Saturday, November 2, 2013

James Corden and Benedict Cumberbatch lead the way as The Royal National Theatre celebrate 50 years on stage

PUBLISHED: 19:47 EST, 1 November 2013 | UPDATED: 03:53 EST, 2 November 2013

Centre stage: Benedict Cumberbatch rehearse a scene from Tom Stoppard¿s Rosencrantz And Guildenstern

The Royal National Theatre celebrated its fiftieth anniversary on Saturday with a retrospective two-hour performance featuring an array of stars from stage and screen.

50 Years On Stage paid tribute to some of the historic venue’s finest moments during a two-hour compendium of live performances and archive footage, presided over by celebrated director Nichols Hyntner.

James Corden, Ralph Fiennes, Benedict Cumberbatch and Dame Helen Mirren were amongst a cast of 100 actors to take to the legendary stage, where pivotal scenes from a selection of The National’s highlights were performed.

Amongst these were The History Boys – the award winning Alan Bennett play that helped turn Corden into a star when it was first performed at the venue in 2004.

Benedict Cumberbatch also featured in scene from Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz And Guildenstern, while Dame Judi Dench made an appearance with Skyfall co-star Roy Kinnear for a segment from Shakespeare’s Anthony And Cleopatra.

Dame Helen Mirren, Derek Jacobi, Michael Gambon and Adrian Lester also performed at the event, which was performed in front of TV cameras and will be broadcast on BBC Two at 9pm on Saturday evening.

The Royal National Theatre first opened in 1963 under the stewardship of Sir Laurence Olivier.


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