50 Years Live on Stage: The 50th anniversary of the National Theatre
A performance celebrating the birth of the National Theatre in 1963 with a selection of the most important plays performed since 1963.
Yesterday, Saturday, 2 November 2013, a big celebration was held in London to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Theatre.
The National Theatre was founded in 1963, and started with a performance of Hamlet at the Old Vic Theatre, which should stay the theatre’s home until 1976. Im line with the plans of architects Denys Lasdun and Peter Softley the current building includes three theatres: the Olivier (named after the first director Laurence Olivier), the Lyttelton (named after Olivier Lyttelton, the first board chairman of the National) and the Cottesloe (after Lord Cottelsoe, board chairman of the South Bank Theatre), which will re-open in 2014 as Dorfman Theatre after renovations.
To date, the National Theatre had only five artistic directors: Laurence Olivier, Peter Hall, Richard Eyre, Trevor Nunn and Nicholas Hytner. In 2015 Rufus Norris will take over the position.
In front of invited guests, well-known British artists performed excerpts from successful and important plays that ran at the National until today. The Live on Stage Cast included names like Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Rory Kinnear, Ralph Fiennes, Benedict Cumberbatch, Maggie Smith and many others. The 2 1/2 hour performance at the Olivier Theatre was also broadcast into cinemas worldwide thanks to NT Live.
Benedict together with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith performed a section of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, written by Tom Stoppard and first performed in 1967. Benedict played the part of Rosencrantz:
Also Benedict’s colleague from Sherlock, Andrew Scott, impressed the guests and viewers together with Dominic Cooper in an five minute extract from Angels in America, written by Tony Kushner and performed in the Cottesloe Theatre in 1992.
Backstage Information and Pictures