National Theatre Live returns to Hong Kong

National Theatre Live returns to Hong Kong

See a West End play without the trip to London as four screenings come to Hong Kong

After snapping a selfie with Big Ben and checking out the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, one of the things many tourists do when they're in London is go to see a show in the West End. But living all the way over here means we rarely get the chance to enjoy a live West End or Broadway performance.

That's about to change, though. The National Theatre Live is coming back to Hong Kong for the second year in a row, bringing screenings of four sell-out English stage productions to local cinema goers.

Launched in the UK in 2009, National Theatre Live has broadcast more than 30 productions in as many countries, including Frankenstein (starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller) and Shakespeare's Coriolanus (starring Thor's Tom Hiddleston), which did show here.

To make the screenings feel more like a real theatre experience, the broadcasts are filmed in front of a live audience as the actors perform. You can hear them laugh, gasp and clap as the play goes on. Like a real show, there's an intermission for bathroom and social media breaks. The screening also includes interviews with the playwright or actors. The one drawback? Tickets (HK$170 for students, HK$200 for adults) are more expensive than the average movie.

So theatre lovers, here are the plays hitting Hong Kong this year:

Skylight (162 mins; release date: Mar 28)

On a cold evening, Kyra receives a surprise visit from her ex-boyfriend Tom. He is a rich restaurateur, while Kyra is happy to live a simple life as a teacher. Written by David Hare and starring Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan, the play portrays two people deeply divided by wealth and values.

A Streetcar Named Desire (202 mins; release date: Jun 20)

Having lost her husband and home, teacher Blanche moves in with her sister Stella and her husband Stanley. Blanche doesn't get along with Stanley, and becomes emotional as he spreads rumours about her, ruining her chances of finding true love. Based on Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning work.
Contains violence and mature content

Of Mice and Men (150 mins; release date: Sep 19)

Set in Depression-era California, George and Lennie start working at a ranch to earn money so they can buy their own place. They soon realise the ranch is a complicated world of its own. Based on the book by Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck, the play stars James Franco and Chris O'Dowd.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (180 mins; release date: Dec 5)

Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone is accused of killing his neighbour's dog. To prove his innocence, the autistic child investigates the murder, taking a journey that forces him out of his comfort zone. Adapted from Mark Haddon's novel, the play stars Attack the Block's Luke Treadaway.and Sherlock's Una Stubbs.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Spectacular shows


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