The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is following the recent tradition of West End plays such as Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein and will be screening a performance of their highly anticipated production of Richard II starring RSC stalwart and former Time Lord David Tennant.
The performance will be shown live on November 13 in over 100 cinemas across the UK and the performance will then be available for North America, Northern Europe, Australia and Japan from November 15. The performance will also be available for streaming in over 1000 UK schools, a great idea considering the play is a set text for 16-18 year olds studying English Literature.
The production which runs in the RSC iconic riverside Swan Theatre from October before transferring to London’s West End, has totally sold out for its Stratford run and this allows many more people to watch the performance starring David Tennant in his fourth stint at the RSC following his 2008 run as Hamlet.
Tennant has said that tackling the role of Richard II, a king whose reign and later deposition from the throne led to a century of civil unrest and civil war, “daunting but very exciting”.
Richard II is the first production to be shown as part of the upcoming Live from Stratford-upon-Avon Season with more titles to be announced in September 2013.
RSC Associate Director Gregory Doran has said that by showing more RSC performances to a wider audience via live screenings and streaming is the ideal way to allow the RSC to “bring the work we make in Stratford-upon-Avon to the widest possible audience.
Taking our productions live into cinemas and direct into schools is the next logical step. We will start with Richard II.”
As a Shakespeare buff, I think this is an amazing thing as it will demystify Shakespeare for many people who are intimidated by it, and it will allow the many fans of the play AND Tennant to see the play in spite of the two month Stratford Upon Avon run being totally sold out. I will be seeing the play in its run in London and cannot wait.
Richard II opens on stage in Stratford-upon-Avon at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 10 October 2013 and plays at the Barbican Theatre, London from 9 December to 25 January 2014.
http://onscreen.rsc.org.uk/richard-ii/default.aspx - for more information
Video – Interview with David Tennant on the role and the play