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Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Derek Jacobi appear in National Theatre behind-the-scenes app

As You Like It at the Olivier, National Theatre, in 2015. Photo: Tristram Kenton As You Like It at the Olivier, National Theatre, in 2015. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Derek Jacobi feature as part of a new National Theatre app that provides a behind-the-scenes look at the venue’s numerous Shakespeare productions.

The iPhone and iPad app has catalogued archive images and artefacts from all 55 of the theatre’s main-house Shakespeare productions, beginning with the NT’s inaugural production of Hamlet to its staging of As You Like It in 2015.

It has been released as part of celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare’s death.

Users are able to browse production posters, photos from performances and rehearsals, annotated scripts and designs for costumes and sets, as well as cast lists and production credits.

In addition, Smith, Dench and Jacobi have all filmed exclusive interviews about Shakespeare that app users will be able to watch, while critic Benedict Nightingale has written an introduction to each production.

A National Theatre spokeswoman said the app gave a “unique glimpse” behind the scenes of the theatre “and demonstrates Shakespeare’s continuing relevance to the modern stage”.

The app launch comes just over a year after the theatre released its Backstage app, which features audio, video and literary content regarding NT productions, and enables users to buy digital programmes.

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