Jessie Buckley (Juliet) and Josh O’Connor (Romeo) in Romeo & Juliet at the National Theatre. Photo: Rob Youngson
The NT’s film Romeo & Juliet, with Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley, to be screened in cinemas for one night only on 28 September
By Louisa Terry
The film stars Josh O’Connor as Romeo and Jessie Buckley as Juliet, and will be available to screen across the UK and Ireland.
Directed by Simon Godwin, this new 90-minute version was filmed in 17 days in the NT’s Lyttelton theatre in December while it was closed due the pandemic. It was adapted for screen by Emily Burns. The film premiered on television earlier this year on Sky Arts in the UK on 4 April and PBS in the US on 23 April. But this is the first time the film will be available on the big screen.
Simon Godwin said: “When we came to make Romeo & Juliet as a film, we had always wanted it to succeed as well on screen as it ever would on stage. So it is the ultimate thrill for all the creatives involved that it is now having its chance to be seen on the big screen. Shakespeare, as Derek Jarman once said, would’ve loved cinema. I’m excited to imagine Shakespeare eating his popcorn watching his wonderful play lit up and brought to life on the big screen in such a dazzling way.”
Romeo and Juliet risk everything to be together. In defiance of their feuding families, they chase a future of joy and passion as violence erupts around them.
This bold new film brings to life the remarkable backstage spaces of the National Theatre in which desire, dreams and destiny collide to make Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy sing in an entirely new way.
The cast also includes Ella Dacres as Peta, Fisayo Akinade as Mercutio, Deborah Findlay as the Nurse, Tamsin Greig as Lady Capulet, Ellis Howard as Sampson, Lloyd Hutchinson as Lord Capulet, David Judge as Tybalt, Adrian Lester as the Prince, Alex Mugnaioni as Paris, Lucian Msamati as the Friar, Shubham Saraf as Benvolio and Colin Tierney as Lord Montague.
The Romeo & Juliet soundtrack will also be released digitally worldwide on Friday, 6 August.
For more information and to find your nearest venue, please visit www.ntlive.com.
The NT adds five new productions to streaming platform: National Theatre at Home
By Katie Marsh
Michaela Coel’s Chewing Gum Dreams, the Young Vic’s A View from the Bridge directed by Ivo van Hove with Mark Strong and Nicola Walker, and Rufus Norris’ production of Everyman with Chiwetel Ejiofor will be available for all audiences worldwide to stream.
Danny Boyle’s production of Frankenstein and Sonia Friedman Productions’ Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch will also be available for audiences outside the UK & Eire.
New productions are added each month and National Theatre at Home now has twenty-six productions to stream on the platform available at anytime, including Angels in America Parts One and Two with Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane and Russell Tovey, Medea with Helen McCrory and Michaela Coel, Mosquitoes with Olivia Colman and Olivia Williams, Phèdre with Helen Mirren, the Young Vic’s Yerma with Billie Piper and Othello with Adrian Lester.
All productions on National Theatre at Home are available with captions. Medea and A Comedy of Errors will now also be available with audio-description to support blind and partially sighted audiences worldwide. There are fifteen National Theatre at Home titles available with audio-description.
National Theatre at Home is available at www.ntathome.com with single titles available from £5.99 – £8.99, a monthly subscription for £9.99 or an annual subscription for £99.99.
Emma Keith, Director of Digital Media at the NT, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to make more of these impactful and enchanting productions available for audiences around the world to enjoy. I’m delighted to be able to showcase some important productions in our recent theatre history, such as Chewing Gum Dreams which went onto become the BAFTA-winning television series, Hamlet which was the fastest-selling ticket in history, Rufus Norris’ first production as National Theatre Director in Everyman and A View from the Bridge at The Old Vic.”
Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet, performed at the Barbican Theatre. Photo: Johan Persson
The National Theatre adds The Deep Blue Sea and The Comedy of Errors to ‘National Theatre at Home’.
Both titles are now available on the National Theatre at Home platform to stream worldwide.
Above: Nick Fletcher & Helen McCrory in The Deep Blue Sea.
Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
By Katie Marsh
The Deep Blue Sea, with Helen McCrory in the lead role as Hester Collyer, will be added to National Theatre at Home for audiences around the world to experience.
The recording is dedicated in fond memory of Helen McCrory, who had a long and rich association with the National Theatre and who sadly passed away this year. The Deep Blue Sea was her most recent performance at the National Theatre (2016).
Two on-stage conversations with Helen McCrory have also been made available on National Theatre at Home: one on stage in 2014 with Genista McInosh as Helen discussed preparing to play Medea (also on National Theatre at Home) and one from 2016 in conversation with Libby Purves about playing Hester.
Carrie Cracknell, who directed Helen in Medea and The Deep Blue Sea, said: “Helen was undoubtedly one of the greatest actors of her generation. Incandescent, playful, fierce and wildly intelligent. Her craft and precision as an actor was awe-inspiring. On some afternoons, while Helen was rehearsing The Deep Blue Sea at the NT, the sun would pour through the windows, and it would feel for a moment that time had stopped. That the world had stopped revolving, as the entire cast and crew would stand, quietly enraptured by the humanity and aliveness and complexity of Helen’s work.
“As we moved the production into the auditorium, I would marvel at how she held an audience of 900 people in the palm of her hand. She could change how we felt with the slightest glance, a flick of the wrist, a sultry pause, yet somehow she never lost the central truth of her character. I couldn’t be prouder that we have this beautiful recording of our production to share.
“Helen was anarchic, naughty and always full of outrageous stories. She would turn up to work in her pyjamas and crocs one day, then stilettos the next, and yet she was deeply serious about the things that she cared about. Her greatest pleasure was to slip away from rehearsals at the end of the day and get home to be with her beloved family. She was fierce, and kind, and properly brave, both in how she chose to live and how she faced up to her illness. A truly remarkable woman and a shattering loss.”
The Comedy of Errors is also made available on National Theatre at Home for audiences worldwide to stream on demand. Shakespeare’s furiously paced comedy, directed by Dominic Cooke (Follies, The Hollow Crown), sees Lenny Henry make his National Theatre debut, alongside Lucian Msamati (Romeo & Juliet, Amadeus). Olivier Theatre (2011).
New productions are added monthly to National Theatre at Home and there are now 21 productions to stream on the platform available at any time. These include Angels in America Parts One and Two with Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane and Russell Tovey, Medea with Helen McCrory and Michaela Coel, Mosquitoes with Olivia Colman and Olivia Williams, Phèdre with Helen Mirren and Dominic Cooper, the Young Vic’s Yerma with Billie Piper and Othello with Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear.
All productions on National Theatre at Home are available with captions. The Deep Blue Sea will also be available with audio-description to support blind and partially-sighted audiences worldwide. Ten other NT at Home titles are currently available with audio-description: Angels in America Parts One and Two, Othello, Donmar Warehouse’s Coriolanus, the Bridge Theatre’s Julius Caesar, The Cherry Orchard, Amadeus, Julie, Phèdre and the Young Vic’s Yerma and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
NT at Home is available at www.ntathome.com, with single titles available from £5.99-£8.99, a monthly subscription for £9.99 or a yearly subscription for £99.99.
The Deep Blue Sea
When Hester Collyer is found by her neighbours in the aftermath of attempted suicide, 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.
Starring Helen McCrory as Hester Collyer and Tom Burke as Freddie Page… with Marion Bailey, Hubert Burton, Yolanda Kettle, Nick Fletcher and Adetomiwa Edun, James Alper, Katy Brittain, Elsie Fallon, Nick Figgs, Andrew Lewis and Sian Polhill-Thomas.
The Comedy of Errors
Two sets of twins separated at birth collide in the same city without meeting for one crazy day, as multiple mistaken identities lead to confusion on a grand scale.
Starring Lenny Henry, Michelle Terry and Lucian Msamati… with Ian Burfield, Joseph Mydell, Tom Anderson, Jude Owusu, Daniel Poyser, Claudie Blakley, Chris Jarman, Silas Carson, Amit Shah, Rene Zagger, Adrian Hood, Grace Thurgood, Paul Bentall, Pamela Nomvete, Clare Cathcart, Marcus Adolphy, Yvonne Newman, Rhiannon Oliver, Simon Parrish and Everal A. Walsh.
Lenny Henry in The Comedy of Errors. Photo: Johan Persson
By Sophie Wilkinson
Olivier and Dorfman Theatres to reopen this June with Dylan Thomas’s masterpiece Under Milk Wood and new play by Jack Thorne, After Life
The NT has announced plans to reopen in June, welcoming audiences back to the South Bank for the first time since closing last December.
The Olivier theatre will reopen on 16 June with Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas, additional material by Siân Owen, directed by NT Associate Lyndsey Turner. Michael Sheen leads the acting company which includes Susan Brown, Ifan Huw Dafydd, Alan David, Michael Elwyn, Kezrena James, Karl Johnson, Gaynor Morgan Rees, Anthony O’Donnell, Siân Phillips and Cleo Sylvestre. The production will be performed in-the-round in the transformed Olivier theatre (which will remain in this configuration for further productions until early 2022).
The Dorfman theatre will reopen on 2 June for the first time since February 2020 with the previously announced co-production with Headlong, After Life by Jack Thorne and directed by Jeremy Herrin. Based on the film by Hirokazu Kore-eda, with concept by Bunny Christie, Jeremy Herrin and Jack Thorne, After Life is a surreal and powerfully human look at the way we live our lives, asking who you would choose to live with for eternity.
Casting includes Olatunji Ayofe, Danielle Henry, Maddie Holliday, Togo Igawa, Anoushka Lucas, Kevin McMonagle, Simon Startin, Luke Thallon, June Watson and Millicent Wong.
Both productions will run until 24 July, with socially-distanced seating for the entire runs.
The Olivier will have a capacity of approximately 500, whilst the Dorfman capacity will be 120. Over 200 tickets will be available for Under Milk Wood at £20, whilst nearly half the house for After Life will be at £20.
Dates for The Normal Heart and Death of England: Delroy, will be announced at a later date.
Above: Stories To Get Us Through group photo. (c) Rasha Kotaiche
National Theatre, in partnership with cast, launches new podcast series Stories To Get Us Through created by the people of Doncaster.
By Rhian Bennett
A new podcast series featuring stories written and performed by the people of Doncaster has been launched, inspired by real-life events and created during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The eighteen short stories are a collection of personal anecdotes, snapshot memories and poetry, and have been created by people from different backgrounds who came together as part of the National Theatre’s Public Acts programme.
The series consists of five episodes which explore different themes including imagination, change, fear, friendship and heroes. Muhammed shares memories of his best friend from Gambia and how their lives have intertwined, teenagers Aaron and Beth share their hopes and fears for the future, and Lynn tells the story of finding contentment in her own company.
It is a community performance project through the NT’s Public Acts programme to create extraordinary acts of theatre and community, delivered in partnership with Cast in Doncaster with support from Right Up Our Street.
Six community organisations across Doncaster, B.Friend, Conversation Club, Edlington Community Organisation, LGBTQ Youth, Cast Youth Theatre and darts, have been taking part in the programme and following the postponement of The Caucasian Chalk Circle in summer 2020, are continuing to take part in creative projects remotely.
Participants developed their stories remotely, on Zoom, over the phone, and through postal packs with creative writing activities, and recorded the stories at home with professional audio recording equipment.
James Blakey, Associate Director of Public Acts said, “Stories To Get Us Through is a time capsule of the moment our Public Acts Doncaster community convened around a digital campfire in lockdown to tell their stories to each other and the world. Stories have the power to make us feel as though we’re together, even when we are apart and we can’t wait to share them with you. Despite the challenges and restrictions lockdown posed, we came together as a community to deliver this project and we look forward to when we can create live participatory performances together again.”
Participant Sam told Sardines: “I was sceptical at first as I didn’t have a single story in mind that would instil inspiration or start a conversation. But then it occurred to me that there is something I can say, I can talk proudly and push the negative voices down. In sharing stories, we are sharing lives and it is that which gets us through, it’s that you should hold on for. You can learn so much from listening to a person’s story.”
Stories To Get Us Through can be heard at www.publicactsdoncaster.com/stories-to-get-us-through and is available on all podcast platforms.
The community project is delivered in partnership with NT’s Public Acts, Cast and Right Up Our Street, made possible by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Mr & Mrs A Mosawi and Wates Foundation.
At the end of a successful two-year tour, the National Theatre’s production of War Horse has been performed recently to over 2,500 young people at two specially dedicated performances for state school pupils from the Borough of Brent, taking place in the lead up to Brent’s year as London Borough of Culture 2020.
In November, a performance of the National Theatre’s acclaimed production of War Horse at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre had a special audience made up of more than 1,300 young people from state schools across the Borough of Brent. This performance was introduced by author Michael Morpurgo, who welcomed the young people, saying, “It’s completely wonderful for War Horse to be performed to an auditorium full of young people, many of whom will have never set foot in a theatre before. These are the most important audiences and I shall be sat there right alongside them, only perhaps crying a little more.”
The November performance was attended by primary school-aged pupils, with secondary school pupils attending the evening performance on the 20th. More than 2,500 young people from the Borough of Brent experienced War Horse for a subsidised ticket of £5, with all teachers seeing the production for free.
Both performances and surrounding activity were supported by the National Theatre, John Lyon’s Charity, the leading independent funder for children and young people in North and West London, and Troubadour Trust, which aims to inspire arts in the communities local to Troubadour Theatres.
During the six-week run of the Olivier and Tony-Award-winning play (which ran from mid-October to late-November) the NT, together with the Troubadour Trust, developed a programme of activity that engaged with schools in Brent, as well as families in the local community in the lead up to the borough’s year as London Borough of Culture in 2020. This included professional development events for teachers, working with the creative team on War Horse to build on professional drama expertise, which was delivered in association with the Imperial War Museum. War Horse cast members have also run a series of puppetry workshops for young people, a week-long project with the Brent Youth Theatre and a Community Day for families in Brent. Prior to November’s special matinee, over 100 young people took part in a War Horse Page-to-Stage event, which explored the process of putting Michael Morpurgo’s novel on the stage, discovering the historical context of the play and the skills involved in directing and performing.
Alice King-Farlow, Director of Learning at the National Theatre said, “We are so pleased to be able to offer young people from the Borough of Brent the opportunity to see War Horse this week. This play is not only a beloved and enduring story, but it is also an extraordinary piece of theatre, combining puppetry, music, design and stagecraft seamlessly. It feels particularly pertinent for these young people to be seeing War Horse during Discover! Creative Careers week, as we welcome young people to the National Theatre and to NT performances on tour, to see performances and take part in backstage activity, showcasing the range of backstage and offstage roles needed to bring a production like War Horse to the stage.”
Backed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Discover! Creative Careers Week ran throughout mid-November, with 40,000 young people from around the country aged 11+ invited to take part in events that provided them with a glimpse into the creative industries. Alongside the schools performances of War Horse, the National Theatre welcomed 130 state secondary school students from across London to the South Bank to take part in demonstrations, workshops and hands-on activities. The NT also introduced local primary schools to theatre-making and the backstage world through their Make Theatre Days during the week.
The creative industries are one of the fastest growing sectors of the UK economy and vital to the lifeblood, identity and cultural output of our country. The World Economic Forum states that by 2020, Creativity will be amongst the top three most important skills looked for by employers. The National Theatre believes that all young people should have the opportunity to experience and participate in drama no matter where they are in the UK, and is committed to supporting schools across the country and to developing teachers’ skills to ensure that the arts, including drama and theatre, remain a vital part of school life and ensure that the pipeline of talent into the creative industries are not diminished. The schools performances in Wembley were an essential part of the War Horse season in Wembley.
By Rhian Bennett
National Theatre backing national initiative to increase and diversify new talent in the creative industries
The National Theatre is one of over five hundred organisations that took part in Discover! Creative Careers Week towards the end of Nov, a national initiative backed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in England to encourage diverse new talent for the country’s booming creative industries.
The creative industries employ over three million people and the sector is growing three times faster than the rest of the UK economy. During Discover! Creative Careers Week, part of the Creative Careers Programme, employers opened their doors to 40,000 young people aged 11+ to inform and inspire them about the opportunities in the sector and encouraged people to take a career in the creative industries who may not have previously been aware of these opportunities.
The National Theatre welcomed 130 state secondary school students from across Greater London on Wed, 20 Nov to an action-packed day that shined a light on backstage and offstage roles to inspire the next generation of talent.
Students who took part in the NT’s Creative Careers Day took part in demonstrations, workshops and hands-on activities led by top industry professionals across lighting, sound, costume, stage management, prop-making and set design.
The day involved:
A stage management and technical demonstration on the set of The Antipodes in the Dorfman Theatre followed by a Q&A with the backstage team.
Practical workshops including creating set models with a designer, building sound boards with the NT’s Head of Sound, creating blood bags with the Wigs, Hair and Make-Up team and exploring VR and storytelling in the Immersive Storytelling Studio.
Opportunity for teachers and pupils to talk to current and former apprentices, technical staff and the NT Learning team about career routes and training opportunities.
Also during Discover! Creative Careers Week, ‘Make Theatre Days’ introduced local primary school pupils to theatre-making and the backstage world of the NT and 14-18-year-olds currently on the NT’s Young Technicians Programme learned about off-stage roles from top industry professionals through technical workshops and shadowing opportunities.
The NT also participated in industry careers fairs TheatreCraft and Skills London to talk directly with teachers, careers advisors and students about career routes and upcoming opportunities.
Rufus Norris, Director of the NT said, “As the National Theatre, we have a responsibility to do all we can to inspire new talent in theatre and across the arts sector. There are so many talented individuals across many different departments that are vital to the running of a theatre so by taking part in Discover! Creative Careers Week we hope to make careers in the creative sector more accessible to a wider range of people and keep inspiring the next generation of creative talent.”
Syeda Bukhari, former NT Prop Making Apprentice and current freelance prop maker said, “During my apprenticeship I learnt skills from metalwork and carpentry to sculpture, which has given me a strong foundation for my career. I knew I wanted to take on a more practical approach to learning rather than university, without the burden of student debt. I’d encourage every young person to consider an apprenticeship if you are looking to be a part of the creative industry. Nothing replaces the hands-on experience and real-life working environment an apprenticeship provides, not to mention the qualifications you gain along with it. No two days are ever the same in my job, and that’s what I love about it.”
Young people interested in finding out more about creative careers can visit Get into Theatre (getintotheatre.org) and Discover Creative Careers (discovercreative.careers) with current job and training vacancies, videos and advice.
The NT Apprenticeships scheme is currently running and will open for applications in 2020.
Work placements (please visit: www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/about-the-national-theatre/careers/work-placements) are offered across a broad range of disciplines and departments and the Young People’s Programme (www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/young-people) includes workshops, practical training courses and events.
National Theatre’s Smart Caption Glasses piloted at BFI for January’s London Short Film Festival.
London Short Film Festival 2020 hosts cinema’s first UK pilot of the National Theatre’s innovative smart caption glasses system for cinemagoers for D/deaf, deafened or hard of hearing audiences.
Launched in 2018 by the National Theatre, following a year of testing with audiences who are D/deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, the smart caption glasses have been in use for 80% of its performances on the South Bank.
The glasses display a synchronised transcript of dialogue and sound directly onto the lenses of the glasses, giving service users the freedom to experience captions how and when they want to. Accenture and the NT developed the service using Moverio BT-350 smart glasses, which are designed and manufactured by Epson specifically with arts and culture applications in mind.
Including work from Peter Strickland (In Fabric), a poignant turn from Maxine Peake (Funny Cow) and the directorial debut of Lena Headey, the London Short Film Festival UK Competition selection presented compelling storytelling from established and emerging British directors across four screenings in January in NFT1 at BFI Southbank.
With eleven million people living with hearing loss across the UK (around one in six of the population) LSFF has been hosting annual screenings in London and across the UK for underserved Deaf and hard of hearing audiences for the past three years, curated by LSFF’s Deaf programmer Zoe McWhinney.
Over the last decade, the UK cinema sector, with the support of the UK Cinema Association, has worked hard to meet the needs of deaf and hearing-impaired audiences, increasing the number of subtitled screenings significantly. There are now over 1,500 subtitled screenings in UK cinemas every week. But the delivery of such ‘open caption’ shows, where the subtitles are visible to audience members whether they need them or not, remains a challenge, particularly for smaller cinema operators.
Photo: Cameron Slater
By Rhian Bennett
Eight primary schools take over Liverpool Empire as part of the National Theatre’s Let’s Play programme.
Pupils from eight primary schools across Liverpool and Warrington staged school plays with a difference on the Liverpool Empire stage from Mon, 6th – Thu, 9th January.
These schools have taken part in the National Theatre’s Let’s Play project as part of their ongoing involvement with the Liverpool Empire’s Creative Learning programme. Directed by their teachers, pupils will perform four specially commissioned new plays on the Liverpool Empire’s main stage. Pupils have been involved in every aspect of planning and creating their end-of-term plays, including set design, costumes, lighting, sound, special effects, make-up and stage management.
The schools which took part are:
Monday, 6th January
Snow Queen performed by Ranworth Square Primary School
Hercules and Phoebe performed by English Martyrs Catholic Primary School
Tuesday, 7th January
Snow Queen performed by Park Road Community Primary School
Emil and The Detectives performed by St Vincent de Paul Catholic Primary School
Wednesday, 8th January
Snow Queen performed by Sacred Heart Catholic Primary, Warrington
Emil and The Detectives performed by St Oswald’s Catholic Primary, Warrington
Thursday, 9th January
Snow Queen performed by St William of York Catholic Primary school
Magical Land of Sleep performed by St Charles Catholic Primary School
Let’s Play is a nationwide programme from the National Theatre that provides everything that teachers need to make an outstanding piece of theatre whilst supporting them to embed the arts and creativity across the curriculum. Schools signed up to the programme can send up to four teachers on a theatre making course led by professional theatre artists and get access to specially commissioned scripts, musical scores and backing tracks for original songs as well as curriculum-linked teaching resources.
The Liverpool Empire offers a varied and exciting Creative Learning programme, delivering performing arts activities and industry workshops to schools, young people, families and the wider community. The Let’s Play Schools Festival project is part of a nationwide ATG Creative Generation campaign, which supports schools in championing the arts in the classroom and inspiring the theatre professionals of the future.
Mr Saunders, teacher at Ranworth Square Primary in Norris Green said: “I am so impressed and proud of what the children and staff have achieved through the medium of theatre. This was a once in a lifetime experience for the children, they grew as individuals and became stars in their own right. Many of our children struggle with confidence but after this opportunity you could visibly see the children change and become more confident, outgoing and animated. I can honestly say that this experience has changed our children for life and they will always remember this wonderful event for the rest of their lives. A big thank you to all the Empire staff involved and long may the opportunity continue because it is worth every minute of dedication to see the smiling and radiating faces after the children came off stage.”
For more and to register your school visit: nationaltheatre.org.uk/letsplay
By Rhian Bennett
The Drama Teacher Conference took place at the National Theatre at the end of February, with over 140 drama teachers, from Inverness to Plymouth, attending.
The Drama Teacher Conference is an opportunity for teachers to come together to collaborate and learn with some of the UK’s most exciting theatre practitioners, writers and directors. The conference aims to inspire teachers to explore new ideas and hear from experts in the field about all aspects of theatre to inform their own approach in the classroom.
Over thirty workshops, panels, talks and masterclasses took place during the event, with this year’s contributors including:
Director Emma Rice on playful directing and collaborative working.
Playwright Inua Ellams on adapting classic texts.
Kane Husbands exploring physical theatre and ensemble working.
Director Elayce Ismail on devising techniques and stimuli that can be used in schools.
A panel discussion on the role and impact of drama teachers with actors Ruth Wilson, Anne-Marie Duff and Lucian Msamati.
The event also included practical workshops exploring lighting, stage management, sound, video and set design, as well as backstage tours to see behind-the-scenes at the NT.
2020 National Theatre Drama Teacher Conference. Photo: Emma Hare
Florence Wright, a teacher at Salford College said on the day, “It is so important to be inspired and energised in your subject; that is what this Drama Teacher Conference does for us teachers. It gives you the opportunity to be a student again, to be purely creative and share this learning with your students back in the classroom.”
Alice King-Farlow, Director of Learning at the National Theatre said, “We recognise the huge importance of drama teachers who play a vital role in schools and support students to gain life skills for whichever career they choose. We are committed to supporting teachers across the whole of the UK and our annual Drama Teacher Conference welcomes teachers from across the country to the National Theatre for two days of practical workshops with leading contemporary theatre practitioners. It’s a chance for teachers to network, develop their artistry and skills, and tell us what they need from their National Theatre to support inspiring theatre-making in schools. This is always a personal highlight of the year.”
2020 National Theatre Drama Teacher Conference. Photo: Emma Hare
NT Learning supports teachers across the UK to inspire creative learning and ensure drama and theatre-making remains a key part of a broad education. State schools can now sign up to National Theatre Collection to access the best of British theatre in the classroom for free. To find out more about these opportunities visit NT Learning at: www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/learning
2020 National Theatre Drama Teacher Conference. Photo: Emma Hare
By Rhian Bennett
The National Theatre Collection is now available free of charge to state schools and state-funded further education colleges across the UK in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing.
The collection provides high-quality recordings of thirty world-class productions, drawing from ten years of NT Live broadcasts and never before released productions from the National Theatre’s Archive.
Schools & further education colleges can register now via Bloomsbury Publishing’s award-winning digital library Drama Online. Celebrating the best of contemporary British theatre, the titles will support learning across the primary and secondary curriculum and include:
> Shakespeare set texts including Macbeth, Othello, Twelfth Night and King Lear (Donmar) in vibrant modern stagings;
> Novels brought to life in exciting literary adaptations such as Frankenstein, Treasure Island, Peter Pan and Jane Eyre;
> A range of theatrical styles and genres from Greek tragedies including Medea and Antigone to 20th Century classics such as The Cherry Orchard, The Deep Blue Sea and Yerma (Young Vic);
> Examples of extraordinary design and theatrecraft in productions ranging from One Man, Two Guvnors to Les Blancs;
> Adaptations of Romeo and Juliet and The Winter’s Tale created specially for younger audiences and suitable for primary schools.
Recordings are accompanied by learning resources to explore the craft behind the best of British theatre including rehearsal insights and short videos. Further resources exploring backstage aspects such as lighting, sound and staging will be added later in the year. The easy-to-use platform includes helpful features such as scene-by-scene selections and synopses, theme and key word searches.
Teachers can sign up now to National Theatre Collection on Bloomsbury’s Drama Online Platform via: www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/ntcollection
Other academic institutions such as libraries, universities, independent schools can access National Theatre Collection via a one-time payment for the full collection or, via an annual subscription in partnership with ProQuest and Bloomsbury.
Developed in partnership by Bloomsbury Publishing and Faber & Faber, Drama Online was created as a response to the need for a high-quality online research tool for drama and literature students, professors and teachers.
Drama Online is a fast-growing study resource which now features over 2,500 playtexts, 800 playwrights, 400 audio plays, 300 hours of video, and 330 scholarly books from leading theatre publishers and companies, offering a complete multimedia experience of theatre.
It is the only resource to combine exclusively available playtext content and scholarly publications with filmed live performances, film adaptations and audio plays.