Directed by Jeremy Whelehan and produced by Kevin Spacey, the feature length documentary, NOW: IN THE WINGS ON A WORLD STAGE, reveals intimate behind the scenes moments as actor Kevin Spacey, director Sam Mendes and a troupe of over fifty actors and stage crew go on the road across three continents over ten months, staging over 200 performances of the Shakespeare classic, Richard III.
For those who have never seen Kevin Spacey on stage, his interpretation of Richard III is an absolute treat as are the choices available to a theatre company comprising of actors from America, the UK and Africa. In the film, as they journey from Epidaurus to Istanbul, from San Francisco to Sydney, the play unfolds in excerpts as the fate of the king is revealed, and the heaving, organic, rich production evolves.
This production of Richard III was part of a larger endeavour called The Bridge Project, born out of a simple desire, – a wish for artists, collaborators and audiences on both sides of the Atlantic to experience one another’s work, talent and artistry in the theatre.
Part theatrical process, part performance, part travelogue, the film succeeds in imparting that sense of family that theatrical companies, especially touring companies, claim.
“There are a multitude of challenges that come with being in a new theatre in an unknown city every few weeks. There were some tears and a lot of laughs. We became a family by sharing unforgettable moments, practicing our craft across three continents over 10 months of time…The success of the project was beyond my highest hopes, ” says Kevin Spacey.
Actors enthuse that director Sam Mendes allowed performers to pursue their own ideas of character, facilitating a guided discovery of the particular as they traversed and explored the wider terrain of the text, and how much a sense of play was so important for the project to coalesce so seemingly seamlessly.
From rehearsal rooms to dressing rooms and the myriad theatres, – those so steeped in tradition like the Epidaurus amphitheatre in Greece and the Old Vic in London to newer architectural temples to the performing arts venues like the Lyric in Sydney and state of the art housings in Beijing and Qatar, this is a marvelous movie full of the magic and magnificence of live theatre, beautifully captured by film documentarians.
NOW: IN THE WINGS ON A WORLD STAGE is on show from December 4 for a limited season at both Dendy Newtown and Dendy Opera Quays and bookings are NOW open. To miss out would certainly precipitate a summer of discontent.