A new initiative between City Screen and the UK's National Theatre will see plays broadcast live via satellite from the National Theatre stage to local Picturehouse Cinemas in the UK and to cinemas internationally.

The first play to be featured will be the National Theatre's new production Phèdre by Jean Racine in a version by Ted Hughes starring Helen Mirren, and Dominic Cooper.

The performance will be filmed in high definition and broadcast via satellite to approximately 50 cinemas across the UK and 100 cinemas worldwide on June 25.The performance will screen in countriesincluding the US, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Iceland.

City Screen will also sub-license broadcasts to other independent cinemas throughout the UK and certain key cities will screen the production through Cineworld and Odeon multiplexes.

The planned high definition broadcast comes in the wake of other similar initiatives. With the roll-out of digital cinema, audiences increasingly have the opportunity to watch sporting events, ballet, opera and other live music events.

City Screen's Picturehouse Cinemas have programmed live opera, ballet and other events over the last three years, including the first ever live broadcast of ballet from Royal Opera House. They have also formed relationships with cultural partners including New York's Metropolitan Opera and the San Francisco Opera.

Lyn Goleby, managing director of Picturehouse Cinemas said 'I'm delighted that we are lucky enough to partner with the National Theatre in pushing the barriers again with the introduction of this terrific live material. This is such an interesting way to develop the artform and I can't wait to see the performance in one of our cinemas.'