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New National Theatre Live shows go online for free




National Theatre Live recordings of Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Antony and Cleopatra with Ralph Fiennes are going to be streamed on YouTube as part of National Theatre at Home series.

The next two productions will be streamed live on Thursdays on the National Theatre YouTube channels every at 7PM GMT as part of National Theatre at Home; the new initiative to bring content to the public accessed from their homes during coronavirus.

And as an extra treat starting on Monday (April 27) and continuing on the last Monday of each months, stars of the stage will host a virtual quiz that viewers can join from home via the National Theatre's YouTube channel and Facebook page live at 7pm. The first quiz will be on Monday with quizmasters Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Lenny Henry, Lesley Manville, and Sir Ian McKellen asking questions on topics including history, sport, nature, and of course, the National Theatre.

Ralph Fiennes andSophie Okonedo in the National Theatre's Anthony and Cleopatra (33923784)
Ralph Fiennes andSophie Okonedo in the National Theatre's Anthony and Cleopatra (33923784)

National Theatre at Home launched in April in response to theatre and cinema closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first stream was the award-winning production of One Man Two Guvnors which received over 2.5 million views across the seven days it was available online.

Speaking about National Theatre at Home Rufus Norris Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre said “We’ve been completely overwhelmed by the response to National Theatre at Home since we launched at the start of April. We know that these are difficult and challenging times for many, and we hope that through this initiative we’re able to supply a weekly slice of entertainment for people to enjoy together, albeit digitally, when each production goes out at 7pm on Thursdays. We’re thrilled to be announcing the next two titles today, Frankenstein and Antony & Cleopatra which both feature award-winning performances and I’m sure will be enjoyed by all. We’re also pleased today to be launching the National Theatre at Home Quiz featuring some familiar faces posing the tricky questions. I’d like to thank all the artists and creatives who have continued to support us in being able to deliver this programme for free and also the public for tuning in every week and sharing their experiences of National Theatre at Home from right across the world.”

Benedict Cumberbatch in the National Threatre production of Frankenstein (33923780)
Benedict Cumberbatch in the National Threatre production of Frankenstein (33923780)

Productions announced today include the NT Live broadcast of Danny Boyle’s production of Frankenstein filmed at the National Theatre in 2011. The production sees Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternating the roles of Victor Frankenstein and his creation. The two versions will be shown across two nights: 30 April and 1 May.

Simon Godwin’s sell-out production of Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra featuring the Evening Standard Theatre Award-winning performances by Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo as the famous lovers will be streamed on 7 May.

Both productions will be free to stream, premiering at 7.00PM BST and then available on demand for seven days. Further productions to be streamed as part of National Theatre at Home will be announced soon.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller in the National Threatre production of Frankenstein (33923782)
Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller in the National Threatre production of Frankenstein (33923782)

Today also sees the launch of the National Theatre at Home Quiz, to be played from home featuring familiar faces from the world of stage and screen as the quizmasters. Each quiz will include rounds of five questions on a wide variety of topics.

Dame Helen Mirren will be one of the online quizmasters for the National Theatre (33923831)
Dame Helen Mirren will be one of the online quizmasters for the National Theatre (33923831)

When to watch the National Theatre Live shows:

  • 30 April and 1 May, at 7pm: Frankenstein, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.
  • 7 May, at 7pm:Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra, starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo.
  • April 27 and the n the last Monday of every month at 7pm: National Theatre at Home Quiz, hosted by quizmasters Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Lenny Henry, Lesley Manville, and Sir Ian McKellen.

Free National Theatre plays for teachers and students

The National Theatre also confirmed a further six new productions will now be available for teachers and pupils to access at home via the National Theatre Collection in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing and ProQuest.

Students and teachers are now able to access the National Theatre Collection from home while schools and theatres are closed due to coronavirus. The Collection consists of high-quality recordings of 30 world-class productions drawing from 10 years of NT Live broadcasts, including productions from a range of renowned British theatres, and never before released recordings from the National Theatre’s Archive now available to students and teachers to access at home.

The six new productions for the National Theatre schools' programme are:

  • A Streetcar Named Desire (Young Vic) - an adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ timeless masterpiece directed by Benedict Andrews and starring Gillian Anderson, Ben Foster and Vanessa Kirby
  • Cat on A Hot Tin Roof (Young Vic) - Sienna Miller stars alongside Jack O’Connell and Colm Meaney in Tennessee Williams’ searing, poetic story of a family’s fight for survival directed by Benedict Andrews
  • Consent - Nina Raine’s powerful, painful, funny play which sifts the evidence from every side and puts justice herself in the dock
  • Small Island - Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel brought to life in an epic new theatre adaptation directed by Rufus Norris
  • Translations - Brian Friel’s modern classic directed by Ian Rickson is a powerful account of nationhood, which sees the turbulent relationship between England and Ireland play out in one quiet community
  • wonder.land – Alice for the online generation. A new musical created by Damon Albarn, Moira Buffini and Rufus Norris inspired by Lewis Carroll’s iconic story with stunning sets, costumes, video projection and lighting taking everyone on a journey to wonderland.

Teachers can sign up now to National Theatre Collection via www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/ntcollection

The National Theatre is currently closed to audiences and performances won’t resume before July. In coming weeks, there will be more opportunities for audiences to engage with the NT through its National Theatre at Home programme – further details to be announced.

For more information visit nationaltheatre.org.uk/at-home

Free Digital Theatre offer from the Cambridge Independent

You can also enjoy an even wider array of shows through the Cambridge Independent’s Digital Theatre offer - giving one month’s free acces to theatre, ballet and opera 24/7 and on any device - visit our dedicated page for the details.



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