NT panto to be broadcast free from 23-27 December

Here’s a bit of good cheer for all you young at heart Panto-holics! If you can’t go to the Panto, then this year the Panto will be coming to You!

The National’s drafted-in production of DICK WHITTINGTON which has been sadly curtailed for live performance, has – in the nick of time- been recorded for broadcast via the National’s YouTube channel from 23 to 27 December.

The National said “In honour of all the theatres that have been forced to cancel their Christmas pantos, we’re sharing DICK WHITTINGTON for FREE from 3pm (UK time) on 23 December until midnight (UK time) on 27 December.

Freshly updated for 2020 by Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd, this hilarious and heartfelt new version of the classic tale is packed with the cheekiest of jokes, the chattiest of animals, the awesomest of songs and the messiest of silliness.

As you enjoy watching the show, please support a theatre near you by making a donation or booking tickets for 2021.”

When the notice about Tier 3 status and closure became a reality last week, the cast and technical team worked tirelessly to bring forward the projected filming date so that they could just get the show “in the can” before the curtains fell yet again, and the NT along with London’s world-leading West End theatres, experienced their first ever “dark Christmas”.

So this year, although Covid-19 is the real villain, we can all still raise a laugh thanks to this most British of entertainments! Hooray!

You can find the National Theatre’s YouTube channel here


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….

In this particular year of shopping online, this service will be a godsend for people looking to find unusual presents which are also high-quality and affordable. Get browsing by clicking here


The National Theatre’s AMADEUS

You can now watch the National Theatre’s highly-praised production of Peter Shaffer’s classic drama AMADEUS, available from 7pm BST on Thursday July 16th.

Music. Power. Jealousy. Welcome to Vienna. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri 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. Peter Shaffer’s iconic play had its premiere at the National Theatre in 1979, winning multiple Olivier and Tony awards before being adapted into an Academy Award-winning film.

Directed by Michael Longhurst (Constellations, The World of Extreme Happiness), Lucian Msamati (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, ‘Master Harold’… and the boys) plays Salieri – with live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia.

GUIDANCE: The BBFC age rating is 15 due to some strong language and moderate sex references.

The running time is 2 hours 50 minutes with a very short interval. The show is subtitled.

Although this production is free to watch, please strongly consider making a donation to the National Theatre – or you can text NTATHOME 10 to 70085 to donate £10 or NTATHOME 20 to donate £20 – to enable it to keep its doors open after this crisis has passed.

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The National Theatre’s THE DEEP BLUE SEA

You can now watch the National Theatre’s highly-praised production of classic drama THE DEEP BLUE SEA, available until 7pm BST on Thursday July 16th.

Terence Rattigan’s devastating post-war masterpiece contains one of the greatest female roles in contemporary drama. Helen McCrory plays Hester Collyer and Tom Burke is Freddie Page.

A flat in Ladbroke Grove, West London. 1952.

When Hester Collyer is found by her neighbours in the aftermath of a failed suicide attempt, the story of her tempestuous affair with a former RAF pilot and the breakdown of her marriage to a High Court judge begins to emerge. With it comes a portrait of need, loneliness and long-repressed passion.

Behind the fragile veneer of post-war civility burns a brutal sense of loss and longing.

The running time is 2 hours 5 minutes with a very short interval. The show is subtitled.

GUIDANCE: The BBFC rating is 12A due to depictions of suicide attempts and some strong language.

Although this production is free to watch, please strongly consider making a donation to the National Theatre – or you can text NTATHOME 10 to 70085 to donate £10 or NTATHOME 20 to donate £20 – to enable it to keep its doors open after this crisis has passed.

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The National Theatre’s LES BLANCS

You can soon watch the National Theatre’s production of Lorraine Hansberry’s LES BLANCS, available now until 7pm BST on Thursday July 9th.

An African country teeters on the edge of civil war. A society prepares to drive out its colonial present and claim an independent future. Tshembe, returned home from England for his father’s funeral, finds himself in the eye of the storm.

A brave, illuminating and powerful work that confronts the hope and tragedy of revolution. LES BLANCS was filmed for the National Theatre Archive in 2016.

The show marked the National Theatre debut of the multi-award-winning director Yaël Farber, whose productions include The Crucible (Old Vic) and the internationally acclaimed Mies Julie and Nirbhaya. This production is adapted by Robert Nemiroff and the restored text directed by Joi Gresham.

Presented in memory of Nofenishala Mvotyo, who played friction drum (masengwana) in LES BLANCS and was a preserver of the Xhosa culture, as well as an ambassador of the split-toned, throat deep sounds that normally echo in the mountains of Ngqoko.

Age guidance is 15+ This play is about imperialism, racism, and colonialism and contains scenes of racially motivated violence, that some people may find distressing.

The running time is 2 hours 30 minutes with a very short interval. The show is subtitled.

GUIDANCE: The BBFC rating is 12A with infrequent strong language.

Although this production is free to watch, please strongly consider making a donation to the National Theatre – or you can text NTATHOME 10 to 70085 to donate £10 or NTATHOME 20 to donate £20 – to enable it to keep its doors open after this crisis has passed.

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