National Theatre Live + Digital Theatre: The next best thing to being there

Digital Theatre, NT Live, National Theatre Live, entertainment, live theater, UK theatre, London theatre, international theater screenings, what’s happening in New York, on demand art content, entertainment resources, Man and Superman

I’m lucky to live in a city where I have access to so much art. Time and money keeps me from devouring all of it. But I’m greedy for all that I can get.

While there is much theater here, I’m even greedier to see London theater offerings and other work around the UK that doesn’t always make it across the pond. And now I can – and do. Not by flying to the UK regularly (although that would be ideal), but by taking advantage of the UK coming to me.

Here are two ways to enjoy many of the great performances happening there most anywhere you are.

National Theatre Live (NT Live) screenings

Digital Theatre, NT Live, National Theatre Live, entertainment, live theater, UK theatre, London theatre, international theater screenings, what’s happening in New York, on demand art content, entertainment resources, A View from The Bridge,

From the South Bank in London, National Theatre Live broadcasts the best of British theatre live from the London stage to cinemas around the world. Here in the eastern US, the broadcasts ‘as live’ are usually midday screenings, and screen multiple times at a later date.

Lucky again I am that so many venues nearby offer the many fantastic productions being performed at the National. Most of the audience who choose to attend these screenings are savvy, dedicated theatergoers, so there’s always good conversation to be had, and an extremely well-behaved audience. We want to be there, and have carefully sought out the venue and screening times. There’s a distinct buzz and energy in the audience, even though the actors aren’t there live to feed off it.

And as recently as the last few weeks, when I saw two excellent productions (both audiences whooped and cheered in appreciation): Man and Superman with Ralph Fiennes leading a brilliant cast, and Mark Strong doing the same in A View from The Bridge, the large venue that I attended was nearly full. When I saw Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein some years ago, there were about three dozen people in attendance. Are you listening NT Live? Huge audiences now. More please.

Digital Theatre performances

Digital Theatre, NT Live, National Theatre Live, entertainment, live theater, UK theatre, London theatre, international theater screenings, what’s happening in New York, on demand art content, entertainment resources, Much Ado About Nothing,

Digital Theatre differs from NT Live in its delivery. It’s an on-demand platform specializing in delivering arts content to your home or device, and making it accessible and affordable internationally. The Digital Theatre team have filmed and captured theatrical performances as well as opera, dance and classical music from all over the UK.

The  performances are available for rental, or to download and own in standard or HD formats to watch online or offline on your schedule. With prices ranging from about £1.99 to £10.99 ($2.20 to $12.20 at current exchange rates), that’s quite a bargain.

Digital Theatre partners with great companies such as Shakespeare’s Globe, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), the Menier Chocolate Factory, the Young Vic, the Bush Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre and Glyndebourne to name a few.

That’s a large and varied menu of exciting choices.

It’s a play, no it’s a film. Or is it?

There’s nothing like sitting live in a darkened house, suspending disbelief and immersing yourself for 2 hours or so into the world being created on stage – and being swept away by the shared story it becomes when the actors and the script meld, and connect with an audience.

With NT Live and Digital Theatre, it’s close to the real thing.

Many people don’t have the opportunity to see live performances. But now, most anyone who wants to see great work, can – thanks to these two resources.

I repeat – more please.

Images:
Man and Superman, captured live at the National Theatre Lyttelton, London on 14 may 2015. Production photography © National Theatre, from NTLive.nationaltheatre.org.uk
A View from The Bridge, captured live at Wyndhams Theatre, London on 26 march 2015. Production photography © Young Vic.
Much Ado About Nothing, captured live at Wyndhams Theatre, London in september 2011. Production photography © Johan Persson/Arenapal, from  DigitalTheatre.com

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