The National Theatre is to screen some of its most successful shows free on YouTube for two months from April 2.
The first in what it is calling National Theatre At Home will be Richard Bean’s adaptation of One Man Two Guvnors, featuring a Tony Award-winning performance by James Corden (pictured). All the productions have previously been screened live in the cinema.
Each show will be sceened “live” every Thursday at 7pm and will then be available on demand for seven days.
The series will also feature accompanying interactive content such as question and answer sessions with casts and creative teams and post-stream talks. Details will be announced later.
Other productions due to feature include Sally Cookson’s stage adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (April 9), Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island on April 16, and Twelfth Night, featuring Tamsin Greig as Malvolia, on April 23. Four more will be announced soon.
The NT’s executive director and joint chief executive, Lisa Burger, said: “Our ambition is to create work which is challenging, entertaining and inspiring and we’re committed to continuing that through these difficult times. I'm thrilled we’re able to fulfil this ambition in a different way through our collaboration with YouTube.
"We have curated a programme that has comedy, new drama and classics, so there is something for everyone to enjoy at home."
At the same time the National Theatre has announced an “at home” programme for schools. Pupils studying at home have been granted access to the National Theatre Collection - high-quality recordings of 24 world-class productions drawn from 10 years of NT Live broadcasts and never before released by the NT archive.
The productions are available now, again free, to pupils and teachers at schools and further education colleges. Schools will be able to give pupils log-in details so they can watch at home. The recordings are accompanied by learning resources that explore the craft behind the best of British theatre. Available productions include Shakespeare set texts, 20th Century classics and adaptations of Romeo and Juliet and The Winter’s Tale created for younger audiences.
Teachers can sign up to the National Theatre Collection on NT partner Bloomsbury’s Drama Online Platform here.
Though both NT at Home and NT Collection are free, anyone who wants to make a donation to the institution can find out about a public appeal here
Picture: Johan Persson