What’s on: The West End comes to Haverhill

13:30 01 March 2013

People by Alan Bennett, directed by Nicholas Hytner. With Frances de la Tour as Dorothy Stacpoole, Linda Bassett as Iris.

People by Alan Bennett, directed by Nicholas Hytner. With Frances de la Tour as Dorothy Stacpoole, Linda Bassett as Iris.

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HAVERHILL Arts Centre has teamed up with the National Theatre to broadcast live link-ups to some of their best productions.

It is made possible through the centre’s new digital projector which links directly to the National Theatre and projects the play onto the cinema screen.

The first production will be Alan Bennett’s long awaited new play People on Friday March 21 at 7pm. It stars Frances De La Tour, Linda Bassett and Selina Cadelle and has been receiving excellent reviews.

Unlike normal cinema screenings at the Arts Centre, the seating for People will be reserved. There will also be an interval at half time. Tickets are £14 or £12.50 for concessions or Reel Culture members. To book call 01440 714140 or go to haverhillartscentre.co.uk.

Nick Keeble, arts and leisure manager, said: “This is a terrifically exciting new venture for us. The West End is coming to Haverhill!

“It’s all thanks to a scheme called NT Live and what better start could we have than Alan Bennett’s new play? Over the next few months we plan to screen more live event cinema including The Audience with Helen Mirren reprising her role as the Queen.

“In the future we will also have the potential to show other Live events such as ballet and opera.”

Since the installation of the Arts Centre’s digital projector in January more than 1,500 cinema tickets have been purchased and figures in February show the highest monthly attendance rates since 2009.

Nick added: “More than 500 people came to the free films that we screened to launch the digital projector and what was really great was that some of the films, such as The Imposter and Delicacy, were a little bit out of the ordinary.

“Our average attendance per screening is 44 per cent up from this time last year, this is a very healthy state of affairs and we would like to thank all our loyal customers for their continued support.”

About People

Lady Dorothy Stacpoole (Frances de la Tour) is an elderly former model who lives in a rapidly disintegrating pile. Now the impoverished spinster has to face up to disposing of the old place. Her bossy younger sister wants to pass it on the National Trust. But Dorothy isn’t so sure, dismissing the Trust as purveyors of dull ‘pretend England’.

The Trust’s enthusiasm for packaging her family’s history for gawpers underlines her fears. The other option is to make a fortune by flogging the house to a dodgy company.

In the meantime, a chance meeting with an old flame leads to an erotic movie being shot on the premises!

People reunites celebrated playwright Alan Bennett and director Nicholas Hytner, who worked together on The Madness of King George and The History Boys.

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