It would be nice to have had unicorns – National Theatre 50 Years on Stage

Dear reader,

Thomas Wilton & Michael Brett as Joey Foto: Michael Morpurgo
Thomas Wilton & Michael Brett as Joey
Foto: Michael Morpurgo

what a week. What a highlight! I can not tell you how long I’ve been looking forward to this evening. The theater gala ultra class: National Theatre’s 50 Years on Stage. I mean, when do you ever get the possibility to get 50 years greatest theater history served bit by bit. And to top that off, when do you get it by the creme de la creme of acting? Right, that happens rarely. The National Theatre is due to it’s live broadcast of various plays already very popular with me. But the production on the occasion of its 50th anniversary exceeded all expectations. The mixture of acting, documentation and grossed films was diversified and interesting. Even if I, of course, would have desired a little more play. But I wish even within a tangible five-act play more acting. There can never be enough, you know?

Dame Maggie Smith Foto: Catherine Ashmore
Dame Maggie Smith
Foto: Catherine Ashmore

Particularly noteworthy is the exquisite selection of pieces of which short scenes were shown. Of course there were classics such as Hamlet and Othello (terrific portrayed by Simon Russell Beale and Adrian Leste) alongside rather unknown play like Hey Fair (with an insanely good Maggie Smith, this woman can really play EVERYTHING!) and The Absence of War. But my absolute favorite was the scene from Rosecrantz and Guildenstern are dead, in which both gentlemen „philosophize“ about death. They discuss whether they would rather be dead or alive in a coffin. Rosencrantz‘ razor-sharp argument for living was „At least you can think ‚thank God, I’m not dead.‘ “ Sounds plausible.

Benedict Cumberbatch  Foto: Catherine Ashmore
Benedict Cumberbatch
Foto: Catherine Ashmore

That brings us to the part I always enjoy the most: talking about the CAST! It is impossible to mention everyone. The full cast of this gala includes far too many great names. Nevertheless, I pick at this point a few names from the list. Let’s start with Benedict Cumberbatch . This man has a charisma and stage presence second to none . It does not matter what he plays – his parts always have a story. Great! Similarly, Mr. Cumberbatch’s series adversary Andrew Scott was brilliant in a short scene from Angels in America. In addition to Maggie Smith my all time favorite is the incredible Mr. Ralph Fiennes! He had played wonderfully in a short interpretation of Pravda. Oh God, did I mention that I love him? Ah and we may not forget Judi Dench and Hellen Mirren. Women to whom I absolutely look up to!

Dominic Cooper & Andrew Scott Foto: Catherine Ashmore
Dominic Cooper & Andrew Scott
Foto: Catherine Ashmore

You see, I am once again profusely. So if this gala is going to be broadcasted again near you, GO SEE IT. After all, this gala has won the Whats on Stage Award in the category „Best Theatrical Event“. Deserved, I would think.

Sincerely yours,
Theatergeist

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