The National Theatre has today announced The Deep Blue Sea, with Helen McCrory in the lead role as Hester Collyer, will be added to National Theatre at Home for audiences around the world to experience. The recording is dedicated in fond memory of Helen McCrory, who had a long and rich association with the National Theatre and who sadly passed away last month. The Deep Blue Sea was her most recent performance at the National Theatre in 2016. Two on-stage conversations with Helen McCrory have also been made available on National Theatre at Home: one on stage in 2014 with Genista McInosh as Helen discussed preparing to play Medea (also available on National Theatre at Home) and one from 2016 in conversation with Libby Purves about playing Hester in The Deep Blue Sea.
Carrie Cracknell, who directed Helen in Medea and The Deep Blue Sea, said: “Helen was undoubtedly one of the greatest actors of her generation. Incandescent, playful, fierce and wildly intelligent. Her craft and precision as an actor was awe-inspiring. On some afternoons, while Helen was rehearsing The Deep Blue Sea at the NT, the sun would pour through the windows, and it would feel for a moment that time had stopped. That the world had stopped revolving, as the entire cast and crew would stand, quietly enraptured by the humanity and aliveness and complexity of Helen’s work. As we moved the production into the auditorium, I would marvel at how she held an audience of 900 people in the palm of her hand. She could change how we felt with the slightest glance, a flick of the wrist, a sultry pause, yet somehow she never lost the central truth of her character. I couldn’t be prouder that we have this beautiful recording of our production to share.
Helen was anarchic, naughty and always full of outrageous stories. She would turn up to work in her pyjamas and crocs one day, then stilettos the next, and yet she was deeply serious about the things that she cared about. Her greatest pleasure was to slip away from rehearsals at the end of the day and get home to be with her beloved family. She was fierce, and kind, and properly brave, both in how she chose to live and how she faced up to her illness. A truly remarkable woman and a shattering loss.”
The Comedy of Errors is also made available today on National Theatre at Home for audiences worldwide to stream on demand. Shakespeare’s furiously paced comedy directed by Dominic Cooke (Follies, The Hollow Crown), sees Lenny Henry make his National Theatre debut, alongside Lucian Msamati (Romeo & Juliet, Amadeus). Filmed live in the Olivier theatre in 2011.
New productions are added monthly to National Theatre at Home and there are now 21 productions to stream on the platform available at any time. These include Angels in America Parts One and Two with Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane and Russell Tovey, Medea with Helen McCrory and Michaela Coel, Mosquitoes with Olivia Colman and Olivia Williams, Phèdre with Helen Mirren and Dominic Cooper, the Young Vic’s Yerma with Billie Piper and Othello with Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear.
All productions on National Theatre at Home are available with captions. The Deep Blue Sea will also be available with audio-description to support blind and partially-sighted audiences worldwide. Ten other National Theatre at Home titles are currently available with audio-description: Angels in America Parts One and Two, Othello, Donmar Warehouse’s Coriolanus, the Bridge Theatre’s Julius Caesar, The Cherry Orchard, Amadeus, Julie, Phèdre and the Young Vic’s Yerma and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
National Theatre at Home is available at ntathome.com, with single titles available from £5.99 – £8.99, a monthly subscription for £9.99 or a yearly subscription for £99.99.
National Theatre at Home is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The Deep Blue Sea
When Hester Collyer is found by her neighbours in the aftermath of attempted suicide, the story of her tempestuous affair with a former RAF pilot and the breakdown of her marriage to a High Court judge begins to emerge. With it comes a portrait of need, loneliness and long-repressed passion.
Filmed for National Theatre Live in the Lyttelton theatre in 2016, Carrie Cracknell’s critically acclaimed production of Terence Rattigan’s devastating post-war masterpiece features Helen McCrory as Hester Collyer and Tom Burke as Freddie Page.
The cast also includes Marion Bailey, Hubert Burton, Yolanda Kettle, Nick Fletcher and Adetomiwa Edun, James Alper, Katy Brittain, Elsie Fallon, Nick Figgs, Andrew Lewis and Sian Polhill-Thomas.
Directed by Carrie Cracknell with designs by Tom Scutt, lighting design by Guy Hoare, music by Stuart Earl,movement direction by Polly Bennett, sound design by Mike Walker and fight direction by Kate Waters.
Available at least until 17 May 2022.
Two on-stage conversations with Helen McCrory are available to watch on National Theatre at Home from 2014 for Medea and from 2016 for The Deep Blue Sea.
The Comedy of Errors
Two sets of twins separated at birth collide in the same city without meeting for one crazy day, as multiple mistaken identities lead to confusion on a grand scale.
Filmed for National Theatre Live in the Olivier theatre in 2012, Dominic Cooke directs Lenny Henry, Michelle Terryand Lucian Msamati in Shakespeare’s furiously paced comedy, staged in a contemporary world.
The cast also includes Ian Burfield, Joseph Mydell, Tom Anderson, Jude Owusu, Daniel Poyser, Claudie Blakley, Chris Jarman, Silas Carson, Amit Shah, Rene Zagger, Adrian Hood, Grace Thurgood, Paul Bentall, Pamela Nomvete, Clare Cathcart, Marcus Adolphy, Yvonne Newman, Rhiannon Oliver, Simon Parrish and Everal A Walsh.
Directed by Dominic Cooke, with design by Bunny Christie, lighting design by Paule Constable, music by Gary Yershon, movement direction by Ann Yee, sound design by Christopher Shutt and fight direction by Kate Waters.
Available at least until 17 May 2022.
Photo credit: Richard Hubert Smith