Front Row

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture

Live magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music


The rise and rise of Event Cinema

December 29th, 2014

Episode 699 of 1303 episodes

Kirsty Lang investigates the flourishing phenomenon of so-called event cinema. Plays, musicals and operas in major cities have become available throughout the country on the big - and sometimes small - screen in local cinemas. Eric Felner, the producer of Billy Elliot the Musical tells of his delight at the performance in September that topped the cinema box office, beating Denzel Washington's The Equalizer into second place. David Sabel, the Head of Digital at the National Theatre responsible for NT Live, analyses the success of Frankenstein, War Horse and many other shows. Helen McCrory talks about what the live screening of Medea felt like and Lesley Manville and Richard Eyre describe having their theatre production of Ibsen's Ghosts filmed. Front Row hears from some who fear the impact of event cinema on local theatre and on touring; Lorne Campbell of Northern Stage and the playwright Alan Ayckbourn voice their concerns. And what is the future of event screening? Presenter: Kirsty Lang Producer: Sarah Johnson.

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