Comscore

National Theatre Live... on screen

John G2
Swing
joined:3/16/10
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 05:10am
I have noticed that the 'National Theatre Live' people have started advertising on this website. What do people think about this trend? I, for one, have no interest in seeing theatre, live, on a screen, piped in from the UK. I would much rather see one of the hundreds of productions happening on any given night in the NYC area with flesh and blood American actors twenty feet away from me- or travel to one of our excellent regional theatres to see a classic drama or new play. Who is paying to see this stuff? Is there any upside for our community? Maybe I'm missing something.
EricMontreal22 Profile Photo
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 05:59am
So umm, the fact that they're not American actors is a bad thing?

I saw the Danny Boyle production of Frankenstein with Johnny Lee Miller and thought it was terrific--well filmed and a stunning production I wouldn't have been able to see otherwise. I've also gone toa number of the Bolshoi ballet live cinecasts. I don't really get the hate--they don't mean I go to less actual live theatre, and it's not a replacement, but it gives me the chance to see proiductions I wouldn't be able to otherwise.
Plum
Broadway Legend
joined:3/4/04
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 06:12am
I saw that Frankenstein production as well at the wonderful Bryn Mawr Film Institute, and found it was thoroughly worth it. Would I rather have seen it at the Olivier? Well yeah, of course. But seeing that hardly kept me from going to live shows from the Arden, Walnut Street Theatre, Annenberg, Lantern, Pig Iron, Wilma, or friggin' Clark Park. What wrong with having one more choice?
dramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 06:39am
Personally, I do not enjoy watching live theatre taped, but I don't see what the affront is. If you don't like it, don't watch it.

I agree with the above posters: it's not an either/or situation: it gives folks a chance to see something they otherwise would not.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
abitoftap Profile Photo
abitoftap
Broadway Star
joined:3/16/08
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 07:15am
I think you should only watch theatre produced by people like yourself, preferably from within a 50 mile radius. Any plays should be written by people born in your own country and they should reflect your own views and outlook.

Anything which allows you to benefit from other cultures, outlooks, views and ideas should be verbotem.
amoni2 Profile Photo
amoni2
Featured Actor
joined:3/4/06
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 07:47am
"Is there any upside for our community?"

Huh?
Patash Profile Photo
Patash
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/08
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 07:55am
I'm stunned by the original post. Abitoftap sums it all up the best. I guess it's "nice" that someone wants only to support and be exposed to his own little local community, but how sad to block out great theatre from the rest of the world.

I stood in line for returns unsuccessfully for three days at the National to see One Man, Two Guvnors. Then I came back to the US and totally missed that it was being broadcast to theatres. DRAT! Now I'm thrilled I'll be able to see it on Broadway.
John G2
Swing
joined:3/16/10
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 08:37am
My point is that this piped-in theatre is not theatre at all. Theatre is a live performance art form where the audience is in the same room as the performers and should be experienced that way. If people experience theatre the first time this way, they are missing perhaps the essence of what theatre is about- that live connection.

Also, that our money is better spent supporting American artists and institutions that create great theatre and need our support.

It is very refreshing this year that there are not many UK imports on B'way, and that we have the opportunity to see the work of many fine American artists who need the work and exposure.
abitoftap Profile Photo
abitoftap
Broadway Star
joined:3/16/08
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 08:50am
I think there should be no foreign people on Broadway...or Americans in the West End, or US programmes on UK tv...we should all stay in our insular worlds and never acknowledge anything that isn't on our doorstep.

I really think it's sad when people have such an excluding view of the world, particularly in this business we call show..
John G2
Swing
joined:3/16/10
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 09:04am
I've forgotten- most of you are not in theatre people. I and many colleagues are closed out of job opportunities by British productions. If there was reciprocity on the other side with American productions and artists being presented in the UK, that would be equitable, but that is not the case. Britain makes it very difficult for American artists to work over there. It's very simple- the more UK productions you have over here, the fewer job opportunities there are for US artists. If you care about American theatre and the ongoing health of the industry in this country, you would care about this issue.
Wee Thomas2 Profile Photo
Wee Thomas2
Leading Actor
joined:2/28/12
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 09:11am
I mean, can you blame them after we sent David Schwimmer over?
henrikegerman Profile Photo
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 09:18am
OP, it's not an "either or" proposition. You can see all the live theatre in proximity you like. And travel domestically as much as you'd like/can. Or you can, as many people do, travel abroad to see theatre.

Or you might also see a National Theate broadcast. Especially, as I would, if there were a performance you are particularly interested in seeing.

And if it could be arranged to get - for example - ACT, BAM or the Guthrie to, on occasion, broadcast internationally, people would be going to see their shows broadcast as well as the National Theatre's.

Just as people around the world go to see opera broadcast from New York City at the Met Live in HD telecasts.

AEA AGMA SM Profile Photo
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 09:33am
"If there was reciprocity on the other side with American productions and artists being presented in the UK, that would be equitable, but that is not the case."

But that is the case. Actors' Equity is quite vigilant about making sure there are Americans being hired for British productions before allowing a producer on Broadway to bring over British actors. That is one of the reasons it took the Trevor Nunn revival of Oklahoma so long to finally open on Broadway, because he wanted to bring over the entire cast to shorten the rehearsal time and Equity wouldn't allow it. And there have been more than a few cases of Broadway productions transferring to London with a large majority of the Broadway company (Rent, Hair, and August: Osage County, just off the top of my head)
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 09:53am
Watching a National Theatre live broadcast does not prevent anyone from seeing live theatre as well. Just as watching the DVD of Into the Woods doesn't prevent anyone from attending the theatre. It usually has the opposite effect, in fact, and inspires those who have not attended the theatre into going. British productions in the US do employ Americans as well, the 99% of other productions are American productions employing Americans, and the Equity trade has Americans working in the West End. Smells like xenophobia in here.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
Taryn Profile Photo
Taryn
Broadway Legend
joined:1/24/04
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 10:07am
AEA AGMA SM is right. American Equity is WAY more hard-core about regulating British actors working in New York than the other way around.
abitoftap Profile Photo
abitoftap
Broadway Star
joined:3/16/08
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 10:33am
I'm from the UK...I was happy to see the US cast of August, Osage County at the National Theatre (yes, the same one), as I was to see the predominately American led Caroline or Change.
I actually saw Hair on Broadway and was pleased the cast came over here. I'd also be disappointed if the Met opera telecasts were not shown in the UK anymore.
As a previous poster mentioned, if anything American Equity makes it harder for Brits to perform in the US. It's absolutely right that there should be reciprocity, otherwise the only people who would win are the producers, but that should not be an excuse to encourage insularity.
I find it sad that someone should hold these views.

Updated On: 3/26/12 at 10:33 AM
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 10:53am
I have no problems with this. While I understand your "support your local theater" sentiment, people only have some many dollars they can spend on entertainment and they want to choose wisely. For me personally, I would rather see a production on screen from the National Theatre (who has done incredible work) than see a live production of something from The Roundabout (who does consistently mediocre, and sometimes poor, work).

If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
Ejm105989 Profile Photo
Ejm105989
Stand-by
joined:12/19/11
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 10:55am
Speaking from someone who desperately wanted to see Miller and Cumberbatch in Frankenstein, I think it's great that they are bringing it to us over here in the States. It just comes down to convenience and experiencing something that I wouldn't of been able too originally.

henrikegerman Profile Photo
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 01:55pm
If we had a National Theatre, as we damn well should, I would think the rest of the world would be delighted to be able to see our performances broadcast in their theaters. Unquestionably so, if - as should certainly be the case - the quality were up to the standards of the National Theatre of Great Britain's.

Updated On: 3/26/12 at 01:55 PM
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 02:29pm
"If we had a National Theatre, as we damn well should"

I don't think a national theater model will fit the US entertainment industry. The last time it was tried was when Tony Randall tried it in the 1990s. What he pumped out was several boring star productions.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
abitoftap Profile Photo
abitoftap
Broadway Star
joined:3/16/08
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 02:37pm
In the UK we also have National Theatres of Scotland and Wales, which both have different ways of working. Neither have buildings, and both do their work in theatres and other spaces throughout their respective countries (and elsewhere...Black Watch from NTS was in the US a couple of years ago)
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 03:00pm
I only hope Frankenstein has screenings in Chicago. If it played earlier, I totally missed it and when I was in London, I couldn't score a ticket. I would JUMP at the chance to finally see that production.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
John G2
Swing
joined:3/16/10
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 03:43pm
I'm not speaking about actors- I'm talking about playwrights, directors, and designers.
Patash Profile Photo
Patash
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/08
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 03:49pm
"My point is that this piped-in theatre is not theatre at all. Theatre is a live performance art form where the audience is in the same room as the performers and should be experienced that way. If people experience theatre the first time this way, they are missing perhaps the essence of what theatre is about- that live connection."

I doubt anyone is really arguing with that point, I'm certainly not. But given the choice of only being able to see a particular great production on a screen or not seeing it at all because it isn't going to play here or I can't get to London -- I'll choose the screen version over nothing. Is that so horrible?
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 03:50pm
I'm not speaking about actors- I'm talking about playwrights, directors, and designers.

Yeah, Shakespeare has been stealing work from the Americans for centuries. It's time to stand our ground. We need to dress up like Benvolios and dump First Folios into the Hudson.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
Updated On: 3/26/12 at 03:50 PM
jimmycurry01 Profile Photo
jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
National Theatre Live... on screen
Posted: 3/26/12 at 03:51pm
You are being given the opportunity to see a theatrical production from someplace you may never go. How could you possibly see this as a bad thing. The more exposure theatre gets, the better. It is also possible to take advantage of seeing a live performance as well as going to a regional or Broadway show. It isn't like you are being asked to choose one or the other.

1
Page:

BROADWAYWORLD TV