It is announced today that the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, in partnership with Picturehouse Entertainment, will broadcast three productions of its year-long Plays at the Garrick season live to cinemas worldwide. The first Branagh Theatre Live production will be The Winter’s Tale starring Judi Dench at 19:00 on Thursday 26 November 2015. Tickets are now on sale.
Broadcast dates for Romeo And Juliet and The Entertainer will be announced on the day of the preceding production’s broadcast.
Kenneth Branagh said: “In 2015, where theatre making and film making meet is exciting. The cinema broadcasts of our plays hope to challenge the possibilities of this relationship. We have a team of people who are experienced in both worlds. The potential results, particularly in exploring the magic of Shakespeare, should be fascinating.
I am very pleased indeed to be working with Picturehouse to bring The Winter’s Tale and subsequently Romeo And Juliet and The Entertainer live into cinemas around the world. These plays have epic dimensions but also great intimacy, and I believe that, working with the talented director Benjamin Caron, we can bring the immediacy and excitement of the live stage production into cinemas. We will employ film techniques to make these broadcasts truly cinematic, without in any way compromising the theatrical experience.
The Winter’s Tale is a play I have been drawn to through my entire career. Judi Dench has famously been in the play as Hermione and Perdita, but to have her in the company as Paulina and for us to work together on Shakespeare, which we have not done since Coriolanus in Chichester twenty years ago, is very rewarding.”
Marc Allenby, Director of Distribution at Picturehouse Entertainment said: “At Picturehouse we are huge admirers of the work of Ken and his collaborators, and it is with great pride that we look forward to bringing these exciting new productions from the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company to cinemas around the world.”
The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s timeless tragicomedy of obsession and redemption, is to be reimagined in a new production co-directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh following their triumphant staging of Macbeth in Manchester and Manhattan. Judi Dench will play Paulina opposite Kenneth Branagh as Leontes.
The cinema broadcast of The Winter’s Tale will be directed by Benjamin Caron, who has also recently collaborated with Kenneth Branagh on the forthcoming series of Wallander which is due to be broadcast on the BBC in 2016.
The full cast for The Winter’s Tale includes: Pierre Atri (Mamillius), Jaygann Ayeh (Archidamus & The Old Shepherd’s Servant), Tom Bateman (Florizel), Jessie Buckley (Perdita), Vera Chok (Dorcas & First Lady), Jack Colgrave Hirst (Clown), John Dagleish (Autolycus), Hadley Fraser (Polixenes), Adam Garcia (Amadis), Rudi Goodman (Mamillius), Matthew Hawksley (Aegeum), Taylor James (Capnio), Pip Jordan (Shepherdess), Ansu Kabia (Cleomenes), Stuart Neal (Dion), Michael Pennington (Antigonus), Zoë Rainey (Emilia), Miranda Raison (Hermione), Michael Rouse (Gaoler & Mariner), John Shrapnel (Camillo), Kathryn Wilder (Mopsa) and Jimmy Yuill (The Shepherd).
Reuniting the stars of his celebrated film Cinderella, Kenneth Branagh will direct Romeo and Juliet with Richard Madden and Lily James as the leads in Shakespeareʼs heartbreaking tale of forbidden love, from 12 May to 13 August 2016. Derek Jacobi will also join the company as Mercutio.
Set against the backdrop of post-war Britain, John Osborneʼs modern classic The Entertainer conjures the seedy glamour of the old music halls for an explosive examination of public masks and private torment. Rob Ashford will direct Kenneth Branagh as the unforgettable Archie Rice from 20 August to 12 November 2016.
The Winter’s Tale, Harlequinade / All On Her Own, The Painkiller, Romeo and Juliet and The Entertainer make up the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company's inaugural season of Plays At The Garrick.