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STRATFORD FESTIVAL HD's latest cinema event, King John, to be released in cinemas in one week






“This sublime King John has a remarkable intimacy, crystallized by the formidable actor Graham Abbey, whose relationship with the audience becomes one of the closest I've ever seen in a Shakespearean drama.”

– Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“Tom McCamus plays King John, rivetingly, as a neurotic narcissist. It’s a daring performance.” – Robert Cushman, National Post

“The action is riveting, the political machinations delicious and all the performers,

royal or otherwise, take great delight in the parts they’re playing.” – Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star

“BY Experience is in the business of breaking through the barriers posed both by time limitations and space.”

– Fast Company

The Stratford Festival HD stage to screen event series returns to U.S. cinemas in just one week on Wednesday, April 8 with the Festival’s “deliciously contemporary” (The Globe & Mail) production of King John starring Tom McCamus and Seana McKenna. Distributed by BY Experience and Fathom Events, Stratford Festival HD brings the best of Shakespeare from North America’s leading classical theatre company to cinema audiences around the world. Visit for tickets and participating cinema locations.

When the rule of a hedonistic and mercurial king is questioned, rebellion, assassination and excommunication ensue, culminating in a chilling attempt to commit an atrocity against a child, whose mother’s anguished grief cannot atone for her blinkered ambitions for her son.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see Shakespeare’s King John, in a magnificent production by the renowned Stratford Festival, North America’s leading classical theatre company, whose HD production of King Lear, directed by Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino and starring Colm Feore, opened to rave reviews last month.

With commanding performances by Tom McCamus, Seana McKenna, Graham Abbey and Patricia Collins, King John was directed by Tim Carroll, whose recent Shakespeare productions of Richard III and Twelfth Night were the toast of Broadway.

Filmed in spectacular HD under the direction of Barry Avrich, King John will be in cinemas throughout the U.S. on Wednesday, April 8, and across Canada on Thursday, April 9. The Canadian encore screening is on April 12. U.S. encore dates vary. For more information visit

King John is produced by Melbar Entertainment Group in association with the Stratford Festival, Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, and Executive Producers Barry Avrich, Anita Gaffney and Michael Levine.

King John was captured live on stage with a full audience at the Stratford Festival’s Tom Patterson Theatre on September 26, 2014, using 10 high definition cameras and 128 tracks of sound to create a lush, surround-sound experience. Additional pick-up shots of key performance elements were captured on stage immediately following the performance.

This production is part of a massive initiative by the Stratford Festival, North America’s leading classical theatre company, to capture all of Shakespeare’s plays over the next 10 years. The series began with the Stratford Festival’s critically acclaimed production of King Lear in February. Antony and Cleopatra will première in May of 2015, rounding out the first instalment of the Stratford Festival HD series that will ultimately bring the complete works of William Shakespeare to audiences around the world.

Stratford Festival HD is sponsored by Sun Life Financial as part of their Making the Arts More Accessible® program, with generous support from Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney, the Jenkins Family Foundation, Ophelia & Mike Lazaridis, Sandra & Jim Pitblado and Robert & Jacqueline Sperandio.

U.S. distribution is through BY Experience, the “live cinema event powerhouse” (Variety) that brings the highest quality international cultural events to more than 2,000 cinemas and performing arts centres in over 60 countries around the world as the Worldwide HD Distribution Representative for The Met: Live in HD series, International (ex-UK) Distribution Representative for the U.K.’s National Theatre Live series, and North American Distributor for the Bolshoi Ballet cinema series.

Canadian distribution is through Cineplex Entertainment’s Front Row Centre Events, which specializes in bringing world-class events and performances to the big screen. Cinema screenings will be followed by a broadcast window on CBC-TV, Canada’s national public broadcaster. Digital and on-demand release will follow.



Starring Geraint Wyn Davies and Yanna McIntosh


The steamy story of a midlife affair that shook the foundations of the ancient world comes to vivid life in the Stratford Festival production of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, starring Geraint Wyn Davies and Yanna McIntosh as the powerful rulers whose insatiable love leads to the greatest of tragedies. Director Gary Griffin paints an indelible landscape depicting the devastation wrought by the heart’s transgressions. The film premieres on May 21, 2015.

“Yanna McIntosh makes Cleopatra the consummate sexual manipulator,

proud of her talents, furious when they fail her.” - Robert Cushman, National Post

“Geraint Wyn Davies offers us an Antony of boundless charm and eternal optimism.”

Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star

“Antony and Cleopatra reminds us that sexuality is all too often wasted on the young.

Its hero and heroine are old enough to know better. Nonetheless, they crash and burn

in a sea of intense, obsessive, sexual desire — before our very eyes.” - Robert Reid, The Record

“Antony and Cleopatra has two of Shakespeare’s most soaring characters,

and the kind of final love-death sequence that great art thrives on.” -Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star

Antony and Cleopatra is produced by Melbar Entertainment Group and Barry Avrich in association with the Stratford Festival, Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, and Executive Producers Barry Avrich, Anita Gaffney and Michael Levine, and directed for film by Barry Avrich.


The Stratford Festival has been setting the standard for classical theatre in North America for more than 60 years. With the works of Shakespeare at its core, this acclaimed repertory theatre presents a seven-month season of a dozen or more plays in four venues, along with a Forum of events to enrich the play-going experience. Since its revolutionary first season in 1953, it has welcomed more than 26 million theatregoers from around the world, people who flock to this small Canadian town for one reason: an unparalleled quality of performance. Beginning in 2015, under the leadership of Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino and Executive Director Anita Gaffney, the Stratford Festival will make a select number of its Shakespearean masterpieces available each year in spectacular HD, capturing the entire Shakespeare canon over the next 10 years and bringing the work of this renowned company to audiences around the world.

“The depth of casting allows for revelatory performances even in minor roles.”

Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

“Stratford, where fans of classic drama come in large numbers to worship at its leading, four-stage, North American shrine.” Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“The Stratford Festival is like nirvana for theater fans.” Amy Alipio, National Geographic Traveler

“If you have been longing to encounter greatness in the theatre, it’s waiting for you at the Stratford Festival.” Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star

“I can’t think of another theatre company in the world currently offering such variety stylistically – and all of it at the highest standard, too. … The company is feeling like an international mecca for Shakespeare.” J. Kelly Nestruck, The Globe and Mail

ABOUT BY EXPERIENCE BY Experience kicked off the digital revolution of live events to movie theaters and other locations globally with David Bowie’s 2003 Reality album launch and since then, over 20 million tickets have been sold worldwide for cinema events BY Experience has distributed globally. Credits: Worldwide HD Distribution Representative, The Met: Live in HD series (2006 to present); International (ex-UK) Distribution Representative, the U.K.’s National Theatre Live series (2009 to present); North American Distributor Bolshoi Ballet cinema series (from 2014); Executive Producer for Cinema Big Apple Circus: Metamorphosis (November 2014), Leonardo Live (February 2012) and the series Exhibition: Great Art on Screen (2013), the public radio shows Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me! Live (2013), This American Life – Live! with Ira Glass (2008, 2009, 2012) and A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor (February and October 2010), the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest (June 2011), Red Hot Chili Peppers Live: I’m With You (August 2011); The Big Four: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax (June 2010), St. Olaf Christmas Festival (2007 and 2011), the New York Times speaker’s series TimesTalks LIVE (2009), David Gilmour: Remember That Night — Live from the Royal Albert Hall (September 2007), Distributor to Cinema Westlife: The Farewell Concert (June 2012), the classic music celebration BBC Last Night of the Proms (2009 - 2012), BBC Electric Proms: Robbie Williams (October 2009).

BY Experience distributes to over 60 countries, to over 2,000 movie screens. For more information, visit:


Tickets for three Stratford Festival HD films – King Lear, King John and Antony and Cleopatra – are on sale now. For participating cinema locations and to purchase tickets, visit

For further information, please contact:

Polk & Co.: Jessica Johnson +1-917-261-3988

BY Experience: Julie Borchard-Young +1-718-788-2882

Stratford Festival: Ann Swerdfager +1-519-271-4040 x2297

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