National Theatre Live’s 2013 season continues at Music Box with Alan Bennett’s People, directed by Nicholas Hytner Funny and provocative new play from the creators of The History Boys bows Tuesday, April 23 with encore matinée Sunday, April 28

People by Alan Bennett, directed by Nicholas Hytner. With Frances de la Tour as Dorothy Stacpoole, Linda Bassett as Iris. Photo by Geraint Lewis

People by Alan Bennett, directed by Nicholas Hytner. With Frances de la Tour as Dorothy Stacpoole, Linda Bassett as Iris. Photo by Geraint Lewis

The Music Box Theatre continues its partnership with the UK’s National Theatre Live to exhibit live stage performances beamed to Chicago from the prestigious National Theatre in London. (U.S. showings are time-delayed because of time zone difference). The duo behind the Tony Award-winning The History Boys – writer Alan Bennett and director Nicholas Hytner – reteams for People, starring Olivier Award-winning actress Frances de la Tour as the once-wealthy owner of a crumbling country estate facing an uncertain future. The Chicago screenings take place Tuesday, April 23, 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 28, 2 p.m. at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 North Southport Avenue.  Tickets to National Theatre Live events are $15 in advance at the Music Box Theatre box office and online at ; $18 at the door.

In the bitingly funny People, Dorothy Stacpoole (Frances de la Tour) and her companion Iris (Linda Bassett) live in a crumbling South Yorkshire country estate. Dorothy’s archdeacon sister June (Selena Cadell) wants to hand the estate over to the care of the National Trust and open it to public view. But people spoil things; there are so many of them and the last thing one wants is them traipsing through one’s house. With the park a jungle and a bath on the billiard table, what is one to do? Dorothy favors a more creative solution.

Alan Bennett is one of Britain’s most celebrated playwrights, and the much-anticipated People is the sixth of his plays to have its premiere at the National Theatre. Following its original run at the National Theatre, The History Boys transferred to Broadway, winning the Tony Award for Best Play in 2006, and toured internationally before being turned into a film, again directed by Nicholas Hytner and with a cast including Frances de la Tour.  Bennett and Hytner also collaborated on the award-winning play and film The Madness of King George, and their last stage production, The Habit of Art, was broadcast as part of National Theatre Live in 2010.

Northwestern University alum David Sabel is the executive producer of NT Live.  He explains the live theater broadcast concept:

“It’s a bit like filming a live sports event. We’re not making a movie. It’s a live, multi-camera shoot. We’re taking the audience’s eye where the action is, which is what a theater director does,” he told The Washington Post. “What you lose by not being there in the flesh, I think there are things you gain…. The camera can take you places and give you an intimacy you sometimes struggle to get in the theater, especially if you sat at the back of the balcony.”

The 2013 NTLive season at Music Box will conclude in

May with This Housea biting and energetic new play about the ruthless world of 1970s British politics.

Music Box Theatre has been the premier venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films, festivals and some of the greatest cinematic events in Chicago. It currently has the largest cinema space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD and television markets throughout the United States. For additional information please .  Download the entire Music Box Theatre Spring Calendar

National Theatre Live is an initiative by the UK’s National Theatre to broadcast live performances onto cinema screens around the world. Since its first season, which began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production ofPhédre starring Helen Mirren, more than 750,000 people have now experienced the National’s work on movie screens worldwide.