London’s National Theatre Launches SVOD Platform

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”.

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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.”

Netflix Enhances International Film Management

Netflix has hired David Kosse as VP of international film at its growing London office. Kosse, who was president of international at STX, begins next month reporting to Netflix film boss Scott Stuber in Los Angeles.

In addition to working on original movies coming from the U.K., Kosse spearheads foreign film production, including non-English language movies.

“We want to make significant movies [like Oscar-nominated Roma and Intouchables] which will have a big impact in major markets such as France, Germany, Italy and Spain but which can also travel to our subscribers around the world,” Kosse told Deadline. “The focus right now for this division is to establish the foreign language movies in the same way Netflix has established series that have travelled.”

Separately, Netflix hired Teresa Moneo as director of international film based in London. Moneo previously worked for Ola Films and Focus Features.

Teresa Moneo

In addition, Funa Maduka, director of international film and acquisitions, is relocating from London to Los Angeles in an expanded role that includes production management. Maduka’s acquisitions include Happy as Lazzaro, Divines and On Body and Soul.

 “With the majority of our audience outside the U.S., it’s the right time for us to be building our international film presence,” said Stuber in a statement.

Funa Maduka

“Having worked with David for years at Universal, I know there’s no one better suited for this role. David will be joined by Funa Maduka, whose eye for foreign cinema has contributed greatly to our celebrated international slate, and Teresa Moneo, who has an incredible acquisition and production track record and will be a great addition to Netflix. I’m incredibly excited to see what this team will do.”

Meanwhile, Cindy Holland, VO of Original Content, told an industry conference in Jerusalem, Israel that Netflix continues to spearhead as an on-demand TV ecosystem in its “very early” stages.

Holland said Netflix knows within 28 days whether original programming has resonated with subscribers.

“We’re sizing up the audience and how much to invest. If that audience doesn’t show up to that level, what is the reason to continue to invest as we hoped?,” Holland said. “Our first priority is to entertain the members in our worlds, and if we don’t do that, we won’t continue to thrive in our world.”