West End is Down Un­der

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

AUS­TRALIANS get the chance to ex­pe­ri­ence the West End at their lo­cal cin­ema as the Aus­tralian com­pany that brought An­dre Rieu’s 2013 Maas­tricht con­cert to cine­mas brings the mu­si­cal Mer­rily We Roll Along to screens. The ac­claimed pro­duc­tion, by Stephen Sond­heim, is the first of many West End shows peo­ple can ex­pect to see on Aus­tralian screens. Af­ter 18 months work­ing on the deal, Dig­i­tal The­atre and Aus­tralian com­pany Cine­maLive will screen a se­ries of pro­duc­tions from the West End’s lead­ing com­mer­cial the­atre producers to cine­mas around the world. Cine­maLive co-di­rec­tor Janelle Ma­son says it means Aus­tralians in cities and re­gional ar­eas will get the chance to watch some great West End the­atre at their lo­cal cin­ema. ‘‘Our ini­tial feel­ing was that Aus­tralia is fairly ge­o­graph­i­cally chal­lenged and the small com­mu­ni­ties, the re­gion­als, just don’t have the op­por­tu­nity to see the­atre of this cal­i­bre,’’ she says. ‘‘Ac­tu­ally see­ing ev­ery­thing on the big screen, it’s def­i­nitely a great way to ex­pe­ri­ence a the­atri­cal pro­duc­tion. It sounds amaz­ing.’’ Ma­son says Cine­maLive is very keen to make it work, es­pe­cially af­ter the suc­cess of Na­tional The­atre Live and The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Opera in cine­mas. ‘‘There is ob­vi­ously a huge kind of call­ing for cul­tural prod­uct around the world and the West End is up there with Broad­way, so it was a huge coup for us the only com­pany de­liv­er­ing West End to the world,’’ she says. She says Mer­rily We Roll Along is a good first choice be­cause of its broad ap­peal, but this pro­duc­tion in par­tic­u­lar is spe­cial. ‘‘This one got more five-star crit­ics’ re­views than any other mu­si­cal in West End his­tory, so we thought, well that’s good start,’’ she says. Sond­heim has called this pro­duc­tion of Mer­rily ‘‘the best I’ve seen’’. The cast in­cludes Aus­tralian ac­tor Damian Hum­b­ley as Char­lie.

Mer­rily We Roll Along screens at Pa­cific Fair on Satur­day and Sun­day.

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