National Theatre at Home: The full schedule of NT Live plays streaming for free
James R | On 16, Jul 2020
The National Theatre is joining the digital theatre club this spring with a selection of NT Live productions streaming on YouTube in the coming months.
With theatres across the UK shutting their doors during the coronavirus pandemic, audiences have been turning to streaming theatre services and initiatives to keep up with culture – you can read our guide to digital theatre here.
The National Theatre, which has been beaming recordings into cinemas under the brand NT Live for years, is well placed to meet that demand, with a back catalogue of recorded productions. And, with the theatre closed and performances not resuming before July, a selection of those is being made available for free under the initiative National Theatre at Home.
Audiences around the world will be able to stream NT Live productions for free via YouTube. Each production will be free and screened live every Thursday at 7.00pm GMT and will then be available on demand for seven days. Alongside the streamed productions, National Theatre at Home will also feature accompanying interactive content such as Q&As with cast and creative teams and post-stream talks, with further details of that content to be announced.
With schools closed, students and teachers will have access to the National Theatre Collection at home, delivered in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing. The Collection includes high-quality recordings of 24 world-class productions, drawing from 10 years of NT Live broadcasts and never-before-released productions from the National Theatre’s Archive. It’s available now for free to pupils and teachers at state schools and state-funded further education colleges, through remote access provided in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing. Schools will be able to share log-in details with pupils to access the National Theatre Collection at home during this period. Bloomsbury Publishing has also extended the free trial period for other academic institutions including universities, libraries and independent schools until the end of May 2020 to continue to support the educational community across the globe. (Teachers can sign up now to National Theatre Collection on Bloomsbury’s Drama Online Platform via www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/ntcollection.)
The series will start on Thursday 2nd April with Richard Bean’s One Man Two Guvnors featuring a Tony Award-winning performance from James Corden. Sally Cookson’s stage adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre will follow, ahead of Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and Twelfth Night featuring Tamsin Greig as Malvolia.
It will then continue with a special double-bill of the National Theatre’s production of Frankenstein, which featured Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternating the parts of Frankenstein and the creature throughout its original run. The recorded production will stream back-to-back, first on Thursday 30th April then on Friday 1st May. That will be followed a week later by Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare’s tragedy of politics, passion and power, starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo.
The series will conclude on Thursday 16th July with Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, recorded with live music on-stage.
Lisa Burger, Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive says: “I’m thrilled that we’re able to fulfil this ambition in a different way through our collaboration with YouTube. I am exceptionally proud of the team at the National Theatre for working so hard to create National Theatre at Home and also to the rights holders who have been so supportive of this new initiative allowing us to bring theatre to households right across the world. We have delved into the National Theatre Live archive and curated a programme that’s varied from comedy to new dramas to classics so there is something for everyone to enjoy from their own homes.”
Here’s the currently confirmed schedule, which we keep updated as more titles are announced:
Peter Shaffer’s iconic play, with live orchestral accompaniment from Southbank Sinfonia, follows Italian composer Salieri (Lucian Msamati), who is seized by obsessive jealousy for a young prodigy, Mozart (Adam Gillen). An audio described version is available here.
One Man Two Guvnors
Starring James Corden
Thursday 2nd April
Directed by Sally Cookson
Thursday 9th April
Directed by Bryony Lavery, starring Arthur Darvill
Thursday 16th April
Starring Tamsin Greig as Malvolia
Thursday 23rd April
Frankenstein: Version 1
Directed by Danny Boyle, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Frankenstein, Jonny Lee Miller as the creature
Thursday 30th April
Frankenstein: Version 2
Directed by Danny Boyle, starring Jonny Lee Miller as Frankenstein, Benedict Cumberbatch as the creature
Friday 1st May
Antony and Cleopatra
Directed by Simon Godwin, starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo
Thursday 7th May
Barber Shop Chronicles
A never-before-seen archive recording of Inua Ellams’ smash-hit play, about the places where banter is barbed, and the truth is telling.
Thursday 14th May
A Streetcar Named Desire
Gillian Anderson plays Blanche DuBois in the critically acclaimed Young Vic production of Tennessee Williams’ classic play.
Thursday 21st May
A timely, moving and funny insight into the workings of 1970s British politics by James Graham.
Thursday 28th May
This Donmar Warehouse production features Tom Hiddleston in the title role of Shakespeare’s searing and political revenge tragedy. Co-stars Mark Gatiss and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen.
Thursday 4th June
The Madness of George III
Mark Gatiss stars in Alan Bennett’s classic play about power and identity examines the fine line between a King and a man. Filmed live at Nottingham Playhouse in 2018.
Thursday 11th June
This epic and resonant production of Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel traces the tangled history between Jamaica and the UK through WWII to 1948 – the year when HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Immerse yourself in this summer fiesta of feuding fairies, mistaken identity and moonlit magic, starring Gwendoline Christie.
An African country teeters on the edge of civil war. A society prepares to drive out its colonial present and claim an independent future. Tshembe, returned home from England for his father’s funeral, finds himself in the eye of the storm. Lorraine Hansberry’s powerful final play confronts the hope and tragedy of revolution. Directed by Yaël Farber, whose past productions include The Crucible (Old Vic).
The Deep Blue Sea
A flat in Ladbroke Grove, West London. 1952. When Hester Collyer is found by her neighbours in the aftermath of a failed suicide attempt, the story of her tempestuous affair with a former RAF pilot and the breakdown of her marriage to a High Court judge begins to emerge. With it comes a portrait of need, loneliness and long-repressed passion. Helen McCrory and director Carrie Cracknell reunite following 2014’s Medea for Terence Rattigan’s devastating post-war drama, co-starring Tom Burke.