Simon Russell Beale & Hayley Atwell. Image via YouTube.
London’s National Theatre (currently represented on Broadway by War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors) is one of the world’s great arts institutions, so it’s a treat when they let us behind the scenes. They’ve released a series of informative, relaxed and no-nonsense web videos that detail the real process of theater creation without the usual layer of PR hype. It’s like a master class without any diva behavior.
I thought I’d share some of my favorites here, kicking things off with one of the early steps in any production, casting. As a bonus treat, the video features the luminous Haley Atwell (Captain America) remembering her first audition for the National.
Benedict Cumberbatch as The Creature (Photo by Catherine Ashmore)
For those of us who can’t jet off to London on a whim for an evening of theater and fresh crumpets, National Theatre Live presents current hits from the National’s stages, taped live and screened at cinemas worldwide. Tonight, catch a performance of their much-lauded Frankenstein, directed by Academy Award-winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) and starring the very attractive pairing of Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch.
If that’s not enough stomping and smashing and icky birth metaphors, see it again next Thursday—but this time with the lead actors switching roles (from “Victor” to “The Creature” and vice versa.) Could it be implying that there’s a little of both sides in all of us? Did somebody make a drunken bet? Either way, it sounds completely fascinating and visually impressive based on the reviews I’ve read. Plus, there’s no trans-Atlantic flight to leave you dehydrated and wishing you hadn’t put the Ambien in your checked luggage.
Go to National Theater Live for more info on screening venues and alternate dates.