WATCH: All British Actors Ever Help Celebrate 50 Years of the National Theatre

The National Theatre

The National Theatre

On Saturday night, BBC TV ran an all-star gala event from London’s National Theatre, to help celebrate 50 years of wonderful productions.

It was an astonishing spectacle, filled with brief snippets from some of the most celebrated plays and musicals, starring the cream of the cream (of the cream) of British acting talent; one minute Dame Judi Dench would be hoarsely belting out “Send In The Clowns” (not a dry eye, by the way), the next James Corden rolling across the stage in his One Man Two Guvners suit, or appearing in an almost full reunion of the boys from The History Boys, with Alan Bennett playing Hector, the role that won Richard Griffiths a Tony award. 

This video, which captures some of the rehearsals, offers a glimpse of the myriad delights on offer. See who you can spot:

And naturally it wouldn’t be us talking about this without the obligatory Benedict Cumberbatch bit.

Having already appeared in the running order with a short, filmed extract from his swapsy Frankenstein, alongside Jonny Lee Miller, he then took to the stage to perform the opening scene from Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, after first explaining what it is about:

The curious thing is that this is now the fifth major British institution (that still has a hugely successful following) to be celebrating a half-century. We had the Bond movies and the Beatles last year, the Rolling Stones and the National this year, and Doctor Who at the end of the month.

See more:
Five Curiously Neat Theatrical Double-Headers
RIP Richard Griffiths: Five Of His Greatest Hits
Hollywood Succumbs To Frankenstein Fever
The Full Dynastic Heritage Of Benedict Cumberbatch

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

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