Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in THEATRELAND, a fascinating behind-the-scenes doc debuting on DVD May 13th

image001Featuring theatre and film heavyweights—and real-life friends—Sir Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation, X-Men) and Sir Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings, X-Men) and offering a compelling look behind the scenes of a West End production of Beckett’s influential Waiting for Godot, Theatreland debuts on DVD on May 13, 2014 from Athena, an RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) brand. Filmed on location at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, a historic London playhouse that dates back to 1720, the program features rare, candid behind-the-scenes footage that follows two productions,Waiting for Godot and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, from rehearsals to opening night. Broadcast on public television in October 2010, the documentary is ever more relevant with Stewart and McKellen’s recent Broadway performances in Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land. The DVD 2-Disc set includes eight episodes, plus a 12-page viewer’s guide (201 min., $39.99, AcornOnline.com).

Theatre Royal Haymarket is one of London’s premier West End playhouses. In 2009, it mounted the most successful production ever of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, it ran for 172 sold-out performances. Godot was followed by the first-ever staged adaptation of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Filmed over six months, Theatreland goes behind the scenes of both productions to reveal what makes a West End theatre tick. Meet the stars, the artistic director, the managers, stagehands, carpenters, and ushers. Explore the Haymarket, one of London’s oldest theatres, with 100-year-old seats and plumbing to match. Audiences realize none of this as the lights dim and the magic begins. From the first read-through to the final curtain call, this is theatre as you’ve never seen it before.

The documentary also features Simon Callow (Four Weddings and a Funeral), Ronald Pickup (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Joseph Cross (Lincoln) and Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies).

Episode 1: Bringing the House Down

Episode 2: OK—Now Entertain Us

Episode 3: Flushed with Success

Episode 4: Is There a Spectre in the House?

Episode 5: Waiting in the Wings

Episode 6: Goodbye, Godot

Episode 7: Blonde or Brunette

Episode 8: Blood, Sweat, and Magic

Bonus Features: 12-page viewer’s guide with a timeline of the Theatre Royal Haymarket, a look at the West End, profiles of the participants, an article on theatre ghosts, and fun facts about the productions.

An RLJ Entertainment, Inc. brand (NASDAQ: RLJE), Athena releases provide an authoritative and entertaining learning experience through high quality, informative, non-fiction programming. Athena’s 2014 releases will include: Joanna Lumley’s Greek Odyssey, Secrets of Ancient Egypt, The Science of Measurement, Talks About Nothing, The Story of Medicine, Civil War: The Untold Story, Theatreland, The Rise of the Nazi Party, Alexander’s Lost World and David Suchet: In The Footsteps of St. Paul. Athena DVD sets are available from select retailers, catalog companies, and direct from RLJ Entertainment at (888) 870-8047 or AcornOnline.com.