Harry Potter and the Bard

 

Joshua Maguire and Daniel Radcliffe in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. The filmed play is in South Africa from June 4. Picture by Manuel Harlan.

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BY BILLY SUTER

THE high-definition film of the London National Theatre production of Tom Stoppard’s acclaimed comedy, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, teaming Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire as a delightful double act, reaches South African cinema screens on Saturday, June 3.

Screenings will be at 7.30pm on Saturday (June 3), 2.30pm on Sunday (June 4), and 7.30pm on Wednesday and Thursday (June 7 and 8) at at Ster-Kinekor Gateway in Durban and at Ster-Kinekor’s Nouveau cinemas in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town.

The production has a running time of two hours and 30 minutes, including an interval.

Half a century after its premiere on London’s The Old Vic stage, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, a play that made a young Tom Stoppard’s name overnight, returns to the theatre in its 50th anniversary celebratory production, directed by David Leveaux.

This new production of the play was filmed live at The Old Vic Theatre for broadcast to cinemas around the world as part of the current National Theatre Live season for the big screen.

Radcliffe (the Harry Potter films, The Woman in Black), Joshua McGuire (The Hour, Lovesick) and David Haig (Four Weddings and a FuneralThe Witness for the Prosecution) are said to excel in the revival.

Against the backdrop of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, two hapless minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, take centre stage. Increasingly out of their depth, the young double act stumble their way in and out of the action of the Bard’s iconic drama, as their version of the story unfolds.

In a literary hall of mirrors, Stoppard’s funny, existential labyrinth sees the audience witness the ultimate identity crisis.

“Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire’s split-second timing ensures this well-judged production of Stoppard’s classic fizzes with life,’’ wrote London’s The Guardian.

“David Haig is on fantastic form as The Player,” wrote London’s The Independent.

Launched in 2009, National Theatre Live broadcasts have been seen by an audience of over 6.5 million people at 2 500 venues in 60 countries.

The first season began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phédre starring Oscar-winner Helen Mirren.

Recent broadcasts include Hedda Gabler with Ruth Wilson, Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart in No Man’s Land, Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet, Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus, Gillian Anderson in A Streetcar Named Desire, James Corden in One Man, Two Guvnors, and Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch in Frankenstein and War Horse.

The next productions from NT Live to be screened at Ster-Kinekor’s Nouveau cinemas include:

Obsession  (June 24) – Jude Law (The Young PopeCloserThe Talented Mr Ripley) stars in this new stage adaptation of Obsession, broadcast live from the Barbican Theatre in London. Ivo van Hove (NT Live: A View from the BridgeHedda Gabler) directs this new version of Luchino Visconti’s 1943 film.

Gino is a drifter, down-at-heel and magnetically handsome. At a roadside restaurant he encounters husband and wife, Giuseppe and Giovanna.

Irresistibly attracted to each other, Gino and Giovanna begin a fiery affair and plot to murder her husband. But, in this chilling tale of passion and destruction, the crime only serves to tear them apart.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf  (July 1) – Imelda Staunton (GypsyVera DrakeHarry Potter films), Conleth Hill (Game Of ThronesThe Producers), Luke Treadaway (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeFortitudeThe Hollow Crown) and Imogen Poots (A Long Way DownJane Eyre) star in James Macdonald’s new production of Edward Albee’s landmark play, filmed live at the Harold Pinter Theatre, London.

In the early hours of the morning on the campus of an American college, Martha, much to her husband George’s displeasure, has invited the new professor and his wife to their home for some after-party drinks.

As the alcohol flows and dawn approaches, the young couple are drawn into George and Martha’s toxic games until the evening reaches its climax in a moment of devastating truth-telling.

Peter Pan (July 9) – J M Barrie’s much-loved tale screens as perfect cinema fare for the mid-year school holidays: All children, except one, grow up…

Salomé (July 22) – Directed by South African-born, award-winning Yaёl Farber.

Angels in America – Part I & II (August 19 and September 2) – Andrew Garfield, Susan Brown, Nathan Lane, James McArdle, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Denise Gough and Russell Tovey star in this Aids drama.

Yerma (September 23) – Simon Stone’s radical production of Federico García Lorca’s achingly powerful masterpiece, with Billie Piper reprising her award-winning lead performance.

 

 


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