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Top assurances with London comedy

Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau concludes the inaugural season of “live theatre at Cinema Nouveau” with an addition to the original schedule: a live broadcast of Boucicault’s brilliantly funny Victorian comedy LONDON ASSURANCE, starring Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw in Nicholas Hytner’s sell-out hit production. LONDON ASSURANCE, fresh from the stages of London, will be screened exclusively at Cinema Nouveau nationwide this Friday, 23 July; Saturday, 24 July; Sunday, 25 July; with the final show taking place next Wednesday, 28 July.
The hugely successful pilot season of NT Live, the new initiative by London’s National Theatre to broadcast live performances of plays onto cinema screens worldwide, showcases its latest production LONDON ASSURANCE – which was written in 1841 by Dion Boucicault, the Irish genius of London theatre in the age of Dickens. Through this iconic piece of classic comedy, Boucicault created Sir Harcourt Courtley and Lady Gay Spanker, two of the great comic roles of the English stage. The cast also includes Mark Addy, Richard Briers, Paul Ready and Michelle Terry.

Sir Harcourt Courtley (Simon Russell Beale) is lured away from the epicentre of fashionable London by the promise of a rich and beautiful bride, Grace, forty-five years his junior. Arriving at Oak Hall, Gloucestershire, he marvels at this rural Venus until her charms are eclipsed by her hearty cousin, the foxhunting Lady Gay Spanker (Fiona Shaw). Meanwhile his disguised son turns up in flight from his creditors and falls head over heels for Grace. When Lady Spanker discovers the young couple, she needs little prompting from the visiting chancer Dazzle to lead Sir Harcourt astray.

“We couldn’t have foreseen that the experimental NT Live season would be such a hit with audiences around the world, who are hungry to see our work in their local cinema”, says Nicholas Hytner.  “Through NT Live we can respond immediately to the very recent sell-out success of LONDON ASSURANCE and bring it to tens of thousands who wouldn’t otherwise be able to see it. And we’re thrilled that we can confidently build on the success of our first season with a second season of broadcasts.”

To date, the first season of NT Live has played to over 120,000 people in 22 countries around the world.  A second season of NT Live will launch in autumn 2010 and will include Shakespeare’s HAMLET, with Rory Kinnear in the title role, Clare Higgins as Gertrude and Ruth Negga as Ophelia, directed by Nicholas Hytner; and Danny Boyle’s production of FRANKENSTEIN, a play by Nick Dear, based on the novel by Mary Shelley, in early 2011.  Dates for these and other NT Live broadcasts at Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau will be announced later this year.

NT Live performances are filmed live at the National Theatre in high definition and broadcast via satellite to 300 cinemas and performing arts centres around the world, live in Europe and some US cities, and time-delayed in countries further afield.

Ticket prices for the live theatre-screenings of LONDON ASSURANCE, exclusive to Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau in South Africa, are R120 per person; and R90 per person for Discovery Vitality and Edgars Club members. Bookings are now open via

LONDON ASSURANCE will be screened at all Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveaus nationwide on 23 July at 19:30, 24 July at 17:30, 25 July at 17:30 and 28 July at 19:30:

Cinema Nouveau Rosebank (Jhb)
Cinema Nouveau Cedar Square (Fourways, Jhb)
Cinema Nouveau Bedford Centre (Bedfordview, Jhb)
Cinema Nouveau Brooklyn Mall (Pta)
Cinema Nouveau V&A Waterfront (CT)
Cinema Nouveau Cavendish Square (CT)
Cinema Nouveau Gateway (Umhlanga Rocks, Dbn)

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