Whoever hit on the idea of beaming live broadcasts from theatre shows to the cinema deserves a medal. I’ve been to some stupendous National Theatre productions at the movies – when I saw Helen Mirren in The Queen at Oxford’s Phoenix Picturehouse the whole audience erupted into spontaneous applause at the end.
And now the Royal Shakespeare Company is following suit. Last night saw the RSC’s first live broadcast from Stratford-upon-Avon to 364 cinemas across the UK and it was a triumph all round.
The play was the RSC’s critically acclaimed (and sold-out) production of Richard II, with David Tennant at his brilliant best as the flawed king. I have to admit that after seeing Tennant as the brooding Detective Inspector Alec Hardy in TV’s Broadchurch it was a bit of a shock to see him with waist-length hair and flowing medieval robes.
The mood at the Harbour Lights Picturehouse in Southampton was upbeat. We all knew we were part of something special and while sceptics might claim that seeing the play at the cinema isn’t a patch on going to Stratford I have to disagree. It’s not worse or better – it’s just different...