Live Theatre Streaming: Royal Shakespeare Company’s Twelfth Night

If you follow my blog on Facebook, then you may know that I recently went to watch Twelfth Night performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. The performance took place in Stratford-upon-Avon (UK) but I watched it live streamed from the comfort of my local cinema. It was an incredible experience that gave me a real buzz, so I wanted to share it with you!

What is live theatre streaming?

  • The production takes place as usual at the theatre on a specified date
  • It is broadcast live to cinemas all around the country

What are the advantages of live theatre streaming?

  • Limits travel restrictions so more people are able to view the play
  • Cheaper – I paid £19 compared to approximately £60 if I watched it at the theatre
  • Makes theatre more accessible

How is it different to visiting the theatre?

  • There is still a fantastic atmosphere in the cinema, with a real sense of anticipation before the play begins
  • An interval still takes place with a countdown displayed on the screen to show you how long you have left – at the cinema I went to they even sold ice-cream in the interval, much to my delight!
  • Extra features can be watched before the play and during the interval about how the production was made
  • The view is even better than you would get in front-row seats at the theatre!

What was your experience of watching Twelfth Night?

For me, watching Twelfth Night performed was an absolutely exhilarating experience. The lavish costumes and soulful acting really brought the play to life. Although Shakespeare plays are not renowned for their accessibility, the skill of the actors made it easy to follow what was happening on stage. My favourite character was Feste – his role could be seen as relatively minor, but for me, he made the play by causing me to laugh out loud on a number of occasions!

I had previously read Twelfth Night but it is not as exciting and immersive as the experience of watching the play performed. Details that I hadn’t even previously considered, such as putting the play to music, made it far more atmospheric. I would highly recommend watching a Shakespeare performance; it is completely on another level of experience compared to simply reading the play.

I want to go!

If this article has piqued your interest, then don’t worry – you haven’t missed out! Below is a list of upcoming performances being streamed to cinemas across the UK:

22nd March 2018 – Julius Caesar

11th April 2018 – Macbeth

18th July 2018 – Romeo and Juliet

12th September 2018 – The Merry Wives of Windsor

More information can be found on the websites of National Theatre Live and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Also, there are details of international tours if you are non-UK based.

Have you been to see any theatre performances recently? What is your opinion of live theatre screenings – a spoiler of the intimate atmosphere or a new advent of accessibility for theatre? Please do share your opinion in the comments. I would love to hear from you!

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