TUNKHANNOCK — You’ve seen him as Sherlock, heard his voice as Smaug. Now you can see Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet. The play is from London; but you can see it onscreen at the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock.
A series of four plays will be shown here beginning October 11 with “Of Mice and Men,” the classic play by John Steinbeck. Productions of “Hamlet,” “Treasure Island,” and “The Audience” will follow in November, January, and February.
The first production of National Theatre Live will be on Sundays, October 11 and 25 at 2:00 p.m. with “Of Mice and Men,” the hit Broadway production, filmed on stage in New York, with Golden Globe winner and Academy Award winner nominee James Franco and Tony Award nominee Chris O’Dowd. This landmark revival of John Steinbeck’s play is a powerful portrait of the American spirit and a testament to the bonds of friendship.
Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the title role of Hamlet in Shakespeare’s great tragedy on Sundays, November 1 and 15 at 2:00 p.m. It tells the story of a country arming itself for war while a family tears apart. Forced to avenge his father’s death but paralyzed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of the predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island,” a story of murder, money, and mutiny will captivate young and old alike on Sundays, January 3 and 17 at 2:00 p.m. It tells the story of a dark and stormy night, the stars are out, and Jim, the inn-keeper’s granddaughter, opens the door to a terrifying stranger. At the old sailor’s feet sits a huge sea chest full of secrets. Jim invites him in – and her dangerous voyage begins!
And to round out this spectacular array of plays, the acclaimed production of “The Audience” with Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth will be shown on Sundays, February 7 and 21 at 2:00 p.m. For 60 years Queen Elizabeth II has met with each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a private weekly meeting. This meeting is known as The Audience. No one knows what they will discuss, even their spouses.
All of the productions are unique in that the audience is not only treated to pre-show behind-the-scenes peeks, but during the intermission interviews with cast members or directors or set designers. National Theatre Live even enhances the experience of live theater with these little extras. Two years ago National Theatre Live came to the movie screen in Wilkes-Barre with the production of War Horse. What a fantastic experience that was! Leather full size horse puppets! And the onscreen experience took the viewer behind the scenes to show how the puppets were made and manipulated.
So mark your calendars for a feast of acclaimed theatre productions that you do not have to travel far to see. Tickets are available now at the ticket booth! They can be reserved by calling 570-996-1500. Special rates are available for groups, students, children, and members of the Wyoming County Cultural Center at the Dietrich Theater.
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT