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Critic's Notebook: Seeing London's National Theatre in a Hollywood multiplex

July 1, 2010 |  6:10 pm


While taking stock of the theater season, I’d like to make note of a group of plays I caught in Hollywood — Helen Mirren in “Phèdre,” Richard Griffiths and Frances de la Tour in the world premiere production of Alan Bennett’s “The Habit of Art” and, on Monday night, Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw in a revival of Dion Boucicault’s “London Assurance."

They were all at Mann Chinese 6. Yes, that Mann Chinese 6, where NT Live recently concluded its inaugural season. Though they didn't make much of a blip on the cultural radar screen, I'd have to call this initiative of London’s National Theatre to broadcast performances of plays to cinemas across the globe a smashing success.

Read my entire Critic's Notebook on the NT Live series here.

-- Charles McNulty

Photo: Richard Griffiths in "The Habit of Art" by Alan Bennett, part of NT Live's inaugural season. Credit: The National Theatre