National Theatre at Home
The UK's National Theatre is streaming a selection of its hit productions, with a new show available each week.
March 29, 2020
Even under normal circumstances, heading to the UK to see a theatre show isn't in most folks' budgets — which is why, for years now, Britain's National Theatre has beamed its performances into cinemas around the world via a series called NT Live. At the moment, with venues closed across the globe, the latter is obviously on hiatus. Enter a new initiative: National Theatre at Home.
As the name makes plain, National Theatre is making its previously recorded productions available to viewers at home — so you can now get cosy on your lounge, put your feet up and pretend you're at the theatre. Shows will stream for free via NT's YouTube channel, with a different performance available each week. Each production will launch on a Friday morning, Australian and New Zealand time, then be available to stream for seven days.
It all kicks off with Richard Bean's One Man, Two Guvnors starring James Corden, who won a Tony Award for his performance in the production's 2012 Broadway run. Catch it from 5am AEST on Friday, April 3 (7pm UK time on Thursday, April 2).
Then, head back on April 10 for Sally Cookson's stage adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, journey to Bryony Lavery's version of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island on April 17 and enjoy William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night on April 24.
On May 1, one of National Theatre's biggest and best shows will drop: its stripped-back version of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, as directed by Trainspotting and Yesterday's Danny Boyle, and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. When the production was performed live back in 2011, Cumberbatch and Miller swapped roles each night, alternating between playing Victor Frankenstein and his revived creation — and both versions are hitting the NT's YouTube Channel.
After that, on May 7, comes more Shakespeare: Antony & Cleopatra, featuring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo as the fated titular couple. Then, when May 14 rolls around, viewers can check out a never-bef0re-seen archival recording of Inua Ellam's Barber Shop Chronicles.
Fans of classic American plays and fantastic actors can look forward to A Streetcar Named Desire from May 21 — with none other than Gillian Anderson as Blanche DuBois, alongside Ben Foster and Vanessa Kirby.
On May 28, James Graham's This House will hit YouTube, while June 4 sees Tom Hiddleston join forces with the Bard for a performance of Coriolanus.
Keep an eye on the National Theatre at Home website, too, because more productions are likely to be added afterwards.
Top images: A Streetcar Named Desire, Johan Persson. Frankenstein, 2011, photo by Catherine Ashmore. Jane Eyre, 2015, Manuel Harlan. One Man, Two Guvnors by Bean, Author - Richard Bean, Director - Nicholas Hytner, Designer - Mark Thompson, Lighting - Mark Henderson, The National Theatre, 2011, Credit: Johan Persson.
Updated May 9.