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U.K.’s National Theatre Live presents Shakespeare Classics at Music Box Theatre

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Chicagoans have the chance to immerse themselves in a full Shakespearean experience this fall with unique opportunities to attend live screenings of Othello, Macbeth, and Hamlet at the Music Box Theatre. In partnership with the U.K.’s National Theatre Live, live stage performances will be beamed to Chicago from the prestigious National Theatre in London.

The electrifying production of Macbeth, broadcast from the Manchester International Festival, stars one of the great Shakespearean interpreters and BAFTA Award-winner Kenneth Branagh (Wallander on PBS, My Week with Marilyn, Hamlet) in the role of the Scottish king. Branagh last performed Shakespeare in 2002 when he played Richard III at the Sheffield Crucible. Playing opposite as Lady Macbeth is Alex Kingston (Doctor Who, ER). Directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford (Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse, Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway) is a unique production of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of ambition and treachery.

In the major new production of Othello directed by Nicholas Hytner (Timon of Athens, One Man, Two Guvnors), the destructive power of jealousy is revealed. This classic story, which takes on more modern imagery, stars Olivier Award-winning actor Adrian Lester (Henry V at the National Theatre, BBC’s Hustle) as Othello. Performing the role of the two-faced Iago is fellow Olivier Award-winner Rory Kinnear (The Last of the Haussmans, James Bond: Skyfall). In an act of jealousy and deceit, Iago persuades Othello that his new wife, Desdemona, is having an affair with the young man Cassio.

In celebration of National Theatre Live’s 50th anniversary, the 2010 broadcast of Hamlet returns to cinemas starring Kinnear as Hamlet and directed by Hytner. A story of revenge and intrigue set in the country of Denmark, Hamlet plots the death of this loathed uncle. One of Shakespeare’s most influential plays also stars Clare Higgins (Gertrude), Patrick Malahide(Claudius), David Calder (Polonius), James Laurenson (Ghost/Player King), and Ruth Negga (Ophelia).

Here's the performance schedule:

Othello: Sunday, Oct 13, 11:30 am

Macbeth: Saturday, Oct 26, 1:00 pm

Hamlet: Wednesday, Nov 20, 3:00 pm

Tickets to National Theatre Live events are $15 in advance at the Music Box Theatre box office and online or $18 at the door.

Music Box Theatre has been the premier venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films, festivals and some of the greatest cinematic events in Chicago.

National Theatre Live is an initiative by the UK’s National Theatre to broadcast live performances onto cinema screens around the world. Since its first season, which began in June 2009, more than 750,000 people have experienced the National’s work on movie screens worldwide.

My articles can be found at http://www.examiner.com/cultural-events-in-chicago/donna-robertson in the Chicago edition of examiner.com. If you want to be notified when upcoming cultural events are published, click on “Subscribe” above. You can also follow me on Facebook at the “Chicago Cultural Events” community page.

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