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13 Classic Plays from Twelfth Night to Jane Eyre

Which do you think is better?
Live theatre or filmed theatre?

Because we're a big believer in both!

Check out our list of classic show screenings and live theatre performances!

1. NT Live: Saint Joan
Directed by Josie Rourke, Saint Joan is a piece following Joan of Arc: a visionary who carved a victory that defined France. Bernard Shaw's classic play perfectly depicts a woman with all the instinct, zeal, and power of a true revolutionary.

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2. Shakespeare's Globe: Twelfth Night
When the lovelorn Duke Orsino plots to win the heart of the mourning Olivia, an alliance of servants scheme against the high-handedness of Olivia’s steward, the pompous Malvolio. When Orsino engages the cross-dressed Viola, who has disguised herself as a young man under the name Cesario, to plead with Olivia on his behalf, a bittersweet and hilarious chain of events follow.

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3. NT Live: Hedda Gabler
Ivo van Hove (A View from the Bridge) - one of the world's most exciting directors - makes his National Theatre debut with a modern take on Ibsen's masterpiece. Hedda Gabler is a woman who has just gotten married; but is bored already.

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4. Chapterhouse Theatre Company: Jane Eyre
Young governess Jane Eyre arrives at the mysterious Thornfield Hall, deep in the Yorkshire moors and meets enigmatic Mr Rochester, sparking the most unforgettable of love stories. When a secret from the past returns to haunt them, can Jane and Rochester’s passion survive the forces that could easily tear them apart?

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5. Shakespeare's Globe: The Merchant of Venice
In Venice, the epicenter of consumption, speculation and debt, Bassanio borrows money from his friend Antonio to finance his attempt to win the hand of a wealthy heiress. Antonio, in turn, takes out a loan from a money lender, Shylock. The loan is to be repaid when Antonio’s ships return to the city, but if they fail, Antonio owes Shylock a pound of his own flesh.

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6. NT Live: Medea
Medea is a wife and a mother, but when her husband abandons the family for a new life, she faces banishment and separation from her children. Madness creeps in, and she plots her revenge to destroys everything she holds dear.

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7. Branagh Theatre Live: The Winter's Tale
King Leontes of Bohemia suspects his wife, Hermione, and his friend, Polixenes, of betraying him. When he forces Polixenes to flee for his life, Leontes sets a chain of events that lead to death, a ferocious bear, an infant left in the snow, young love, and a statue coming to life. What a lot of drama!

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8. Shakespeare's Globe: The Tempest
Inspired by reports of the first English colonies in the West Indies and imbued with a spirit of magic and the supernatural, The Tempest is Shakespeare's late great masterpiece of forgiveness, generosity and enlightenment.

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9. NT Live: Jane Eyre
The classic story of Jane is as inspiring as ever, uncovering one woman’s fight for freedom and fulfillment on her own terms. The spirited heroine faces life’s obstacles head-on, surviving poverty, injustice and the discovery of bitter betrayal before taking the ultimate decision to follow her heart.

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10. Shanghai Opera House: Giuseppe Verdi's Nabucco
Nabucco, King of Babylon, takes Jerusalem in his war with the Israelites – but his daughter Fenena loves the Israelite Ismaele. She releases their prisoners, leading her vengeful half-sister Abigaille to plot to take power. Nabucco declares himself a god and is struck by a bolt of lightning.

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11. RSC Live: King Lear
King Lear has ruled for many years. As age overtakes him, he divides his kingdom amongst his children. Misjudging their loyalty, he soon finds himself stripped of all the trappings of state, wealth and power that had previously defined him.

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12. Royal Opera House: Otello
The 1887 premiere of Otello was an instant success, and still continues to be a significant part of the international opera repertoir today. The performance uses the traditional structures and techniques of Italian opera, and when combined with Shakespeare’s play becomes a truly unforgettable experience.

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13. Monologues: Revel's World of Shakespeare
In this one-man show, performed by writer, director, actor and co-founder of Peking University's Institute of World Theatre and Film, Joseph Graves, we see Graves' own experiences at London's Chelsea School for Boys under the tutelage of a tyrannical, alcoholic professor who saw Shakespeare as a religion (if not a cult), pressing his young charges into terrified service.

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Now, that's a lot of theater to get your teeth into!
13 Classic Plays from Twelfth Night to Jane Eyre
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