Rent or gift plays in exciting new National Theatre initiative

The National Theatre has always been a provider of quality British theatre, with productions which have been praised around the world. With the advent of NTLive in 2009, audiences outside of London had their first chance to see shows streamed (and then re-broadcast) direct from the National’s amply-equipped stages.

Now, in a logical extension of access to all, and a fitting response to the changes in ways of engagement with audiences globally, the National has today launched National Theatre at home.

You can subscribe, rent or gift plays from their repertoire, with new plays being made available each month, including what promises to be some fascinating choices from their extensive show archive.

Subscriptions cost £9.98 a month, or £99.98 for a whole year (a saving of almost £20). Subscription offers unlimited play viewings, and access to backstage and extra content not otherwise available. Individual plays can be rented from £5.99 each, and have a 72-hour time window to watch the plays within.

I must admit that I jumped in straight away, gifting Lucy Kirkwood’s fascinating MOSQUITOES (starring Olivia Colman) to two American friends. Only £5.99 each! What a bargain….

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The first Women’s Prize for Playwriting selects two winners

It is a sad fact that our stages host many fewer plays by female writers than men, even in 2020.

Producer Ellie Keel established the Prize to contribute to redressing this unacceptable imbalance, and what a start has been made! 1,169 submissions were received, and after longlisting and shortlisting, the winners have just been announced.

The judging panel of Indhu Rubasingham, Monica Dolan, Sarah Frankcom, Tanika Gupta, Ella Hickson, Kate Pakenham, Maxine Peake and the chair, Mel Kenyon, picked the winners from seven finalists.

It is great to see that there were two winners instead of just one, which allows more female-led work to share the limelight. Each writer receives a prize of £12,000.

Amy Trigg won for her play REASONS YOU SHOULD(N’T) LOVE ME; She said: “My play is about a disabled woman but at its heart it is a universal story about love, growing up and feeling unfinished. I hope the audience finds the play relatable in lovely but sometimes heart breaking ways.”

Ahlam won for her play YOU BURY ME. She said: “I hope YOU BURY ME offers a glimpse into the painful and beautiful paradox that is Cairo, and her stories that are full of love and tenderness, as well as rage and violence.”

For those interested in finding out more about the plays, the project and the prize, you can find the website here

Wishing future success to the prize and the winners and all selected for listing.