Theatreland

Theatreland

DVD - 2014
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The first ever observational documentary series to look behind the scenes at one of London's premiere West End venues, the Theatre Royal Haymarket. The series follows the Theatre's busy daily life, from front of house to the production team's back stage, working to get a new production up and running. This also includes the arrival of a new artistic director Sean Mathias and his first production, Waiting for Godot which features two legends of stage and screen Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart.
Publisher: Silver Spring, Md. : Athena : RLJ Entertainment, 2014
ISBN: 9781621721833
1621721833
Branch Call Number: 7.9209 Th
Description: 2 videodiscs (201 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
Alternative Title: Theatre land

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MartineVK
May 10, 2017

Fun documentary on life at the Haymarket Theatre in London during the starry production of Waiting for Godot with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, as well as pre-production on a version of Breakfast at Tiffany's. The focus isn't solely on the actors, however, and you get a glimpse into the day-to-day maintenance of the theatre itself, from the seats in the auditorium (it looked like the armrests needing regular gluing) to the people grouting tiles in the men's loos.

I could have done without the created drama of supposed sightings of the theatre's ghost, and equally would have been happy without the focus on silly, new usher Rozzie, who was clueless and annoying.

xaipe Apr 21, 2015

“Theatreland” is an 8-part documentary series divided into 25-minute episodes where viewers get a behind the scenes look at the stage productions of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting For Godot” and Truman Capote’s “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” from the classic Theatre Royal Haymarket in London. The documentary is in two parts: the ‘Godot’ production which stars Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen. Ronald Pickup, and Simon Callow and the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" production. Instead of merely focusing on the talent and directors, the series takes a backstage look at the carpenters, artistic director, understudies, ushers, and plumbers while also showcasing the process of a preview show, rehearsals, opening night, and the wrap party, fast-cutting back and forth among them. There were times when I wanted to shout Stop! I wanted to see more of that! but the scene had moved on to another fascinating aspect of the production. Theatreland does not focus on what's up on the stage. Instead, it wants to dissect those who make the theater their lives.
The second half of the show (devoted to the “Breakfast At Tiffany’s production) follows a similar style, but devotes much of the screentime to read-throughs, the cat, costumes, rollerskating, cast members Anna Friel and Joseph Cross, and the elaborate sets.
As someone who has a limited amount of knowledge regarding the theater business, “Theatreland” proved to be a particularly insightful series about the ins and outs of stage productions. The old Royal Haymarket Theatre building is clearly crumbling from age, but its façade presents the illusion of a sturdy, solid presence in the West End. I remember attending a play there on a sizzlingly hot summer evening when ushers carried electric fans out to set in the aisles during the interval in order to give some relief to the perspiring audience. No air conditioning here. I really enjoyed this fly-on-the-wall look at all aspects of the production, including the little people who reminded me of those Japanese stagehands dressed all in black, coming and going. Anonymous, but they make all of the magic possible.

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