The triumph and tragedy

OnScreen: Simon Russell Beale and Leo Bill in The Tragedy of Richard II. Photo: by Marc Brenner.
OnScreen: Simon Russell Beale and Leo Bill in The Tragedy of Richard II. Photo: by Marc Brenner.

Eisteddfod time again

It's that time of year again when children and young adults converge upon the MEC to strut their stuff and share their talents on stage during the Taree and District Eisteddfod.

Over the years we've learned many things from this pivotal event, not least of which being how to spell "eisteddfod".

It's very satisfying to see the entrants return year after year, growing in both talent and height each time.

This week I'm seeing young adults in their HSC year, who were in their last year of primary school when I started working at the MEC.

The thing I find most inspiring is their commitment.

Regardless of winning or not, they have persisted with their chosen performance form, and bloomed with each passing year.

Some of them started as absolute beginners, and now teach. Some of them left the area and now perform professionally.

The Taree and District Eisteddfod has seen the development of many a fine musician, actor, singer and dancer, and long may it continue to do so. Good luck to everyone competing this year, and don't forget to BREATHE!

Shakespeare On Screen: Richard II

If Shakespeare is your man then you'll be interested in our next OnScreen film: The Tragedy of King Richard II on Tuesday May 14, with screenings at 10am and 7pm.

Simon Russell Beale plays William Shakespeare's Richard II, filmed from the stage of the Almeida Theatre in London to cinemas.

This visceral new production about the limits of power will be directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins.

Richard II, King of England, is irresponsible, foolish and vain. His weak leadership sends his kingdom into disarray and his court into uproar. Seeing no other option but to seize power, the ambitious Bolingbroke challenges the throne and the king's divine right to rule.

Simon Russell Beale returns to National Theatre Live screens following broadcasts of Timon of Athens and King Lear, and his recent role in the National Theatre's critically acclaimed production of The Lehman Trilogy. Book: theMEC.com.au

In breaking OnScreen film news, we're thrilled to announce a July 23 encore screening of "The Audience". Winner of three Tony Awards® and two Olivier Awards, National Theatre Live's smash-hit broadcast of the original West End production of The Audience - featuring Helen Mirren's multi-award-winning performance as Queen Elizabeth II - returns to cinemas in celebration of the monarch's 90th birthday.