The Atkinson becomes a National Theatre Venue

The Atkinson becomes a National Theatre Venue

The Atkinson is delighted to announce that from May it is to become a National Theatre Live venue beginning with King Lear by William Shakespeare directed by Sam Mendes.

On Thursday 1 May, The Atkinson invites you to experience the best of British theatre in Sefton’s new home for film, theatre, music, art, history and literature.

National Theatre Live launched in June 2009 with a broadcast of the National Theatre production of Phèdre with Helen Mirren. They have since broadcast more than twenty other productions live from the National Theatre, and on occasion other theatres in the UK.

Emma Lloyd, The Atkinson’s Marketing & Programme Manager said:

“We are really excited about being a National Theatre Live venue; it is a natural progression for us.

The Atkinson has recently had its new state of-the-art digital projection system and screen installed so the audience will feel like they are seeing the production live and what better way to see the very best of British theatre than in a real theatre environment.”

King Lear sees Academy Award® winner Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) returns to the National Theatre to direct Simon Russell Beale (Timon of Athens, Collaborators) in the title role of Shakespeare’s tragedy.

An aged king decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, according to which of them is most eloquent in praising him. His favourite, Cordelia, says nothing. Lear’s world descends into chaos.

The theatre by film programme continues on Friday 23 May with the return of The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night following its smash-hit live broadcast in 2012.

Based on the acclaimed novel by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has been hailed by The Times as ‘a phenomenal combination of storytelling and spectacle’. Winner of 7 Olivier Awards in 2013, including Best New Play.

Then on Thursday 12 June, for the first time since its celebrated premiere in 1987, when it won the Evening Standard Award for Best Play A Small Family Business returns to National Theatre Live.

 The autumn season starts on Thursday 4 September with Medea. Helen McCrory (The Last of the Haussmans) returns to the National Theatre to take the title role in Euripides’ powerful tragedy, in a new version by Ben Power, directed by Carrie Cracknell.

 National Theatre broadcasts have now been experienced by over 1.5 million people in 500 venues around the world, including 250 in the UK. Past broadcasts include Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, One Man, Two Guvnors with James Corden and The Last of the Haussmans with Julie Walters.

Though each live broadcast is filmed in front of a live audience in the theatre, cameras are carefully positioned throughout the auditorium to ensure that cinema audiences get the ‘best seat in the house’ view of each production. Where these cameras are placed is different for each broadcast, to make sure that cinema audiences enjoy the best possible experience every time.

Satellites allow the productions to be broadcast live, without delay, to cinemas throughout the UK as well as many European venues. Other venues view the broadcasts ‘as live’ according to their time zone, or at a later date.

Keep an eye on The Atkinson’s website  for new additions to the National Theatre Live programme throughout the year as The Atkinson is not always able to promote them in the seasonal guide due to timings.

Tickets for all National Theatre productions are £10 and all the showings are at 7pm.

 You can book your tickets online at or by calling The Atkinson Box Office on 01704 533333. You can also purchase your tickets over the counter during The Atkinson’s opening hours.

*Please be advised there is a £2 booking fee for booking over the phone and online bookings.


Tickets are available to book online at or through the Box Office on 01704 533333. Tickets are also available over the counter during The Atkinson opening hours.




King Lear by William Shakespeare

Thursday 1 May


Tickets: £10


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Encore)

Friday 23 May


Tickets: £10


A Small Family Business

Thursday 12 June


Tickets: £10



Thursday 4 September


Tickets: £10


*Please be advised that there is a £2 booking fee for telephone and online sales.


The Atkinson
Lord Street



In person: Visit The Atkinson box office on Lord Street

For tickets: visit the website or call box office on 01704 533333


Notes to Editors

For more information, interviews, images or review tickets, please contact Emma Lloyd at The Atkinson on 0151 934 2129 |


About The Atkinson

The Atkinson is Southport’s beautiful new home for music, theatre, art, poetry, literature and history, right in the middle of Lord Street in Southport. Significant investment has been made in refurbishing the stunning 19th century buildings, to create a really welcoming multi art-form venue with a strong contemporary feel.

The Atkinson offers an exciting and varied destination for families, cultural tourists and arts enthusiasts alike, with a full day and night time offer. Wile the day away visiting the new shop, that sells gifts and contemporary crafts from regional makers and then relax in the Bakery, choosing from a selection of artisan bread sandwiches, cakes and sharing platters. You can even take little bit of The Atkinson home with you from the delicatessen. Wonder through the major exhibitions and see performances from some of the UK’s foremost musicians, actors, performers and companies, films, family activities and much more.

In October 2014 The Atkinson becomes something even more exciting for visitors, with the opening of the museum which will tell the story of Southport and Sefton as well as the area’s dramatic maritime history. It will also be the new home for the Goodison Egyptology Collection, a remarkable collection of archaeology that has not seen for over 40 years.



Posted on 2 April 2014 under General news

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