I love an unusual arts venue – and City Varieties is certainly that. The country’s most famous music hall and Grade II listed venue hosts a great range of shows including music and variety acts.
The venue is now also screening both live theatre and delayed screenings. Here’s what’s coming up:
On Saturday 17th August 2019 there’s a delayed screening of NT Live: The Lehman Trilogy (age guidance 12A). Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes (Skyfall, The Ferryman) directs Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles in this three-part story of a family and company that changed the world. The screening includes two intervals – so it’s going to be a long screening!
On a cold September morning in 1844 a young man from Bavaria stands on a New York dockside dreaming of a new life in the new world. He is joined by his two brothers and an American epic begins. 163 years later, the firm they establish – Lehman Brothers – spectacularly collapses into bankruptcy and triggers the largest financial crisis in history.
Next up on Thursday 26th September is another NT Live delayed screening. This time, One Man, Two Guvnors (age guidance 12A) starring James Corden!
Fired from his skiffle band, Francis Henshall becomes minder to Roscoe Crabbe, a small time East End hood now in Brighton to collect £6,000 from his fiancée’s dad. But Roscoe is really his sister Rachel posing as her own dead brother who’s been killed by her boyfriend Stanley Stubbers.
Holed up at The Cricketers’ Arms, the permanently ravenous Francis spots the chance of an extra meal ticket and takes a second job with one Stanley Stubbers who is hiding from the police and waiting to be re-united with Rachel. To prevent discovery, Francis must keep his two guvnors apart. Simple.
If you missed Wise Children when it toured last year, don’t miss the delayed screening on Sunday 6th October as multi award-winning director Emma Rice brings her unique, exuberantly impish vision to Angela Carter’s great last novel in this brand-new theatre production.
In Brixton, Nora and Dora Chance – twin chorus girls born and bred south of the river – are celebrating their 75th birthday. Over the river in Chelsea, their father – and greatest actor of his generation – Melchior Hazard turns 100 on the same day. As does his twin brother Peregrine. If, in fact, he’s still alive. And if, in truth, Melchior is their real father after all… The show’s age guidance 15.
NT Live is actually live on Monday 4th November with A Midsummer Night’s Dream – captured live from the Bridge Theatre in London (age guidance 12A). Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Oliver Chris (Green Wing, NT Live: Young Marx), David Moorst (NT Live: Allelujah!) and Hammed Animashaun (The Barber Shop Chronicles) lead the cast as Titania, Oberon, Puck and Bottom.
I’m interested to see how the cinematic experience will capture the experience of being there live as the Bridge Theatre will become a forest – a dream world of flying fairies, contagious fogs and moonlight revels, surrounded by a roving audience following the action on foot.
Finally, there’s another live screening on Thursday 7th November.
See two-time Olivier Award winners, Lindsay Duncan (Birdman, About Time) and Alex Jennings (The Lady in the Van, The Queen), in Hansard – a brand-new play by Simon Wood, broadcast live from the National Theatre in London (age guidance 15).
It’s a summer’s morning in 1988 and Tory politician Robin Hesketh has returned home to the idyllic Cotswold house he shares with his wife of 30 years, Diana. But all is not as blissful as it seems. Diana has a stinking hangover, a fox is destroying the garden, and secrets are being dug up all over the place. As the day draws on, what starts as gentle ribbing and the familiar rhythms of marital scrapping quickly turns to blood-sport.
All the shows look really exciting and I’m sure live cinema will give people the chance to experience great theatre where they couldn’t always go to see it live. Visit the City Varieties website for more information and to book.