4 London plays for the big screen

A scene from the London stage production of Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel, Small Island. From left are Cavan Clarke, Adam Ewan, Paul Bentall and Gershwyn Eustace Jnr. Picture by Brinkhoff Moegennurg for NT Live.

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BY BILLY SUTER

FOLLOWING April screenings of the new London production of All About Eve, co-starring Lily James and Gillian Anderson and shown in Cinema Nouveau cinemas throughout South Africa, four more West End successes are soon to be seen on the big screen.

Two are new London productions – Arthur Miller’s blistering drama, All My Sons, teaming Oscar-winner Sally Field and Bill Pullman; and what is said to be an epic theatre adaptation of Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel, Small Island.

The other two National Theatre Live films of acclaimed London stage productions headed for cinemas is a single repeat screening of The Audience, with Helen Mirren, and a repeat screening of Hamlet, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role.

Diarise 8pm on Monday, June 3, for the South African repeat screening of The Audience, which will be shown in KwaZulu-Natal at Cinema Nouveau at  Gateway in Umhlanga.

Helen Mirren is magnificent in this compelling drama tracing Queen Elizabeth II’s decades of having met with each of her 12 prime ministers in a private weekly meeting. This meeting is known as ‘The Audience’. No one knows what they discuss, not even their spouses.

.A scene from Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, starring Sally Field and Bill Pullman. Picture by Johan Persson.

Hamlet, which runs for three hours and 30 minutes, will have its repeat screening at Cinema Nouveau cinemas countrywide at 8pm on Monday, July 8.

According to The Guardian, Sally Field and Bill Pullman deliver “a Miller for our times” in All My Sons, which is scheduled for Cinema Nouveau screenings in South Africa at 7.30pm on Saturday, June 15; at 2.30pm on Sunday, June 16; and at 7.30pm on Wednesday and Thursday, June 19 and 20.

Directed by Jeremy Herrin and filmed live at The Old Vic in London, All My Sons is set in America in 1947. It follows Joe and Kate Keller, who despite some hard knocks have built a home, raised two sons and established a thriving business.

However, nothing lasts forever and their contented lives, already shadowed by the loss of their eldest boy to war, are about to shatter. With the return of a figure from the past, long buried truths are forced to the surface and the price of their American dream is laid bare. Watch the trailer by clicking here

Screening from July 27, Small Island covers a journey from Jamaica to Britain, through World War II to 1948 – the year the ship Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury, England.

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 London in what has been described as a timely and moving story. Watch the teaser trailer by clicking here.

During the past 10 years of National Theatre Live having been established, more than 80 theatre productions have been filmed live on stage and shown in 3500 venues worldwide, reaching an audience of nearly 9 million people.

Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth in The Audience. Picture by Johan Persson.

Cinema Nouveau is a division of Ster-Kinekor Theatres (South Africa’s largest cinema exhibitor) and operates 26 digital cinema houses with just under 3000 seats. The four theatre sites are spread across Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.

Cinema Nouveau holds the prestige of being one of the world’s only dedicated “art cinema” chains, screening independent, alternative and art cinema content from cultures across the globe. It promises a unique and inspiring cinema experience –  a destination for film lovers with a passion for and appreciation of the beauty and artistry of film.

Booking is now open for all upcoming National Theatre Live screenings.


2 thoughts on “4 London plays for the big screen

  1. Why can one not purchase a DVD of these shows ? Copyright has been cited as a reason, however surely this would be a lucrative proposition for producers and copyright holders? There are many who cannot get to see the original ( or have) and wish to own a copy for their personal collections.

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    1. Hi. Various reasons …some might come on DVD later, a lot of the shows are still running when the films are shown live globally (but not in SA, sadly),some shows are not licensed via copyright for DVD rights…

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