National Theatre Live
The National Theatre in London is renowned for its quintessentially British stage productions. Through its live screening platform, National Theatre Live, the institution brings these productions to audiences around the globe, including South Africa. National Theatre Live screenings usually take place at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town and at the Market Laboratory in Newtown, Johannesburg. However, due to the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus, all National Theatre Live productions have been temporarily halted.
However, like many arts organisations faced with closures due to COVID-19 regulations, the National Theatre has debuted a new sharing platform to keep their audiences connected and entertained during this difficult period. Cue National Theatre at Home! Each Thursday evening in May and June, the National Theatre will be uploading one of their most popular live screenings to their YouTube channel. Here you can watch full length plays, free of charge. Each play will remain open for viewing for seven days, until the following Thursday’s premiere.
Live Streaming Lineup
The National Theatre will present four of its best loved live screenings over the coming weeks: a show that takes place over six different stories across cities all over the world, all based in the local barbershop; an adaptation of an iconic American realist classic; a political satirical drama and a Shakespearean masterpiece. Here is the official lineup for the National Theatre at Home streaming series:
The Barber Shop Chronicles
Newsroom, political platform, local hotspot, confession box, preacher-pulpit and football stadium – for generations, African men have gathered in barber shops to discuss the world. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling.
Inua Ellams’ hit play, The Barber Shop Chronicles, stars Fisayo Akinade, Hammed Animashaun, Cyril Nri and Sule Rimi.
Streaming from 20:00 on Thursday, 14 May 2020. Available until 21 May 2020.
A Streetcar Named Desire
Tennessee Williams’ great American classic remains one of the most popular Broadway and West End features. Revel in the tragic tale of a withered heiress, as she attempts to regain some sense of respectability in a world too cruel for her fragile nature. This adaptation stars Vanessa Kirby, Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster.
Streaming from 20:00 on Thursday, 21 May 2020. Available until 28 May 2020.
If it’s a little political satire you’re after, don’t miss the National Theatre’s screening of This House. The synopsis reads:
It’s 1974, and Britain has a hung Parliament. The corridors of Westminster ring with the sound of infighting and backstabbing as the political parties battle to change the future of the nation. During this era of chaos, when a staggering number of politicians die and age-old traditions are thrown aside, MPs find they must roll up their sleeves, and bend the rules, to navigate a way through the Mother of all Parliaments.
Streaming from 20:00 on Thursday, 28 May 2020. Available until 04 June 2020.
The National Theatre at Home series wraps up with another Shakespearean masterpiece. A war epic unlike any other, this adaptation of Coriolanus stars Tom Hiddleston as the army general alongside Mark Gatiss, Hadley Fraser, Alfred Enoch and Deborah Findlay.
Streaming from 20:00 on Thursday, 04 June 2020. Available until 11 June 2020.
For More Information
Looking for more world-class theatre to binge on during lockdown? Check out what Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre are up to!