with The Met - New York's Metropolitan Opera. There's still much more opera and ballet than theatre available as live relays in cinemas - Royal Opera, Royal Ballet, Glyndebourne Opera, Bolshoi Ballet, some US orchestras as well as The Met. An increasing number of arts centres all around Wales now programme these live relays, as very popular enhancements to their regular mixed artform programmes. I've read that there are some worries that they may divert some people away from live opera and ballet but I don't know the figures on that. I think that one issue may be that large regional venues increasingly need to programme very standard, familiar, "safe" live repertoire in order to attract a large mass audience. The keen, committed, once-regular audiences are generally bored by this stale repertoire and now they have this wonderful option of seeing high quality live relays of a much wider repertoire on their doorstep, so they gradually cut down on attending local live performances.

#6 David J

David J

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 342 posts

Posted 22 March 2013 - 04:20 PM

The sticking fact is obviously that it allows someone like me, who lives outside London, to see NT productions cheaply without having to go all the way up there to see it. Of all the King Lears I have seen so far, Derek Jacobi is my favourite and that would not have been possible if it was not for NT Live

I have the same attitude for the Globe Theatre screenings. Despite all the hype I did not see Twelfth Night because I knew the production will be shown in cinemas. Next year yes, but that is no skin off my nose

It also allows me to see other shows when I do go up to London for the day.

Of course I am going to miss some of the experience, but then again the amount of NT Live shows that happen per year is nothing to the amount I see overall so it is not much of a loss
My reviews can also be found at "A Night at the Theatre"

http://www.anightatthetheatre.co.uk/

#7 jaqs

jaqs

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 897 posts

Posted 22 March 2013 - 05:06 PM

Really enjoyed when I went to Curious incident of the dog, as id not been able to get tickets, i actually live closer to the national than to the cinema I went to so it didnt save anything on travel costs.
It was a nice audience, probably the oldest Ive ever seen in the cinema.

#8 armadillo

armadillo

    Advanced Member

  • Validating
  • PipPipPip
  • 2740 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 22 March 2013 - 06:23 PM

Surely it will be good for regional theatre - 'so that's what a live show is like. I'll give it a try'.

#9 Epicoene

Epicoene

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1239 posts

Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:28 AM

View PostNicholas, on 22 March 2013 - 03:39 PM, said:

but actually that experience was as visual and visceral as seeing it at the theatre

But as you didn't see it in the theatre you don't know that do you. Was it the C4 TV version on a big screen ? I imagine it was. I saw it both on stage and on TV. No comparison.

#10 Epicoene

Epicoene

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1239 posts

Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:29 AM

THis page is intentionally left blank




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users