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King John hits the Big Screen

King John hits the Big Screen, image,
Image courtesy of Stratford Festival.

King John hits the Big Screen
by Staff Editors

(April 6, 2015 – Toronto, ON) It is often been said that what sets British and Hollywood actors apart is the long tradition of theatre in the United Kingdom. The same, perhaps to a lessor extent, can also be said of many of Canada`s finest actors. Christopher Plummer, William Shatner, Martha Henry and so many more can trace their foundations to the renowned Stratford Festival Theatre in Ontario. And so it is with the latest high-definition Stratford cinema event, the release of King John on April 9th costarring Tom McCamus as King John and Seana McKenna as Constance.

The plot is entirely cinematic, yet the production is pure theatre. When the rule of a hedonistic and mercurial king is questioned, rebellion, assassination and excommunication ensue, culminating in a chilling attempt to commit an atrocity against a child, whose mother’s anguished grief cannot atone for her blinkered ambitions for her son.With commanding performances by Tom McCamusSeana McKennaGraham Abbey and Patricia Collins, King John was directed by Tim Carroll, whose recent Shakespeare productions of Richard III and Twelfth Night were the toast of Broadway.

Filmed in spectacular high definition under the direction of Barry Avrich (pictured below), King John will be in cinemas across Canada this Thursday, April 9. There will be an encore screening in Canada on April 12. The production will launch on screens south of the border one day earlier than here, April 8, but U.S. encore dates will vary.

Barry Avrich, director,
Barry Avrich at the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards. Photo by Ralph Lucas for Northernstars.ca

King John was captured live on stage with a full audience at the Stratford Festival’s Tom Patterson Theatre on September 26, 2014, using 10 high definition cameras and 128 tracks of audio to create a lush, surround-sound experience. Additional pick-up shots of key performance elements were captured on stage immediately following the performance.This production is part of a massive initiative by the Stratford Festival, North America’s leading classical theatre company, to capture all of Shakespeare’s plays over the next 10 years. The series began with the Stratford Festival’s critically acclaimed production of King Lear in February. Antony and Cleopatra will première in May of 2015, rounding out the first instalment of the Stratford Festival HD series that will ultimately bring the complete works of William Shakespeare to audiences around the world.

Stratford Festival HD is sponsored by Sun Life Financial as part of their Making the Arts More Accessible® program, with generous support from Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney, the Jenkins Family Foundation, Ophelia & Mike Lazaridis, Sandra & Jim Pitblado and Robert & Jacqueline Sperandio.Canadian distribution is through Cineplex Entertainment’s Front Row Centre Events, which specializes in bringing world-class events and performances to the big screen. The cinema screening series will be followed by a broadcast schedule on CBC-TV. Digital and on-demand release will follow. Tickets are available for screenings across Canada and in the United States by following the links on the Stratford Festival`s website.