It follows a previous live-streaming of Brenton's previous play for Hampstead Theatre, The Arrest of Ai Weiwei, which was watched by thousands in 84 countries.
The play, inspired by conversations that Brenton had on a visit to India in 2009, exposes the chaos of the Partition that has shaped the modern world. In 1947 Mr. Justice Cyril Radcliffe was summoned by the Prime Minister from the Court where he was presiding and given an extraordinary mission. He was to travel to India, a country he had never visited and of which he had almost no knowledge, and, with limited survey information, no expert support and no knowledge of cartography, to draw the border which would divide the Indian sub-continent into two new Sovereign Dominions: India and Pakistan.
He had only six weeks in which to complete the task. Wholly unsuited to his role, Radcliffe was unprepared for the dangerous whirlpool of political intrigue and passion into which he is plunged; one of religious and racial turmoil, blood feuds and even an illicit liaison between the Leader of the Congress Party and the Viceroy’s wife. As he began to break under the pressure he came to realize that he held in his hands the fate of millions of people.
Howard Davies directs a cast that is led by Tom Beard as Radcliffe and also includes David Annen, Paul Bazely, Lucy Black, Silas Carson, Abigail Cruttenden, Neil D’Souza, Tanveer Ghani, Andrew Havill, Salma Hoque, Rez Kempton, John Mackay, Simon Nagra, Nikesh Patel, Brendan Patricks, Shalini Peiris and Peter Singh.
Hampstead's artistic director Edward Hall added, "We are delighted that Hampstead Theatre can continue to break new ground, following our first successful live-streaming event of The Arrest of Ai Weiwei in April, and live-stream for free this extraordinary play by Howard Brenton. We hope people all over the world will engage with this fascinating piece of history which has been rarely explored on the stage until now. We are grateful to Howard, the Cast and the Creative Team for their support in enabling us to show their work in this way."
The theatre is partnering with The Guardian newspaper to promote the live-streaming, which can be watched via hampsteadtheatre.com or theguardian.com/stage or Hampstead Theatre's YouTube channel, beginning at 7:30 PM (U.K. time, or 2:30 PM EST) Jan. 11.
Viewers can also interact via twitter throughout the live-streaming using #DTLLiveStream. The show will be available on demand for 72 hours following the live-stream (U.K. time, or 8 AM EST) on both websites. There will be a post-show live webchat with Howard Brenton on Jan. 14 at 1 PM on theguardian.com/stage.