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Here's a link to this on the National Theatre Live website:


Coincidentally, I read your post while waiting for box-office opening time at a local arts theater, which is showing it on Feb. 5, a couple of days after the original Feb 3 simulcast.

I've seen several of these "live" presentations from the NT, starting with Helen Mirren in the Racine Phedre, and find them miles better than traditional filming from the stage.

You might be interested in the NT's Hamlet as well. Rory Kinear's interpretation in the title role (a variation on David Warner's in the 60s) has gotten excellent reviews. Show date in the UK is Dec. 9 but may be later in other areas and even in individual venues. Our theater, for example is showing it as a matinee on Dec. 12.


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I just read in Town & Country magazine that Derek Jacobi will play King Lear at the Donmar Warehouse in London from December through February. There will be a special live broadcast on February 3 shown in over 300 movie theatres worldwide. I hope at least one of them is in NYC.

Should be interesting, MakarovaFan, and thank you for posting the news. Jacobi's Macbeth some time ago was none too well received, but he's had success with Prospero, I think, which may be good prep for Lear. The Donmar is smallish, so those who are able to attend in person will get a more intimate Lear than even theatergoers often see.

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OMG, this is thrilling! I haven't seen Jacobi onstage since Uncle Vanya many years ago. Thanks, abatt, for the heads up!

My pleasure! We've been very fortunate recently here in New York to have seen some fine Lears. (Plummer at Lincoln Center about 6 years ago; Ian McKellan at BAM about 2 years ago.)(Pacino is doing a film version of Lear too. Not sure when that film will be released.) I remember seeing the Uncle Vanya performance with Jacobi, too.

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I can see Jacobi as Vanya, definitely.. Lear seems more of a stretch for such a thoughtful and inner-directed actor. But, then, Ian Holm -- who, like Jacobi, is a character actor tending to work on a small and subtle scale -- was a memorable Lear at the National back in the 90s.

I just came across an old and forgotten vhs tape I made back then when that production was shown on Masterpiece Theater. I watched Lear's first scene and then fast-forwarded to the point at which he enters with the dead body of Cordelia in his arms, followed shortly by his own death. You really feel, along with Kent, that Lear's death is a tragedy but also a release, and that "the wonder is he has endured so long."

I'll return this tape for memory-refreshing before the new NT performance. Watching what Holm could do made me quite impatient to see Jacobi as well.

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My favorite Lear up to this point has been Michael Hordern who did the Shakespeare Plays series on PBS back in the late 70's and early 80's. The whole cast was just about perfect but Hordern was really marvelous. Of course Jacobi's Hamlet from that same series is one of the most brilliant performances I've seen by any artist. Jacobi is such a special actor and I can't wait until the Spring.

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Helene, I also attended that Royal Shakespeare visit to NYC. The Cyrano especially surprised and impressed me. I had been expecting a lot more bluster from watching Jose Ferrer (who added a large dash of "ham" as well) on video.

A really lovely and poetic performance that sticks in my mind a quarter of a century later. What a beautiful voice, too.

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