The National Theatre kept us sane over the summer with its ongoing YouTube series National Theatre at Home, wherein a play a week from its filmed-for-cinema-broadcast series NT Live would be streamed for free, for the entire world.
It was great, but obviously unsustainable, as it made the NT – and therefore the artists showcased – virtually no money. The whole thing was wound up a couple of months before the iconic Southbank theatre reopened its doors again in October.
However, it seemed unlikely we’d heard the last of it, especially when there was already a streaming platform in place for schools. And thus it has proved: National Theatre at Home is now not just the name given to a YouTube programming strand, but to a brand new subscription streaming platform giving global access to the NT’s peerless vaults. And it launches today, Tuesday December 1.
It already has 12 productions available to stream via a pass for either £9.98 a month or £99.98 a year, or to rent individually for 72 hours at £5.99-£7.99, with the selection of shows rotated every month.
The initial launch will be ‘Amadeus’ (NT, 2016, starring Lucian Msamati), ‘Coriolanus’ (Donmar Warehouse, 2013, starring Tom Hiddleston, pictured), ‘Medea’ (NT, 2014, starring Helen McCrory), ‘Othello’ (NT, 2013, starring Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear), ‘Phédre’ (NT, 2009, starring Helen Mirren), ‘The Cherry Orchard’ (NT, 2011, starring Zoë Wanamaker), Yerma (Young Vic, 2017, starring Billie Piper), ‘Dara’ (NT, 2015), ‘I Want My Hat Back’ (NT, 2015), ‘Mosquitoes’ (NT, 2017, starring Olivia Colman) and last year’s Inua Ellams NT adaptation of ‘Three Sisters’.
Eagle-eyed theatre nerds will spot that the last four of these aren’t NT Live productions: a thrilling aspect of NT at Home is that it will show smaller and more obscure archive productions as well as the big starry numbers that were filmed for cinemas. Now that you’ve surely watched all of Netflix, it’s the perfect new streaming platform to keep you drama'd to the gills for Tier 2 and beyond.
Check out the platform and subscribe here.