Did you miss “X-Men” stars Ian McKellen (“The Lord of the Rings”) and Patrick Stewart (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”) on Broadway in “Waiting for Godot” and “No Man’s Land”? (The two distinguished Brit thespians were among the Hollywood stars who did not land Tony nominations.) Athena is releasing on May 5 the DVD documentary “Theatreland” (May 13), which goes behind the scenes of the 2009 London production of “Waiting for Godot.” And Acorn TV (available via Roku), which streams in North America a selection of prime British TV, will start airing the doc on May 5th.
Broadcast on UK public television in October 2010, “Theatreland” is a candid behind-the-scenes look– filmed over six months– at the hit 2009 West End production of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” starring McKellen and Stewart, which ran for 172 sold-out performances, as well as the first-ever staged adaptation of Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” starring Anna Friel (“Pushing Daisies”).
Filmed on location at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, an historic London playhouse that dates back to 1720, the program follows the two productions from rehearsals to opening night. The DVD 2-disc set includes eight episodes, plus a 12-page viewer’s guide (201 min., $39.99).
On May 6th, Acorn will release the remastered “Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Series 12,” with guest stars Hugh Bonneville (“Downton Abbey”) Martin Shaw, and young Jessica Chastain. Acorn TV continues to air Guy Pearce in the new Australian noir “Jack Irish: Dead Point.” Also released by Athena for theatre fans is “Playing Shakespeare,” the Royal Shakespeare Company’s master classes featuring Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Ben Kingsley, and David Suchet; “Discovering Hamlet,” narrated by Patrick Stewart and featuring Derek Jacobi and Kenneth Branagh; and “Shakespeare: The King’s Man,” a documentary exploring Shakespeare’s later plays.