The National Theatre today announces a further five productions that will be streamed as a part of the National Theatre at Home series. Established in April to bring culture and entertainment to audiences around the world during this unprecedented period, National Theatre at Home has so far seen ten productions streamed via the NT’s YouTube channel, with over 12 million views to date.
These will be the final titles to be shared for free via YouTube in this period. However, future digital activity to connect with audiences in the UK and beyond is planned, with further details to be announced soon.
The productions will be broadcast each Thursday at 7pm BST for free and will then be available on-demand for seven days. Titles added to the programme today are: A Midsummer Night’s Dream from the Bridge Theatre, alongside Small Island, Les Blancs, The Deep Blue Sea and Amadeus, which were all staged at the National Theatre.
About the shows
On 18 June 2020, the 2019 epic theatre adaptation of Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel Small Island will be streamed. Directed by National Theatre Director Rufus Norris and adapted by Helen Edmundson (Coram Boy, War and Peace), Small Island embarks on a journey from Jamaica to Britain, through the Second World War to 1948 – the year the HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury. The play traces the tangled history of Jamaica and the UK through three intricately connected stories. Hortense (Leah Harvey Emilia) yearns for a new life away from rural Jamaica, Gilbert (Gershwyn Eustace Jr) dreams of becoming a lawyer, and Queenie (Aisling Loftus) longs to escape her Lincolnshire roots. This timely and moving story played on the Olivier stage featuring a company of 40 actors. The production coincides with Windrush Day on the 22 June.
On 25 June 2020, the National Theatre will stream A Midsummer Night’s Dream captured live from the Bridge Theatre in 2019. Shakespeare’s most famous romantic comedy, sees Gwendoline Christie, Oliver Chris, David Moorst and Hammed Animashaun lead the cast as Titania, Oberon, Puck and Bottom. This production reunites the team from the 2018 smash hit Julius Caesar including Tony and Olivier Award-winning director Nicholas Hytner.
On 2 July 2020, the 2016 archive recording of Lorraine Hansberry’s (A Raisin in the Sun) drama Les Blancs will be streamed. Directed by Yaël Farber, this powerful play confronts the hope and tragedy of revolution when a family and a post-colonial African nation fall apart under the pressure to determine their own identity. The cast includes Danny Sapani, Siân Phillips and Tunji Kasim.
— Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) June 11, 2020
On 9 July 2020, Carrie Cracknell’s critically-acclaimed production The Deep Blue Sea will be streamed. This devastating masterpiece by Terence Rattigan, sees Helen McCrory playing one of the greatest female roles in contemporary drama. Filmed live from the Lyttelton Theatre in 2016, The Deep Blue Sea tells the story of a woman’s tempestuous affair with a former RAF pilot and the breakdown of her marriage to a High Court judge.
On 16 July 2020, the 2016 National Theatre production of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus will be streamed. This iconic drama, which first appeared on the National Theatre stage in 1979 and was later turned into an Oscar-winning film, follows rowdy young musical prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played by Adam Gillen. Awestruck by Mozart’s genius, Court Composer Antonio Salieri, played by Lucian Msamati, has the power to promote his talent or destroy it. Seized by obsessive jealousy he begins a war with Mozart, with music and, ultimately, with God. Michael Longhurst‘s acclaimed production features live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia.
Small Island, The Deep Blue Sea and Amadeus will also be available on YouTube with Audio-Description.
Each title will also feature additional content alongside the production available on the NT’s YouTube channel for audiences to engage further with the work. For Small Island and Les Blancs, NT Dramaturg Ola Animashawun will be curating content that explores these plays in the context of the current global conversation around race and their potential to provide meaningful and timely contributions to that discourse.
Lisa Burger, Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive at the National, said:
“During what has been such an isolating time for many people right across the world it has been wonderful to be able to share these productions with both new and existing audiences, and to have the opportunity to showcase the exceptional creative talent working in our industry. The support we and our partner organisations have received, not only in terms of donations but through messages of thanks, has been so encouraging. We’re delighted to be able to bring these final titles to audiences around the world for free and we look forward to announcing the next stage of our NT at Home programming in due course.”
The final National Theatre at Home Quiz will be available from 7pm on Monday 29 June 2020 with Ben Power, Adam Godley, Ben Miles, Simon Russell Beale, Tamsin Greig, Julie Walters, Adrian Lester and Meera Syal posing the questions on topics including the Lehman Brothers, entertainment, and general knowledge. The Quiz is available via the NT’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
About National Theatre at Home
National Theatre at Home launched in April in response to theatre and cinema closures due to the Coronavirus pandemic. To date, since its launch, ten productions have been streamed for free via YouTube to an audience of millions. With the closure of theatres set to continue for some time, the future of the industry for artists and organisations remains uncertain. The National Theatre has, in agreement with Equity, committed to pay all artists and creatives involved with productions streamed as part of National Theatre at Home.