If you missed seeing TNG‘s iconic Patrick Stewart and his great pal and fellow acting legend, Ian McKellen, in No Man’s Land, either in its Broadway run a couple of seasons back or during its recent staging in London’s West End, it’s not too late. National Theatre Live broadcast the show live from Wyndham’s Theatre to cinemas and other venues in the UK on December 15, a couple of days before the run’s scheduled end, and audiences in the United States can check out encore showings in January and February.
The revival of Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land casts Stewart as Hirst, an elderly, wealthy and hard-drinking poet who invites into his home Spooner (McKellen), himself an aged alcoholic who purports to know Hirst. The two men talk, swapping stories, jokes and barbs, but their evening – or is it morning already? – veers in unexpected directions with the arrival of Hirst’s secretary, Foster (Damien Molony), and manservant, Briggs (Owen Teale), who may be lovers and who definitely exude menace toward Spooner.
“No Man’s Land was a show I saw in its first production, 1975, in the West End of London with Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson,” Stewart told StarTrek.com in 2014, in the midst of its Broadway production. “In fact, I saw it three times in one week because I’d never seen or heard such a remarkable play. It was a play of such glorious poetry and great comedy, with a mystery at the heart of it that was quite difficult to resolve. Also, it had four amazing performances by the four actors who starred in the show. I determined that one day I would be in this play. One day. Well, it took 35 years to come around. Initially, I’d always imagined I’d play the part of Spooner, because that’s the showier role. But when I got to know Ian McKellen really well when we were doing Godot in the U.K., it increasingly became clear to me that that role was written for him.”
Go to www.nationaltheatre.org.uk to search for a venue near you.
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