NEWS - Thornden Hall and the National Theatre

01st Oct 2015 - News

 I was delighted to receive an invitation from National Theatre Live inviting me and my colleagues to their Exhibitors Day on 30th September at the Olivier Theatre, South Bank and I wasn’t going to turn this opportunity down. 

The new Hall Manager - Neil Daykin, Marketing Guru - Joe North, FRoTH member - Hilary Bloomfield and I caught an early morning train to London and hot-footed it, in the bright sunshine, to the National where we were escorted to our seats in the Olivier. 

Sitting comfortably, we listened to Victoria Murray, the Senior Marketing Officer, discuss the current programme - including the encore screening of ‘Of Mice and Men’ which was recorded on Broadway last year and is quintessentially all American! There are no current plans to stage this play again in the near future so this might be the last opportunity to see it. Jane Eyre, looks very exciting with an originally designed set and the use of current popular music – you’d be in for a completely new experience; Michelle Dockery aka Lady Mary (Downton Abbey) appearing in Les Liaisons Dangereuses in January and, as a gentle introduction for families to Shakespeare, his glorious comedy of love and change - As You Like It. 

We then heard from Chris Bretnall, the Technical Producer of NTLive and he showed us a 5 minute promotional video of how NTLive is brought to the cinemas. A YouTube link is on our website if you are interested, it really is quite fascinating. 

Finally we heard from David Sabel, Executive Producer and Emma Keith, Producer, of NT Live. They discussed the desire for more collaborations with other venues such as Broadway, the Young Vic, the Barbican, Donmar Warehouse Theatre to name but a few but also retaining the originality of the NT content. They hinted at the upcoming programme – my lips are sealed. You’ll have to watch this space for more info! 

We rounded the day off with a backstage tour. Wearing Hi-Vis waistcoats we glimpsed prop making, scenery design (including the new Jane Eyre set being made on site), visited the Lyttleton, the Dorfman and the temporary theatre (which is temporary until 2017) and walked backstage at the Olivier, passed dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, quick change rooms – a very impressive tour! 

I wish to thank NTLive for hosting a very motivating and enlightening day – we even got to meet the new director of the National - Rufus Norris, who popped in to thank all the independent theatres and cinemas for their support and continued enthusiasm. They have my support and I’m very excited about the rest of this season and looking forward to the next.