For many, the National Theatre’s calendar of weekly free-to-stream plays has been a highlight of lockdown, a cultural saviour and an escape from the humdrum of staying at home.
The first production to air for free on YouTube as part of the National Theatre at Home series was the James Corden-starring seaside romp ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’, which premiered all the way back on April 2 and drew an audience of 2.5 million viewers. Ten productions later, the roster of plays has clocked up more than 12 million views. But alas, the lockdown fun has to stop somewhere.
The National Theatre has just released its final schedule of streaming plays, with the last one airing on Thursday July 16 – and thus the entire run comes to an end on Thursday July 23.
Among the last five plays is ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ with Gwendoline Christie and ‘The Deep Blue Sea’ starring Helen McCrory. But the concluding burst of plays is probably most notable for its topical programming. ‘Small Island’ is up next, an adaptation of the Andrea Levy novel about the Windrush generation that airs on Thursday June 18 to coincide with Windrush Day 2020 on Sunday June 22. And 2016’s production of ‘Les Blancs’ is also on the bill, which depicts an African nation confronting and rising up from its colonial rule.
National Theatre at Home is going out with a bang, too – the final play is ‘Amadeus’, a production set to a live orchestral soundtrack that we described as ‘overwhelming’ and awarded five stars when it came to the London stage. Why not throw a farewell party and raise a glass to the arts that saved us from ourselves in lockdown?
Check out what’s next up in the National Theatre at Home schedule: ‘The Madness of George III’
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