Dame Maggie Smith and Sir Michael Gambon celebrate 50 years of The National Theatre
On Saturday night (November 2nd), British actors and actresses took to the stage to celebrate fifty years of the London National Theatre. For the last fifty years The National Theatre has concentrated on producing quality shows and nurturing some of the best British performers. In order to celebrate the achievements and shows that they have produced, many of the actors who have performed with the company over the years, came together to relive some of its best moments. The National Theatre website described the event as “a once-in-a-lifetime performance.”
The event, which was broadcast live on BBC2, featured many well known Harry Potter stars, including Dame Maggie Smith and Sir Michael Gambon. Smith and Gambon were two of the original six members of the National Theatre, when it opened in 1963.The celebration show included interview clips and live performances from both Smith and Gambon, who reprised roles they had played before. Footage from the 1960s of a young Maggie Smith performing in Hayfever and The Recruiting Officer was also played.
Several other Harry Potter alumni made appearances in the program, including Ralph Fiennes, who performed live on stage, looking nothing like the way Potter fans know him. Zoe Wanamaker (Madame Hooch), Fiona Shaw (Aunt Petunia), Frances de la Tour (Madame Maxine), and Richard Griffiths (Uncle Vernon) appeared in previously recorded footage from the archives.
To see videos of the company in rehearsal and for more information about the 50th anniversary, visit The National Theatre micro site, where plenty more information about the history of the company is available.
To see pictures of the event, visit the BBC website. For UK viewers, the event is now available on BBC Iplayer.
Did you watch the event? What were your favorite moments? Let us know in the comments below!