Theater

Category:Theater

Martin Freeman to Play Shakespeare’s Richard III in London This Summer

Well, it looks like Benedict Cumberbatch won’t be the only member of the Sherlock cast who will be treading the boards of the West End during the show’s hiatus.

It was recently confirmed that Cumberbatch will be performing Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre beginning in August of 2015. And now, hot on the heels of that particular bombshell of awesomeness comes the news that his co-star Martin Freeman has signed up to play the Bard’s doomed king Richard III.

He will join a long list of distinguished actors who have tackled Shakespeare’s villainous hunchback in recent memory, including Mark Rylance, Kevin Spacey and Sir Ian McKellen, among many others.

Category:Theater

To Be, Apparently: Benedict Cumberbatch to Perform 'Hamlet' in London in 2015

Anyone up for a group jaunt across the pond next summer? We’ve all got the perfect reason to go now.

After much speculation, it’s finally been confirmed that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch will return to the stage next year, to star in a new production of Hamlet in the West End. The production will run for twelve weeks, and is tentatively scheduled from August 5 to October 31, 2015 at London’s Barbican Theatre. Further ticketing information and booking details will be announced in May of this year, so keep an eye out.  

Cumberbatch has gone on the record before about how much he wants to play the character who is arguably Shakespeare’s most famous tragic hero, claiming that he feels that he’s now at an “appropriate age” to take on the role.

Category:Theater

Benedict Cumberbatch Does Tom Stoppard For National Theatre 50th Anniversary

Britain’s National Theatre celebrated its 50th anniversary last year – much like several other  well-known British institutions, including the Rolling Stones and, of course, Doctor Who. For those that don’t know, the NT is one of the UK’s two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company. It presents a varied program, staging everything from Shakespeare and international classic dramas to new and modern works by contemporary playwrights.

In honor of this landmark birthday for a national institution, a star-studded celebration was held last Fall and broadcast around the country. This once in a lifetime event featured excerpts from many of the plays and musicals put on by the National Theatre over the past fifty years, performed by a wide array of British acting greats, as well as loads of archival footage. And by "wide array", we mean basically every fabulous British actor you can think of - including Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Helen Mirren, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Rory Kinnear, Christopher Eccleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peneleope Wilton, Andrew Scott and lots more.  
Category:Theater

‘Harry Potter’ Star Daniel Radcliffe Returning to Broadway in ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is headed back to the Great White Way this Spring! He’ll be starring in a Broadway version of Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy The Cripple of Inishmaan, reprising his role from last year’s West End production at the Noel Coward Theatre.  The entire London cast from that Michael Grandage-directed revival will also transfer to Broadway along with Radcliffe.

McDonagh’s play is set in the 1930s and the story centers on the inhabitants of a small Irish island stirred up by the news that a Hollywood movie is filming nearby. Radcliffe portrays the titular cripple, who want to be in the film more than anything, if only to escape the tedium of his daily life. This will be, incidentally, the first ever Broadway production of Inishmaan

Read on for more details. 

Category:Theater

British Stage Stars Perform an Amazing Holiday Musical Number for a Good Cause

Need a reason to smile? Then stop what you’re doing and watch this great holiday video.

Many theater stars from all around the world joined forces to perform a cover of the anthem Do They Know It’s Christmas, a song that was originally recorded in 1984 to benefit famine relief. This time, this cover is meant to help raise money for WaterAid, an organization which helps transform lives by helping providing access to clean water and sanitation.

So, you know, absolutely adorable video and a great cause. No reason not to watch. Click through for more details and to watch for yourself. 

Category:Theater

'Great Performances' to Air National Theatre 50th Anniversary Celebration in February

Britain’s National Theatre celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – much like several other  well-known British institutions, including the Rolling Stones and, of course, Doctor Who. For those that don’t know, the NT is one of the UK’s two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company. It presents a varied program, staging everything from Shakespeare and international classic dramas to new and modern works by contemporary playwrights.

Many of the British actors we all love have done stints at the NT, performing a wide variety of roles in various productions.  And by many, we really mean pretty much everyone ever who works in British entertainment. Familiar faces like Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi,  Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren and many, many more are all alumni of the National Theatre and clearly remain very fond of it.

Earlier this Fall, the BBC held an all-star gala event in honor of the 50th birthday of this cultural institution and the stars turned out in force to celebrate. The program was basically a dream for anyone who loves theater or has been any sort of fan of British television or film over the past couple of decades and we all were basically green with envy that we had to miss out on seeing this once-in-a-lifetime line-up for ourselves. Well, we can all turn a little less green – because the special is going to be aired in America.

Read on for more.

Category:Theater

‘Sherlock’ Star Benedict Cumberbatch Confirmed to Play Hamlet in London Next Fall

Start comparison shopping for flights to London now, Benedict Cumberbatch fans - it looks like that whole rumored production of Hamlet? Not so much a rumor anymore.

In a recent interview with USA Today, the Sherlock star himself confirmed that Hamlet is definitely a go, at some point in the Fall of 2014 in London’s West End. When discussing what his upcoming projects might include, Cumberbatch declared, “I know for certain I'm doing Hamlet sometime in autumn on the London stage.”

“Before that,” he continued, “There are all sorts of film projects flying around, but the one that looks most real at the moment is Lost City of Z with James Gray.”

So there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth, we can all basically start camping out at the British Airways ticket counter immediately. Not really, obviously, as no firm dates, theater location, other cast members or basically any specifics at all have been determined, but still. It’s actually going to happen! 

Category:Theater

Get Your First Look at Tom Hiddleston’s ‘Coriolanus’ Which Will Stream to Cinemas Worldwide

Tom Hiddleston, internet darling and star of such fan favorites as The Hollow Crown and the Thor movies, is taking to the stage for his next role. He’ll be starring in the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Coriolanus in London, playing the lead role opposite an all-star cast that includes Sherlock’s Mark Gatiss among its ranks.

The West End production is sold out for the duration of its run (the Donmar Warehouse is an infamously small space), but the show will be broadcast worldwide through the National Theatre’s (awesome) NT Live program on January 30. Many international encore dates are set around the world in February, so check your local theaters for exact screenings.

It looks fantastic – and it’s okay if you’re also super jealous of those lucky folks that score tickets in London!

Click through for more details about the show, including a preview and some rehearsal photos.

Category:Theater

David Tennant’s Turn as Richard II to Broadcast in US Cinemas

Doctor Who star David Tennant is not only putting Ten’s brown trenchcoat this Fall, he’s also busy sporting a crown. The actor is currently starring in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Richard II in Shakespeare’s birthplace of Stratford-Upon-Avon, playing the titular monarch who is overthrown by his cousin Boilingbroke. (If this story sounds familiar, it’s because this play was recently included in Great Performances mini-series The Hollow Crown, though in that instance Ben Whishaw was the one giving the famous speech about sitting on the ground and telling sad stories of the death of kings.)

Early reviews praised Tennant’s “mesmerizing” performance in the lead role, even those that were a bit more iffy on the show overall. Though the most often-remarked upon feature does seem to be the impressive mane of hair extensions Tennant is sporting – a long, flowing sort of hairdo that is definitely different than almost anything you’ve seen the actor with before. (It’s also apparently to help underscore the whole Christ-imagery thing in the play itself, but. Well. Wow. There’s a lot of it.)

Luckily, there’s an alternative available for those of us who don’t have tickets or can’t pop to Statford to see this production (and the amazing hair) for ourselves. The RSC has decided to screen the play in cinemas around the world and it’s probably coming very soon to a town near you. (DC locals see the end of this post for details.) 

Category:Theater

Celebrate 50 Years of the National Theatre with Every British Actor Ever

Well, not quite. But that’s what it feels like.

Britain’s National Theatre celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – much like several other British greats, including the Rolling Stones and, of course, Doctor Who. For those that don’t know, the NT is one of the UK’s two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company. It presents a varied program, staging everything from Shakespeare and international classic dramas to new and modern works by contemporary playwrights.

Saturday night the BBC ran an all-star gala event in celebration of the British theatrical institution – which has featured many of the UK’s acting greats treading its boards over the years – crossing the half-century mark and it was basically a dream program for anyone who has ever been any sort of fan of British film, television or drama. The celebration featured snippets from some of the NT’s most celebrated plays and musicals from the past fifty years, performed by a wide array of British acting greats.

Dame Judi Dench sang Send in the Clowns from Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. Dame Maggie Smith (one of the six members of the original NT company in 1963) performed a scene from The Beaux Strategem. Dame Helen Mirren did a scene from Mourning Becomes Electra. James Corden reprised his role from One Man, Two Guvnors, Alan Bennett performed Richard Griffith’s famous role from The History Boys. Michael Gambon and Sir Derek Jacobi did a scene from Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land together.  Joey, the amazing puppet from War Horse, put in an appearance. And that’s not even close to everyone who participated. All in all, you couldn’t ask for a more magical evening. 

Watch a video montage of scenes from the gala’s rehearsals and play spot the famous face as you go. 

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