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Memory Games


This year’s National Theatre Live season opens with a contemporary classic and continues with another one, followed by fresh produsctions of three canonical works.

The first is Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land, coming this Saturday from the London stage to Amherst Cinema. In it we find two old codgers, played by two old masters, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, in what The Guardian called “a faithful and loving production that captures both the essential bleakness and paradoxical comedy of this enigmatic masterwork.”

Stewart plays Hirst, a famous author and hopeless drunk, who stumbles home from the pub with Spooner, a failed poet who he’s only just met. Through a late night and early morning, they and Hirst’s two manservants play twisting games of memory and bravado in which it’s never quite clear that they are quite what or who they say (or think) they are.

Next month, NT Live screens Amadeus, Peter Shaffer’s caustic study of Mozart and his nemesis. That’s followed by Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, staged by the brilliant Dutch auteur Ivo van Hove; Shaw’s humanistic Saint Joan; and a Twelfth Night that doubles down on Shakespearean gender confusion.


No Man’s Land plays Saturday, Jan. 28 at 12:30, also Feb. 13 and March 4, at Amherst Cinema. (413) 253-2547 or amherstcinema.org.

No Man’s Land photo by Johan Persson
Amadeus photo by Mark Brenner

Contact Chris Rohmann at [email protected]