Happy 20th birthday, NVAP

5th January 2012

The National Video Archive of Performance (NVAP) is a great and glorious resource – and shamefully little-known. Thanks to a generous agreement with theatre unions (which permits taping without the payment of fees to artistes and others), the NVAP creates high-quality archival recordings of theatre shows. These can be accessed by researchers (and back in 2009 Annette Brausch contributed a wonderful guest post here about this process), but for the most part – because of the terms of the agreement – they are not publicly screened or otherwise distributed. To mark twenty years of the NVAP, however, the V&A, which is where the archive is based, is mounting a series of showings on Sunday afternoons – including on 12 February Gregory Doran’s recent Cardenio in Stratford (above). All the details are across the jump. (I know we don’t usually do announcements of forthcoming screenings here, but these are rather special.)

The screenings are at 2.00pm on Sundays between 22 January and 25 March. Most of them will take place in the Hochhauser Auditorium at the V&A – the exceptions are noted below. Each screening will be introduced by a V&A curator. Admittance is free, and seats will be available on a first come first seated basis. See you there.

Sunday 22 January
Written and directed by Susie McKenna
With Clive Rowe as the Dame
Recorded at the Hackney Empire, January 2010 (139 mins)

Sunday 5 February
Hamlet (1601)
Written by William Shakespeare and directed by Trevor Nunn
With Ben Whishaw and Imogen Stubbs
Recorded at the Old Vic Theatre, July 2004 (220 mins)

Sunday 12 February
Cardenio (1613) – Shakespeare’s lost play re-imagined
Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre
Directed by Gregory Doran
Recorded at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, July 2011 (156 mins)

Sunday 19 February
Don Carlos (1787)
Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre
Written by Friedrich Schiller in a new translation by Mike Poulton and directed by Michael Grandage
With Derek Jacobi and Richard Coyle
Recorded at the Gielgud Theatre, April 2005 (150 mins)

Sunday 26 February
Three Hours After Marriage (1717)
Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre
Written by John Gay, Alexander Pope and John Arbuthnot and directed by Richard Cottrell
Recorded at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, September 1996 (120 mins)

Sunday 4 March
The Alchemist (1851)
Written by Ben Jonson and directed by Nicholas Hytner
With Simon Russell Beale, Ian Richardson and Lesley Manville
Recorded at the National Theatre (Olivier), November 2006 (141 mins)

Sunday 11 March
A Christmas Carol (1843)
Written by Charles Dickens, adapted and directed by Mark Dornford-May
Recorded at the Young Vic, January 2008 (90 mins)
This screening accompanies the V&A event ‘Great Expectations: Dickens & Calligraphy’

Sunday 18 March
Hedda Gabler (1890)
Written by Henrik Ibsen and directed by Richard Eyre
With Eve Best and Benedict Cumberbatch
Recorded at the Duke of York’s Theatre, July 2005 (121 mins)

Sunday 25 March
Waiting for Godot (1948) – to be confirmed
Written by Samuel Beckett and directed by Sean Mathias
With Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart
Recorded at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, June 2009 (139 mins)

A second programme of NVAP screenings will run on selected Sundays from 15 April-17 June.

Image: Liz Crowther, Timothy Speyer, Alex Hassell, Lucy Briggs-Owen and Harry Myers in Cardenio. Photo by Ellie Kurttz, courtesy Royal Shakespeare Company.

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