Below are details of the Spring/Summer season 2019
A ground breaking initiative broadcasting the best of British theatre to cinema and arts venues around the world live, via satellite. It has been a huge hit in the UK and will now be a regular feature from September 2016 at the Courthouse. Occasional ‘Encore’ performances will be included in the mix when the Courthouse has an unavoidable date clash – but these offer the audience exactly the same experience as the live streamed events.
Thursday 11th July
Adapted by Helen Edmundson. Based on the novel by Andrea Levy
Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel Small Island comes to life in an epic new theatre adaptation. Experience the play in cinemas, filmed live on stage as part of National Theatre Live’s 10th birthday. Small Island embarks on a journey from Jamaica to Britain, through the Second World War to 1948 – the year the HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury. The play follows three intricately connected stories. Hortense yearns for a new life away from rural Jamaica, Gilbert dreams of becoming a lawyer, and Queenie longs to escape her Lincolnshire roots. Hope and humanity meet stubborn reality as the play traces the tangled history of Jamaica and the UK. A company of 40 actors take to the stage of the National Theatre in this timely and moving story.
Thursday 25th July
The story of a family and a company that changed the world, told in three parts on a single evening.
Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes (Skyfall, The Ferryman) directs Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles who play the Lehman Brothers, their sons and grandsons.
On a cold September morning in 1844 a young man from Bavaria stands on a New York dockside. Dreaming of a new life in the new world. He is joined by his two brothers and an American epic begins.
163 years later, the firm they establish – Lehman Brothers – spectacularly collapses into bankruptcy, and triggers the largest financial crisis in history.
This critically acclaimed and five-time Olivier Award nominated play features stunning set design from Es Devlin (NT Live: Hamlet) and will be broadcast live from London’s West End as part of National Theatre Live’s 10th Birthday season.
On Tuesday September 10, “The Testaments”, Margaret Atwood’s highly anticipated sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale”, is revealed. The event will be celebrated with an exclusive cinema broadcast, as Fane Productions present an evening with the Canadian novelist, poet, literary critic and inventor.
The publication of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale in 1985 and the current, Emmy Award-winning television series have created a cultural phenomenon, as handmaids have become a symbol of women’s rights and a protest against misogyny and oppression. Filmed live from the stage of the National Theatre in London, Atwood will be interviewed by broadcaster and author Samira Ahmed in a conversation spanning the length of Atwood’s remarkable career, her diverse range of works, and why she has returned to her seminal handmaid story, 34 years later.
Sunday 20th October
‘The course of true love never did run smooth.’
A feuding fairy King and Queen of the forest cross paths with four runaway lovers and a troupe of actors trying to rehearse a play. As their dispute grows, the magical royal couple meddle with mortal lives leading to love triangles, mistaken identities and transformations… with hilarious, but dark consequences.
Shakespeare’s most famous romantic comedy will be captured live from the Bridge Theatre in London. Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Oliver Chris (Green Wing, NT Live: Young Marx), David Moorst (NT Live: Allelujah!) and Hammed Animashaun (The Barber Shop Chronicles) lead the cast as Titania, Oberon, Puck and Bottom.
Directed by Nicholas Hytner, this production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will build on the success of his immersive staging of Julius Caesar (NT Live 2018). The Bridge Theatre will become a forest – a dream world of flying fairies, contagious fogs and moonlight revels, surrounded by a roving audience following the action on foot.
By Richard Bean, based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni, with songs by Grant Olding.
Featuring a Tony Award-winning performance from host of the The Late Late Show, James Corden, the hilarious West End and Broadway hit One Man, Two Guvnors returns to cinemas to mark National Theatre Live’s 10th birthday.
Fired from his skiffle band, Francis Henshall becomes minder to Roscoe Crabbe, a small time East End hood, now in Brighton to collect £6,000 from his fiancée’s dad. But Roscoe is really his sister Rachel posing as her own dead brother, who’s been killed by her boyfriend Stanley Stubbers.
Holed up at The Cricketers’ Arms, the permanently ravenous Francis spots the chance of an extra meal ticket and takes a second job with one Stanley Stubbers, who is hiding from the police and waiting to be re-united with Rachel. To prevent discovery, Francis must keep his two guvnors apart. Simple.
by Simon Wood
See two-time Olivier Award winners, Lindsay Duncan (Birdman, About Time) and Alex Jennings (The Lady in the Van, The Queen), in this brand-new play by Simon Wood, recorded at the National Theatre in London.
It’s a summer’s morning in 1988 and Tory politician Robin Hesketh has returned home to the idyllic Cotswold house he shares with his wife of 30 years, Diana. But all is not as blissful as it seems. Diana has a stinking hangover, a fox is destroying the garden, and secrets are being dug up all over the place. As the day draws on, what starts as gentle ribbing and the familiar rhythms of marital scrapping quickly turns to blood-sport.
Don’t miss this witty and devastating portrait of the governing class, directed by Simon Godwin (NT Live: Antony & Cleopatra, Twelfth Night) and part of National Theatre Live’s 10th birthday season.
by Noël Coward
Matthew Warchus directs Andrew Scott (BBC’s Sherlock, Fleabag) in Noël Coward’s provocative comedy Present Laughter.
As he prepares to embark on an overseas tour, star actor Garry Essendine’s colourful life is in danger of spiralling out of control. Engulfed by an escalating identity crisis as his many and various relationships compete for his attention, Garry’s few remaining days at home are a chaotic whirlwind of love, sex, panic and soul-searching.
Captured live from The Old Vic in London, Present Laughter is a giddy and surprisingly modern reflection on fame, desire and loneliness.