On Thursday, April 22, a live performance of “The Habit of Art” from the United Kingdom’s National Theatre will be broadcast to 330 cinemas worldwide including the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St.

The show, a sold-out performance of a world premiere production at the National Theatre in London, will be satellite broadcast in high definition at 2 p.m. The Strand will re-screen the broadcast at 7 p.m.

Alan Bennett’s highly acclaimed new play, directed by Nicholas Hytner, is the final play in the pilot season of NT Live, following the hugely successful broadcasts of “Phèdre,” “All’s Well That Ends Well” and “Nation.” A second season of NT Live will be announced shortly.

“The Habit of Art” is as much about the theater as it is about poetry or music. It looks at the unsettling desires of two difficult men, Benjamin Britten and W.H. Auden, and at the ethics of biography. It reflects on growing old, on creativity and inspiration and on persisting when all passion is spent – ultimately, on the habit of art.

Britten, sailing uncomfortably close to the wind with his new opera “Death in Venice,” seeks advice from his former collaborator and friend Auden. During this imagined meeting, their first in 25 years, they are observed and interrupted by, among others, their future biographer and a young man from the local bus station.

The cast is led by Richard Griffiths as Auden, Alex Jennings as Britten, Adrian Scarborough and Humphrey Carpenter and Frances de la Tour as Kay, the stage manager. “The Habit of Art” is Bennett’s fifth play for the National Theatre. His last play, “The History Boys,” opened at the Lyttelton in 2004, toured nationally and internationally, played in the West End and on Broadway and was adapted for the screen. Among its many awards were the Laurence Olivier, Tony and Critics Circle Awards for Best Play and the South Bank Show Award for Theatre.

Tickets for the Strand shows are $23, all ages and general admission.  For tickets or more information, call the Strand at 594-0070 or visit rocklandstrand.com.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.