Extra plays added to Hampstead Theatre's watch-on-demand programme

Hampstead Theatre has announced an extension of its free, digital streaming series in partnership with The Guardian.

Tiger Country
Tiger Country

The live stream recordings of Nina Raine’s NHS inspired hit drama Tiger Country and Howard Brenton’s politically charged #AIWW: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei will be available to watch, on demand, on theguardian.com and hampsteadtheatre.com, as part of the theatre’s current #HampsteadTheatreAtHome series.

Tiger Country (2014) will be available to watch on demand from Monday, April 20, 10am to Sunday, April 26, 10pm.

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Spokeswoman Clare McCormack said: “Tiger Country, also directed by Raine, is an insight into the workings of the NHS and the people who keep it going. An action-packed and astute drama, it looks beyond the hospital corridors and into an extraordinary workplace, full of professionals under pressure, driven by ambition, compassion and humour.”

#AIWW: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei (2013) will be available to watch on demand from Monday, April 27, 10am-Sunday, May 3, 10pm.

“The production tells the story of the controversial arrest and imprisonment of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in 2011 and is based on conversations between Ai Weiwei and journalist/writer Barnaby Martin (Hanging Man: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei), in which Ai Weiwei spoke about what happened during his disappearance.

“Directed by James Macdonald, #AIWW: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei is a portrait of the Artist in extreme conditions and an affirmation of the importance of Art and freedom of speech.”

Drawing the Line, also by Howard Brenton, is currently available to stream until Sunday, April 19, 10pm. Directed by the late Howard Davies, the play tells the story of the chaotic partitioning of India in 1947 whilst celebrating the strength of humanity.

Clare explained: “Hampstead Theatre closed its building following UK Government advice on Monday 16 March 2020. The #HampsteadTheatreAtHome series was launched to support audiences in isolation by sharing world class entertainment online for free. Recent productions streamed in the series include I and You by Lauren Gunderson on Instagram’s mobile video platform IGTV and, in partnership with The Guardian, Wild by Mike Bartlett and Wonderland by Beth Steel.”

Roxana Silbert, artistic director of Hampstead Theatre, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to extend our #HampsteadTheatreAtHome series with The Guardian.

“It feels like there has never been a more apt time to share Tiger Country - Nina Raine meticulously studied the NHS and spent much time with its extraordinary employees who put their lives on the line, daily, to keep Britain safe.

“The whole nation is indebted to this workforce and should viewers want to support those working on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19, a link will be available on our website.

“AIWW: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei also reminds us of the importance of freedom of speech. Many questions will be asked over the next few months and it’s in everyone’s interest that we continue to strive for a society that's built on truth and openness.

“The reaction to our digital series so far has been tremendous and there is something deeply comforting about knowing that, despite these strange, uncertain times, people from across the world from America and Peru to Japan and Australia, want to tune in to watch theatre. Thank you again to the many artists involved for making this series possible and to The Guardian for helping us reach as many people as possible.”



Dates: Monday 20 April, 10am – Sunday 26 April, 10pm (BST) 2020

Viewing Platform: theguardian.com and hampsteadtheatre.com

Running Time: approx. 2 hours

Suggested Age Recommendation: 14+

A Hampstead Theatre Production


Written and Directed by Nina Raine

Design by Lizzie Clachan

Lighting by Neil Austin

Video Design by Dick Straker

Choreography by Leon Baugh

Sound by Fergus O’Hare

Cast Ruth Everett, Souad Faress, Jenny Galloway, Nick Hendrix, Maxwell Hutcheon, Tricia Kelly, Alastair Mackenzie, Wunmi Mosaku, Shaun Parkes, Luke Thompson, Indira Varma

With Alexine LaFaber, Carolin Ott, Rose Riley, Jimmy Roye Dunne

Do you know what it’s like to be the person who’s actually sticking the knife in here…? You stick a knife in close to an artery, boy do you know it. Then you’re in Tiger Country…

December is the busiest time of year for London’s hospitals. For one particular team it’s business as usual, even with the seasonal upsurge.

Brian, the urology consultant, is audaciously trying to convince his superior, Mr Leffe, to swap irksome patients. Newcomer Emily has already discharged 5 people and it’s not even 10am. Her boyfriend James, a dishy doctor, is as usual engaged in charming his superiors – not to mention the eye-catching Rebecca. Feisty senior house officer Mark is wrestling with his bossy mentor Vashti to allow him to be more hands-on. And throughout it all, John, the cardiology registrar, simply can’t find a minute in the day to enjoy his roast turkey sandwich…



Dates: Monday 27 April, 10am – Sunday 3 May, 10pm (BST) 2020

Viewing Platform: theguardian.com and hampsteadtheatre.com

Running Time: approx. 1 hours 45mins

Suggested Age Recommendation: 14+

A Hampstead Theatre Production


By Howard Brenton

Directed by James Macdonald

Design by Ashley Martin Davis

Lighting by Matthew Richardson

Sound by Emma Laxton

Song composed by Simon Deacon

Choreography by Scott Ambler

Cast Christopher Goh, Junix Inocian, Andrew Koji, Orion Lee, David Lee-Jones, Andrew Leung, Richard Rees, David Tse, Benedict Wong,

With Josie Bloom, Gregory Champkin, Alexandra Donnachie, Roxy Dunn, Demi Jo Franks, Ceri-Rose Larcombe, Amy McCallum, Sam Churchill, Laura Riseborough, Craig Miller, Joshua Sanderson

But what crimes, what? What crimes? Why won't you say exactly what the crimes are? Admit what? What? What?

On 3 April 2011, as he was boarding a flight to Taipei, the Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei was arrested at Beijing Airport. Advised merely that his travel “could damage state security”, he was escorted to a van by officials after which he disappeared for 81 days. On his release, the government claimed that his imprisonment related to tax evasion.

Howard Brenton’s new play is based on recent conversations with Ai in which he told the story of that imprisonment – by turns surreal, hilarious, and terrifying. A portrait of the Artist in extreme conditions, it is also an affirmation of the centrality of Art and of freedom of speech in civilised society.


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