She Stoops to Conquer

We had a wonderful evening yesterday. Fellini's in Ambleside broadcast the National Theatre's production of Oliver Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer.

Streaming live productions of theatre, opera and ballet is becoming increasingly popular and, as just about the only aspect of living in the North and in the countryside I don't like, is not being able to see some of the plays and productions which are staged in London, it's really good news for me! When I saw that the National Theatre was staging one of my favourite plays with the wonderful Katherine Kelly and Sophie Thomson playing Kate Hardcastle and Mrs Hardcastle I was so desperate that the production was in London. Then we discovered that the NT was broadcasting the production live across the UK - so amazing!

The production was fantastic - on so many levels. Firstly, Fellini's did a great job. The studio cinema seats only about 100 people so the whole experience was intimate and felt very exclusive! They created the theatre experience extremely well with wine and coffee instead of popcorn and coke. The live streaming also included watching the audience arrive at the National Theatre which helped to establish the atmosphere. Secondly, the cast was superb - Katherine Kelly, formerly Becky in Coronation Street, was incredible. I always thought that she was a great actress and this production proved that. Cush Jumbo playing Miss Neville was previously unknown to us but was a good match.

The producer and cast produced a fabulous play - a real feast for the eyes. The costumes were gorgeous and the set was great. The production and the acting really brought the play to life and highlighted so many aspects of the play. I've seen She Stoops many times and this was definitely my favourite production and I understood the play better than ever. I loved the contrasts between the town and the country, the development of the comedy of manners genre and the confusion created between reality and appearance.

Finally, just to complete a wonderful evening, we drove home past Windermere and the moon was shining on the water so brightly and beautifully. The reflection of the moon on the water was amazing and reminded us how wonderful it is to live in this part of the country but also how fabulous it is to be able to see first class theatre.