Theatre. In High Definition.

17 Jul

I went to the NTlive production of Phedre last night. Well, NT almost live. In fact the show was broadcast live on the 26 June. We just caught up to it on African time.

And oh. I was completely blown away. I have fallen deeply and madly in love with Bob Crowley’s set. Helen Mirren is masterful in an unrelenting role that sees her in depths of passion for two hours. She manages it with an intensity and urgency which few could. Dominic Cooper of Mamma Mia fame returns to his theatrical roots to deliver a Hippolytus who, whilst proud, is still endearing. John Shrapnel doesn’t put a foot wrong as Theramene, Margaret Tyzack is compelling as Oenone, and Ruth Negga is absolutely captivating as Aricia.

But above all theatre is the star here. The fact that the audience wanted to applaud. The fact that for two hours we were watching not special effects, as in Transformers 2, not exotic locations, no action sequences. Just some superb actors, delivering Ted Hughes’ starkly poetic adaptation of Racine.

I can’t wait for the other NTlive broadcasts.



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