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Tim Van Someren
Celebrating 50 years of performances and broadcast live on BBC2 is a celebration of the National Theatre's 50th anniversary, directed by Nicholas Hytner.
The National Theatre has always has its ups and down and courted controversy even from the days when Lord Laurence Olivier headed it.
This was a two and half hour live show with a Who's Who of British Theatre. Among the cast and performing live, Roger Allam, Simon Russell Beale, James Corden, Benedict Cumberbatch, Frances de la Tour, Judi Dench, Christopher Eccleston, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi, Alex Jennings, Adrian Lester, Anna Maxwell Martin, Helen Mirren, Andrew Scott, Penelope Wilton, Maggie Smith.
Highlights were excerpts from the variety of plays put on by the National Theatre. For me Ralph Fiennes stepping into the shoes of Anthony Hopkins in Pravda was magnificent.
Christopher Eccleston stepping into the shoes of John Thaw in The Absence of War was compelling.
There was a nice turn from James Corden for One man, Two guvnors, as well as Helen Mirren in Mourning becomes Electra. The controversial Jerry Springer: The Opera also recreated a scene.
The performances were so good it was hard to believe these excerpts were being performed live and broadcast. A televisual treat.
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