Cinemapolis finishes another year of live theater events on screen with the launch of the Summer and Fall seasons of productions from National Theatre Live. NTL is the National Theatre’s groundbreaking project to broadcast the best of British theatre live from the London stage to cinemas across the UK and around the world, giving cinema-goers from Ithaca and beyond a chance to see world-class theatre without the pesky intercontinental airfare!
Summer with NTL gets under way with Shakespeare’s most intense and terrifying tragedy, Macbeth. Directed by Rufus Norris (The Threepenny Opera, London Road), the production marks the return of Rory Kinnear (Young Marx, Othello) and Anne-Marie Duff (Oil, Suffragette) to the National Theatre to play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The ruined aftermath of a bloody civil war. Ruthlessly fighting to survive, the Macbeths are propelled towards the crown by forces of elemental darkness. Macbeth screens at Cinemapolis on Thursday, June 21st at 6:30 and again on Saturday, June 23rd at 1:30 pm.
In July, Billie Piper’s (Penny Dreadful, Great Britain) Olivier Award-winning performance in Yerma comes to our screen. A young woman is driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a baby, in Simon Stone’s radical production of Lorca’s achingly powerful masterpiece. Set in contemporary London, Piper’s portrayal of a woman in her thirties struggling to conceive builds with elemental force to a staggering, shocking climax. The unmissable theatre phenomenon sold-out at the Young Vic and Off-Broadway. Critics call it ‘shatteringly powerful’ (Independent) and ‘an extraordinary theatrical triumph’ (The Times). Yerma screens at Cinemapolis on Thursday, July 19th at 6:30 pm and again on Saturday, July 21st at 1:30 pm.
A special encore comes in August. Captured live from the National Theatre in London, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is directed by Marianne Elliot (Angels in America, War Horse) has astonished audiences around the world and has received seven Olivier and five Tony Awards®. Christopher, fifteen years old, stands beside Mrs Shears’ dead dog. It has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in the book he is writing to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington. He has an extraordinary brain, exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and he distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world. Critics call it “A phenomenal combination of storytelling and spectacle” (The Times) and “Dazzlingly inventive’ (Evening Standard). The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time screens at Cinemapolis on Thursday, August 16th at 6:30 pm and again on Saturday, August 18th at 1:30 pm.
In September, Vanessa Kirby (The Crown, NT Live: A Streetcar Named Desire) and Eric Kofi Abrefa (The Amen Corner) feature in the cast of a brand new production of Julie. Wild and newly single, Julie throws a late night party. In the kitchen, Jean and Kristina clean up as the celebration heaves above them. Crossing the threshold, Julie initiates a power game with Jean – which rapidly descends into a savage fight for survival. This new version of August Strindberg’s play Miss Julie, written by Polly Stenham and directed by Carrie Cracknell (NT Live: The Deep Blue Sea), remains shocking and fiercely relevant in its new setting of contemporary London. Julie screens at Cinemapolis on Thursday, September 27th at 6:30 pm and again on Saturday, September 29th at 1:30 pm.
Just in time for Halloween, Frankenstein returns to international cinemas to mark the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s most famous novel. Captured live in 2011 from the National Theatre stage in London, this thrilling, sold-out production became an international sensation, experienced by almost half a million people in cinemas around the world. Directed by Academy Award®-winner Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire), Frankenstein features Benedict Cumberbatch (Hamlet, BBC’s Sherlock) and Jonny Lee Miller (Elementary, Trainspotting) alternating between the roles of Victor Frankenstein and his creation. Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein’s bewildered creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the increasingly desperate and vengeful Creature determines to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal. Scientific responsibility, parental neglect, cognitive development and the nature of good and evil, are embedded within this thrilling and deeply disturbing classic tale. Frankenstein screens at Cinemapolis on Thursday, October 25th at 6:30 pm and again on Saturday, October 27th at 1:30 pm. Both screenings will feature Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature.
Broadcast from London’s West End, Ian McKellen’s ‘extraordinarily moving portrayal’ (Independent) of King Lear arrives in November. Chichester Festival Theatre’s production received five-star reviews for its sell-out run, and transfers to the West End for a limited season. Jonathan Munby directs this ‘nuanced and powerful’ (The Times) contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s tender, violent, moving and shocking play. Considered by many to be the greatest tragedy ever written, King Lear sees two ageing fathers – one a King, one his courtier – reject the children who truly love them. Their blindness unleashes a tornado of pitiless ambition and treachery, as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with bitter ends. King Lear screens at Cinemapolis on Thursday, November 15th at 6:30 pm and again on Saturday, November 17th at 1:30 pm.
2018 wraps up with the multi-award-winning drama The Madness of George III. Written by one of Britain’s best-loved playwrights Alan Bennett (The History Boys, The Lady in the Van), this epic play was also adapted into a BAFTA Award-winning film following its premiere on stage in 1991. The cast of this new production includes Olivier Award-winners Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Wolf Hall, NT Live Coriolanus) in the title role, and Adrian Scarborough (Gavin and Stacey, Upstairs Downstairs, After the Dance). It’s 1786 and King George III is the most powerful man in the world. But his behaviour is becoming increasingly erratic as he succumbs to fits of lunacy. With the King’s mind unravelling at a dramatic pace, ambitious politicians and the scheming Prince of Wales threaten to undermine the power of the Crown, and expose the fine line between a King and a man. The Madness of George III screens at Cinemapolis on Thursday, December 13th at 6:30 pm and again on Saturday, December 15th at 1:30 pm.
As London’s stage season continues, more titles will be added for 2019. Tickets for each of these special, high-definition National Theatre Live broadcasts are available at the Cinemapolis box office and online at cinemapolis.org. General admission tickets are $22 each, with discounted $18 tickets available for students, seniors and Cinemapolis members. Due to this premium pricing, passes and multi-admission punch cards are not valid for National Theatre Live screenings.