Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: High anxiety, live

16 Responses

  • Paul Brislen,

    The novel is one of my favourite re-reads. Highly recommended. Glad to hear the show is as good - will try to look it up when time permits.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    It may well have been e-cinema as only small, community-based cinemas use DVD these days.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2537 posts Report Reply

  • Ethan Tucker,

    The trio of RSC films of stage productions touring the country at the moment are an appealing option too. Caught Much Ado About Nothing at the Lighthouse Pauatahanui over the weekend and enjoyed every moment. It helped that the cast was excellent and it was filmed at the Globe (even if it was raining).

    Benedick & Beatrice (clip, 2:46):

    Wellington • Since Apr 2008 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder,

    (it seemed to me to be coming off DVD, rather than the network)

    Russell, the NT Live productions, of which I have reviewed a dozen for the Herald, are broadcast in real time into cinemas in the right time zones (effectively from the east coast of the US to eastern Europe) and delivered here several weeks later on hard drive (not DVD; as Geoff Lealand says, only very out-of-the-way cinemas show DVDs) . Rialto Distribution has (very enterprisingly in my view) signed up for the programme even though they are extremely restricted by contract in the number of screenings they may have here (from memory it is 28 nationwide, I think because of an agreement with Actors’ Equity ). The $25 admission is steep by comparison with a movie, which they can screen as often as they choose but it has dropped and it is a hell of a lot cheaper than seeing the play live, assuming you could get a ticket (the shows concerned have usually sold the entire season by the time they open). And we have seen Jacobi’s Lear (the best I’ve ever seen); One Man, Two Guvnors; a blinding Hamlet; a belter Chekhov … I could go on. I think it has been a magnificent contribution to the cultural life of the country and I am astonished how few people have heard of it, despite my best efforts and those of the Listener and Sunday Star-Times reviewers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Peter Calder,

    I think it has been a magnificent contribution to the cultural life of the country and I am astonished how few people have heard of it, despite my best efforts and those of the Listener and Sunday Star-Times reviewers.

    Most of the small crowd yesterday were over 60.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    My mum and her friends have been going to films of ballets and concerts at Rialto Cinemas for a number of years. She's thrilled that they're doing this for plays, too.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    pricey ($25)

    Perhaps, but getting decent meatspace tickets at that price to popular NT shows like this, the Danny Boyle/Cumberbach/Miller Frankenstein or Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art? Forget about it – that last show sold out a six month season inside a week. IIRC, the top ticket price was pushing 200 quid when the NZ$ exchange rate was nearer 3:1 than 2.

    Another comparison. Peter Calder mentioned One Man, Two Guvnors, a touring company of which will play the Auckland Arts Festival next February. As far as I’m aware, the cheapest available tickets are $75

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    intrigued by the possibilities of “broadcasting” live theatre (it seemed to me to be coming off DVD in e-cinema or another offline format rather from than the network). I think when the technology improves to meet the concept, we’ll be seeing more of this – and that it will be good for theatre itself.

    To be grubbily commercial about it, not least for the bottom line. New York's Metropolitan Opera Live In HD has been a trail-blazer and a non-trivial new income stream.

    US$11 million might seem pretty small beer for an organization with an operating budget of around US$300 million a year, but it's also one heavily dependent on private donors that aren't as thick on the ground as they used to be.

    And let's face it, there are large parts of the repertory of the Met or the National that it will never, ever be commercially or logistically viable for their New Zealand counterparts to stage. Hell, even for the Met a complete Ring is a massive - and enormously risky - under-taking.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Alison Kagen,

    inconveniently scheduled (the only remaining screening I can find is 10am, Thursday November 1 in Auckland).

    also at my local, capitol, tonight (http://www.flicks.co.nz/cinema/capitol-cinema/) - was dithering but will now go & see it thanks to your review

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    To be grubbily commercial about it, not least for the bottom line. New York's Metropolitan Opera Live In HD has been a trail-blazer and a non-trivial new income stream.

    US$11 million might seem pretty small beer for an organization with an operating budget of around US$300 million a year, but it's also one heavily dependent on private donors that aren't as thick on the ground as they used to be.

    It brings to mind this podcast by the venerable Peter Day on orchestras and the Great Recession that I heard on RNZ over the long weekend. Grab it while it lasts.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • bronwyn,

    I've been trying to go and see the live version of this but as it's been sold out for months, meaning only day tickets are available and I'm not able to queue at 9.30am every morning to try and get the handful of these that are released, I'll probably also be watching it on film. Better than nothing.

    Russell, in terms of quality, it really depends a huge amount on the style of the show; I suspect more naturalistic shows work better. I saw The Habit of Art and it was just fine. There's also some theatres experimenting with actors wearing cameras so audiences watching the film can see the action from their point of view.

    There is of course hugely complex rights agreements tied up with these films, so I don't begrudge a higher ticket price when some of it is going back to the actors and crew, many of whom will be on relatively low weekly wages, especially when compared to those working on films.

    tamaki makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to bronwyn,

    I’ve been trying to go and see the live version of this but as it’s been sold out for months, meaning only day tickets are available and I’m not able to queue at 9.30am every morning to try and get the handful of these that are released, I’ll probably also be watching it on film. Better than nothing.

    Wow. It'd be interesting watching it live or near-live in a cinema, though -- would it it feel different?

    Russell, in terms of quality, it really depends a huge amount on the style of the show; I suspect more naturalistic shows work better. I saw The Habit of Art and it was just fine.

    It's mostly the lighting in the case of The Dog in the Night-Time, reflecting the limits of video capture and projection. If you were making it for TV you'd light the blazes out of it, but obviously that doesn't work in the theatre. I thought the actual direction of the pictures was great.

    So how's it going over there?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • sallyr, in reply to Peter Calder,

    + 1.

    I’ve been to a couple of the NT filmed productions and have found each one sensational.

    Most of the small crowd yesterday were over 60.

    True, but we took Mr 13 who entered the theatre under a heavy aura of resentment and left giving Curious Incident a 7/10, which is about as good as it gets for non-fps entertainment.

    Since Jun 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Alison Kagen,

    also at my local, capitol, tonight

    Also playing there on Saturday morning (27th Oct) at 10:45am.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Mum says to tell you Russell that she's seem ALL the filmed plays.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Three of us went to see this at the newly opened Lighthouse Cuba in Wigan Street (opposite the Havana Bar) which is a pleasant space, even for those who tend to be slightly claustrophic in movie theatres. The three hours plus included a 20 minute intermission just like the play itself. But even my adult (autistic) son stayed the course, and particularly liked the train set which looked like a replica of my father's 1920s Hornby set. The main character is very similar in movement and speaking style to a friend of his, which attests to the skill of the actor.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3202 posts Report Reply

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