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Live Theatre at Nouveau Cinemas

Theatre Buffs can indulge in a feast of productions filmed live on stage in London's West End in the National Theatre Live Season at Cinema Nouveau.
Live Theatre at Nouveau Cinemas

The new season kicks off on 16 July with James McAvoy’s return to the stage in Martin Crimp's inventive new adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 comedy Cyrano de Bergerac.

Cyrano de Bergerac is a soldier, a lovestruck poet and a musician. He falls for a beautiful woman, Roxanne, but fears his larger-than-average nose will prevent him from wooing her. Will his perceived ugliness stop him from being loved?

Filmed live on stage from London’s West End, this classic play will be brought to life with linguistic ingenuity to celebrate Cyrano’s powerful and resonant resistance against overwhelming odds. It is directed by Jamie Lloyd – whose working relationship with James McAvoy is well established, having previously directed him in Macbeth and The Ruling Class.

McAvoy has no period plumes or prosthetics to hide behind as he plays the title role. He’s even shaved off his floppy hair, buzzed close to the scalp in a sculptural fade – a sleeker look than the smooth bald pate of his X-Men character Charles Xavier, and a lot more military.

“I’ve always felt like theatre is slightly sacrificial,” says McAvoy. “I think the first plays were probably some kind of sacrifice, be it animal or food-based or human even. The community coming together to watch somebody give of themselves – I feel like theatre has its roots in that somewhere.”

“I do think I am at heart a storyteller,” he said, “and I think I get to tell stories better onstage. The work I do in film and TV is more interested in capturing moments of truthfulness that some other storyteller then edits together and puts music on and changes the story, or doesn’t, or chooses how I tell the story, cuts my bit of that story out. I still love film and television acting; don’t get me wrong. But onstage, it’s just a purer form of storytelling.”

Cyrano de Bergerac is screened at Cinema Nouveau cinemas on 16, 17, 20 and 21 July.

Bookings can be made here.

Henry V

Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) plays the title role in a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s thrilling study of nationalism, war and the psychology of power.

Harington plays the title role in Shakespeare’s thrilling study of nationalism, war and the psychology of power. Captured live from the Donmar Warehouse in London.

Fresh to the throne, King Henry V launches England into a bloody war with France. When his campaign encounters resistance, this inexperienced new ruler must prove he is fit to guide a country into war.

Directed by Max Webster (Life of Pi), this exciting modern production explores what it means to be English and our relationship to Europe, asking: do we ever get the leaders we deserve?

On 23, 24, 27 and 28 July at Cinema Nouveau.

Bookings can be made here.


Leopoldstadt is an epic family drama telling the story of an Austrian-Jewish family’s experience over 50 years from the turn of the century to World War II. Written by Britain’s greatest living playwright Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead) inspired by his own family history.

Stoppard’s critically acclaimed new play Leopoldstadt is a passionate drama of love, family and endurance.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Leopoldstadt was the old, crowded Jewish quarter of Vienna, Austria. But Hermann Merz, a factory owner and baptised Jew now married to Catholic Gretl, has moved up in the world.

We follow his family’s story across half a century, passing through the convulsions of war, revolution, impoverishment, annexation by Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. A company of 40 actors represent each generation of the family in this epic, but intimate play.

According to the Independent, “Tom Stoppard’s masterpiece is magnificent” and should not be missed.

On 6, 7, 10 and 11 August at Cinema Nouveau.

Bookings can be made here.

Straight Line Crazy

Ralph Fiennes leads the cast in David Hare’s (Skylight) blazing account of the most powerful man in New York, a master manipulator whose legacy changed the city forever.

For forty uninterrupted years, Robert Moses exploited those in office through a mix of charm and intimidation. Motivated at first by a determination to improve the lives of New York City’s workers, he created parks, bridges and 627 miles of expressway to connect the people to the great outdoors.

Faced with resistance by protest groups campaigning for a very different idea of what the city should become, will the weakness of democracy be exposed in the face of his charismatic conviction?

Broadcast live from The Bridge Theatre in London, Nicholas Hytner directs this exhilarating new play.

In Cinema Nouveau Cinemas on 10, 11, 14 and 15 September.

Bookings can be made here.

Read more about the latest and upcoming film releases here.

About Daniel Dercksen

Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit

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