December 1, 2020
In a sign of the pandemic times, London’s National Theatre has launched a subscription streaming video service featuring VOD access to past stage productions. National Theatre at Home costs $12.99 monthly or $129.99 annually. For access to a single play in a 72-hour window, it will be $8 for an archive title and National Theatre Live titles are available from $10.99.
The service launches with productions, including the first-ever National Theatre Live, “Phèdre” with Helen Mirren (The Queen), “Othello” with Adrian Lester and the Young Vic’s “Yerma” with Billie Piper, new titles from the NT’s catalog of filmed stage production will be added to the platform every month. In addition to productions previously broadcast to cinemas by National Theatre Live, a selection of plays filmed for the NT’s Archive will be released online for the first time, including Lucy Kirkwood’s “Mosquitoes” with Olivia Colman (“The Crown”) and Inua Ellams’ new version of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters”.
National Theatre at Home’s digital streaming offer was first made available in the U.K. during the first COVID-19 lockdown when theaters and cinemas were shuttered. For 16 weeks from the beginning of April until the end of July, productions were made available for free on the National Theatre’s YouTube channel, which were then available on-demand for seven days. This resulted in over 15 million views for 16 productions over four months and reached 173 countries around the world.
“From homemade tickets to interval drinks, ‘NT at Home’ is a way of making people feel more connected … after what has been a very tough
2020 for so many,” Lisa Burger, executive director and joint chief executive of the National Theatre, said in a statement. “And so, since the last [free] stream finished in July, we have been determined to find a way to give our audiences access to these stunning filmed productions online once again.”