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Performing Arts

Theatre, Musical Theatre, Film, Opera, and other performing arts.

October 8, 2017

Episode 32 - An American in Paris and Yerma

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This week we delve into the world of old movie musicals brought to the stage. We take a look at the Broadway tour of An American in Paris. We also go in-depth with the classic Spanish drama, Yerma, staged by the Young Vic Theatre in London and shared with the world by National Theatre Live in London.

An American in Paris, tells the thrilling story of a young American soldier, a beautiful French girl, and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Featuring a score including the songs “I Got Rhythm,” “‘S Wonderful,” “But Not for Me,” “Stairway to Paradise,” “They Can’t Take That Away” and orchestral music including “Concerto in F,” “2nd Prelude,” “2nd Rhapsody” and “An American in Paris.”

In Yerma, the incredible Billie Piper (Penny Dreadful, Great Britain) returns in her Evening Standard Best Actress award-winning role.

A young woman is driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child in Simon Stone’s radical production of Lorca’s achingly powerful masterpiece. The unmissable theatre phenomenon sold out at the Young Vic and critics call it ‘an extraordinary theatrical triumph’ (The Times) and ‘stunning, searing, unmissable’ (Mail on Sunday). Billie Piper’s lead performance is described as ‘spellbinding’ (The Evening Standard), ‘astonishing’ (iNews) and ‘devastatingly powerful’ (The Daily Telegraph).

Set in contemporary London, Piper’s portrayal of a woman in her thirties desperate to conceive builds with elemental force to a staggering, shocking, climax.
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National Theatre Live launched in June 2009 with a broadcast of the National Theatre production of Phèdre with Helen Mirren. They’ve since broadcast more than forty other productions live, from both the National Theatre and from other theatres in the UK.

Their broadcasts have now been experienced by over 5.5 million people in over 2,000 venues around the world, including over 650 venues in the UK alone. Past broadcasts from the National Theatre have included Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller; War Horse; Man and Superman with Ralph Fiennes; and Everyman with Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Broadcasts from other UK theatres include Coriolanus from the Donmar Warehouse; A View from the Bridge from the Young Vic; Macbeth from the Manchester International Festival; and Hangmen and The Audience from London’s West End. Our biggest single broadcast to date is Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch at the Barbican, which has been seen by over 550,000 people.

In 2014 the National Theatre recorded its first production on Broadway, Of Mice and Men with James Franco and Chris O’Dowd, captured at the Longacre Theatre.

Though each broadcast is filmed in front of a live audience in the theatre, cameras are carefully positioned throughout the auditorium to ensure that cinema audiences get the ‘best seat in the house’ view of each production. Where these cameras are placed is different for each broadcast, to make sure that cinema audiences enjoy the best possible experience every time.

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