National Theatre Live

National Theatre Live

National Theatre Live is an initiative operated by the Royal National Theatre in London, which broadcasts live via satellite, performances of their productions to movie theaters, cinemas and arts centres around the world.



‘I grew up in Manchester in the 60s. If I had been able to see Olivier’s National Theatre at my local cinema, I would have gone all of the time.’ - Nicholas Hytner, director of the Royal National Theatre[1]

The programme began its pilot season in June 2009 with a production of Phedre, starring Helen Mirren, which screened live in 70 cinemas across the UK. 200 more venues eventually showed the production internationally, resulting in a combined audience of around 50,000 people for this one performance.[2] The second production, All's Well That Ends Well, showed at a total of around 300 screens[3], and today, the number of venues that show NT Live productions has grown to around 325.[4]

With the exception of a Saturday matinee for Nation, and a Monday evening showing for London Assurance all National Theatre Live productions have been broadcast on a Thursday evening, to avoid interfering with cinemas’ weekend schedules. Most venues screen the productions live as they’re broadcast, but because of the time differences in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, venues in those countries show the recorded production some days later. Many venues also offer repeat screenings of popular productions.

Most productions broadcast are plays performed in repertory at the Royal National Theatre, but two works by other companies were included in the programme for the second season. The first of these was A Disappearing Number by Complicite, broadcast live from the Theatre Royal Plymouth on 14 October 2010. The second was the Donmar Warehouse’s production of King Lear, starring Derek Jacobi, broadcast live from Covent Garden on 3 February 2011.

On 30 June 2011 (and varying dates internationally) National Theatre Live will broadcast The Cherry Orchard directed by Howard Davies live to cinemas around the world.

List of Productions

There have been two seasons of productions so far, the most recent one programmed until 30 June 2011.

Season One

Phedre – National Theatre: Lyttelton Stage – 25 June 2009.

All’s Well That Ends Well – National Theatre: Olivier Stage – 1 October 2009.

Nation – National Theatre: Olivier Stage – 30 January 2010.

The Habit of Art – National Theatre: Lyttelton Stage – 22 April 2010.

London Assurance – National Theatre: Olivier Stage – 28 June 2010.

Season Two

Phedre – Encore screening – 23 September 2010.

A Disappearing Number – Complicite: Theatre Royal Plymouth – 14 October 2010.

Hamlet – National Theatre: Olivier Stage – 9 December 2010.

FELA! – National Theatre: Olivier Stage – 13 January 2011.

King LearDonmar Warehouse – 3 February 2011.

Frankenstein – National Theatre: Olivier Stage – 17 March 2011.

The Cherry Orchard – National Theatre: Olivier Stage – 30 June 2011.

One Man, Two Guvnors - National Theatre - 15 September 2011.

See also


External links

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