National Theater Live, which records and broadcasts stage shows from London’s West End to movie theaters worldwide, unveils a new home-theater initiative amid closures of theaters because of the new coronavirus.
From April 2, the audience can watch a number of NT Live’s live-caught productions for free through the National Theater’s YouTube channel. Each production – filmed in front of an audience in the theater – will be streamed every Thursday at noon PST and will be available on request for seven days.
The “National Theater at Home” lineup begins with Richard Bean’s comic play “One Man, Two Guvnors,” with James Carden’s Tony Award-winning performance as “an insatiable Humpty Dumpty who has hired two masters he is determined to keep apart while doubling his salary and calories, ” wrote Times critic Charles McNulty during 2012.
This production will be followed by Sally Cookson’s 2017 adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” (April 9), Bryony Lavery’s 2014 take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” (April 16) and Shakespeare’s classic comedy “Twelfth Night” (23 April).
Additional titles, plus associated content chatting with casts and creative teams, will be announced at a later date. Students and teachers will also have access to the National Theater Collection at home, delivered in collaboration with Bloomsbury Publishing.
The company makes its content freely available to the public at home – in collaboration with YouTube and with the approval of the various rights holders of the productions – during the current unparalleled time, where many theaters also exist release recordings of their productions online.
“Our ambition at the National Theater is to create work that is challenging, entertaining and inspiring, and we are committed to continuing it through these difficult times,” said CEO and joint CEO Lisa Burger in a statement.
“We will stream each production at the same time each week to create the shared viewing experience where possible, and we hope this will be an opportunity for people to share their enjoyment together online,” she continued.