Sony pacts with the National Theatre and Vue to bring the stage to the screen
by Naman Ramachandran
- The first production under the new partnership will be Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Sony Digital Cinema has signed a pioneering initiative with the National Theatre and Vue Entertainment International to screen four National Theatre Live stage productions on 4K. Over the next year, audiences at 83 Vue cinemas across the UK can experience National Theatre programmes that will be captured with Sony cameras at 4K resolution, with four times the detail of Full HD television broadcasts. First up will be David Hare’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers, based on the book by Katherine Boo, directed by Rufus Norris and starring Meera Syal.
The arrangement was first trialled in February 2014, when National Theatre Live broadcast War Horse live from the New London Theatre to cinemas across the world. The recording was subsequently made available as a 4K DCP, allowing 4K-enabled cinemas to also show repeat screenings. A total of 36 Vue cinemas in the UK screened the theatrical production on Sony 4K projectors through March 2014. In total, the broadcast attracted an audience of some 400,000 people from around the world. Subsequently, in August 2014, images from the FIFA World Cup Final were beamed live from Brazil in 4K to fans at Vue’s Westfield multiplex in London.
David McIntosh, vice-president, Sony Digital Cinema 4K Solutions for Europe and the Americas, said, “If there’s a medium that’s naturally suited to the immersive detail and realism of 4K, it’s got to be live theatre. Cinema projection in 4K delivers the best possible image quality, which enhances the event and the cinema experience so that the performance can be enjoyed whether you are in the live theatre or watching in a cinema.”