National Theatre Live

National Theatre Live is the National Theatre of Great Britain's groundbreaking project to broadcast the best of British theatre live from the London stage to cinemas across the UK and around the world.

U.S. Press Contacts: Heath Schwartz | Amy Kass

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Behind the Beautiful Forevers (Broadcast: Thursday, March 12, 2015) by David Hare, based on the book by Katherine Boo, directed by Rufus Norris – India is surging with global ambition. But beyond the luxury hotels surrounding Mumbai airport lies a makeshift slum, full of people with plans of their own. Zehrunisa and her son Abdul aim to recycle enough rubbish to fund a proper house. Sunil, twelve and stunted, wants to eat until he’s as tall as Kalu the thief. Asha seeks to steal government anti-poverty funds to turn herself into a ‘first-class person’, while her daughter Manju intends to become the slum’s first female graduate. But their schemes are fragile; global recession threatens the garbage trade, and another slum-dweller is about to make an accusation that will destroy herself and shatter the neighborhood. Please note: BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS is suitable for ages 14 years +.

A View from the Bridge (Broadcast: Thursday, March 26, 2015) by Arthur Miller, starring Mark Strong (The Imitation Game) in Ivo van Hove’s five star Young Vic production live from London’s West End – Arthur Miller confronts the American dream in this dark and passionate tale.  In Brooklyn, longshoreman Eddie Carbone welcomes his Sicilian cousins to the land of freedom. But when one of them falls for his beautiful niece, they discover that freedom comes at a price. Eddie’s jealous mistrust exposes a deep, unspeakable secret – one that drives him to commit the ultimate betrayal.

The Hard Problem (Broadcast: Thursday, April 16, 2015) a new play by Tom Stoppard, directed by Nicholas HytnerThe Hard Problem is Tom Stoppard’s first play for the stage since Rock ’n’ Roll in 2006, and his first for the National since his trilogy, The Coast of Utopia, 2002. Hilary, a young psychology researcher at a brain-science institute, is nursing a private sorrow and a troubling question at work, where psychology and biology meet. If there is nothing but matter, what is consciousness? This is ‘the hard problem’ which puts Hilary at odds with her colleagues who include her first mentor Spike, her boss Leo and the billionaire founder of the institute, Jerry. Is the day coming when the computer and the fMRI scanner will answer all the questions psychology can ask? Meanwhile Hilary needs a miracle, and she is prepared to pray for one.

Man and Superman (Broadcast: Thursday, May 14, 2015) by Bernard Shaw, starring Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes as Jack Tanner in this exhilarating reinvention of Shaw’s witty, provocative classic;  directed by Simon Godwin – Jack Tanner, celebrated radical thinker and rich bachelor, seems an unlikely choice as guardian to the alluring heiress, Ann. But she takes it in her assured stride and, despite the love of a poet, she decides to marry and tame this dazzling revolutionary. Tanner, appalled by the whiff of domesticity, is tipped off by his chauffeur and flees to Spain, where he is captured by bandits and meets The Devil. An extraordinary dream-debate, heaven versus hell, ensues. Following in hot pursuit, Ann is there when Tanner awakes, as fierce in her certainty as he is in his. A romantic comedy, an epic fairytale, a fiery philosophical debate, Man and Superman asks fundamental questions about how we live.

Everyman (Broadcast: Thursday, July 16, 2015) adapted by Carol Ann Duffy, starring Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor  (12 Years a Slave), directed by Rufus Norris – Everyman is successful, popular and riding high when Death comes calling. He is forced to abandon the life he has built and embark on a last, frantic search to recruit a friend, anyone, to speak in his defence. But Death is close behind, and time is running out. One of the great primal, spiritual myths, Everyman asks whether it is only in death that we can understand our lives. A cornerstone of English drama since the 15th century, this new production has words by Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate, and movement by Javier De Frutos.

Hamlet (Broadcast: Thursday, October 15, 2015) starring Academy Award nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) in the title role in Lyndsey Turner’s production, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and presented by the Barbican – Designed by Es Devlin with video design by Luke Halls, Hamlet will play a 12-week run at the Barbican Theatre from August 5, 2015 to October 31, 2015, with an opening night on August 25. Further casting and details for this production will be announced at a later date. As a country arms itself for war, a family tears itself apart. Forced to revenge his father’s death but paralyzed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state.