Live ‘Richard II’ Production Earns $1.6 mil in Cinemas in One Night

Live 'Richard II' Production Earns $1.6

Royal Shakespeare Co. production stars David Tennant

LONDON — The live broadcast in movie theaters of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of “Richard II” was seen by more than 60,000 people on Wednesday night in 364 cinemas across the U.K., generating more than £1 million ($1.6 million) in box office receipts, including the more than 20,000 people who booked tickets for upcoming screenings.

The production was directed by Gregory Doran and toplines former “Doctor Who” star David Tennant, who plays Richard II. It was part of the “Live from Stratford-upon-Avon” series, distributed by Picturehouse Entertainment.

Internationally, the production was broadcast live in Germany, Austria, Sweden, Ireland, Canada and Malta on Wednesday, with five further countries, U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Russia, screening it over the next two months, adding up to more than 200 movie theaters. In addition, further screenings are planned across the U.K. over the next month.

“We are delighted with the audience reactions we have had so far to last night’s live performance,” said Marc Allenby, head of commercial development at Picturehouse. “The size of the audience is a real tribute to the RSC, and further evidence of the reach and potential of quality alternative content in cinemas in the U.K. and around the world.”

“It’s a fine thing when Shakespeare trends on Twitter as he did last night,” said Lyn Goleby, managing director of Picturehouse.

More than 34,000 U.K. kids will see the production on Friday via a direct-to-the-classroom interactive stream. This will include a live Q&A with Doran and Tennant.

The production was filmed using multiple cameras around the stage and auditorium, with John Wyver as producer, having previously collaborated with Doran on the RSC’s filmed versions of “Macbeth,” with Antony Sher and Harriet Walter, for U.K. pubcaster Channel 4, and “Hamlet,” with Tennant, and the recent African “Julius Caesar” for the BBC.

The RSC’s next three productions, “Henry IV” parts 1 and 2, and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” are coming to cinemas next year.

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  1. Ana says:

    Saw it twice at the Dendy here in Sydney. Superb production, magnificent cast. No technical problems at all. Tennant in top form. What an utterly brilliant stage actor he is! Every word crystal clear, every nuance and inflection just perfect. Exciting to see him in company with several of the RSC’s older generation of greats, eg Lapotaire, Ford Davis and Pennington. I must not neglect to express my admiration for the set design. All vertical chain ‘walls’, projected images and clever lighting. An impressive show in every way.

  2. There was a major problem with the screening at our cinema with picture and sound break up and the broadcast was abandoned one hour in. What a disappointment! Of what we did see though, I did not rate David Tennant’s performance at all….words swallowed, poor diction and inaudible half the time

  3. Christine Tibbetts says:

    David Tennant was awesome as Richard 11. What a joy to be able to enjoy Shakespeare in this way. Living in Devon, South West is not always easy to get to the main performing areas. Looking forward to more of the same. Christine, Torquay

  4. Paula Westerman says:

    Living on the Isle of Man means trips to the West End or Stratford are strictly limited and so we are really enjoying the live streaming and recordings of Shakespeare that are beamed our way. Wonderful, wonderful productions. Thank you.

  5. fay plant says:

    Excellent….but as a deaf person think that you should only use cinemas with loops….rhegged penrith doesn’t have a loop or have subtitles as sound quality will be variable. When I go to Stanford I choose a subtitled performance….cinema shows could be one.
    Lovely experience though.

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