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More live plays in China's cinemas

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National Theatre Live, an initiative that broadcasts British theatrical productions to cinemas around the world, brought works featuring film actors, such as Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston, to Beijing and Shanghai in 2012.

In recent times, more British stage productions have been here, too.

Many stage productions from National Theatre Live, Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company, Stage Russia HD and Broadway HD will be screened in Chinese cities from July 6 to Aug 14.

Co-organized by Beijing-based ATW Culture Media Ltd, the sole distributor of National Theatre Live in China, the British Council and the Broadway Cinematheque in China, the event, under the title First International Theater Live Festival, will tour Beijing, Jinan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dalian, with a total of 120 screenings.

Key stage productions include British playwright Harold Pinter's No Man's Land, starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, British playwright Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, starring Daniel Radcliffe, and the Royal Shakespeare Company's bold versions of Shakespeare's The Tempest and A Winter's Tale, starring actress Judi Dench.

Following the screening of the King and Country series of Shakespearean plays, Live from Stratford-upon-Avon, a collaboration between the Royal Shakespeare Company and Picturehouse Cinemas since 2013, will return to China with more of the Bard's stories, including The Tempest, King Lear and Richard II.

The Moscow Art Theatre will bring its production of Russian playwright Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, and Broadway HD, a live theater company from New York, will present a musical of the US Roundabout Theatre's production She Loves Me.

Li Chongzhou, CEO of ATW Culture, says British theater productions have been broadcast to more than 150,000 people at nearly 40 venues across China in recent times.

In 2015, when Britain and China celebrated the Year of Cultural Exchanges, National Theatre Live started to bring more stage productions to China's cinemas.

"For Chinese theatergoers, this is a rare opportunity to experience world-class theater productions at home," Li says, adding that the number of viewers has risen in the country in the past two years.

China Daily


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