(K. Brent Tomer),
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH as Hamlet, Lindsay Lohan in “Speed the Plow”, Nicole Kidman in “Photograph 51”: you can barely tread the boards these days without stepping on a star. And while celebrity casting is attracting a new theatre audience, the innovation of live-streaming (screening productions in real-time to cinemas) is spreading the reach of local productions across the world. But even as live theatre merges with the silver screen, opinion is divided on whether this means democratisation of the arts or an erosion of them.
A study conducted in 2014 showed that more people attend London’s plays and musicals than London’s Premier League football matches. Live-streaming multiplies the audience numbers during the course of a show’s run: over 4m people have watched National Theatre Live since its inception in 2009. As well as increasing numbers of theatre-goers, there is also an inflation in hype. Tickets to see Mr Cumberbatch in “Hamlet” sold faster than any others in London theatre history, with online queues of 30,000. People camped outside the Barbican theatre in the hopes of securing a seat and, on the first night it was streamed, 225,000 people…Continue reading