More than 200,000 households tuned in live to the first National Theatre at Home screening last night, which also attracted more than £50,000 in donations for the theatre.
Viewing figures for the YouTube stream of One Man, Two Guvnors peaked at 209,000, the National confirmed, with people watching across the UK and from countries including the US, Canada, the Philippines, Israel, Hungary and Spain.
The production, starring James Corden, was the first to be shown as part of the NT’s new initiative, National Theatre at Home, offering shows from the NT Live back catalogue for free on YouTube during the isolation period.
Richard Bean’s comedy was streamed at 7pm on April 2, and will remain available on YouTube for seven days. By 11am on April 3, it had already garnered more than 937,000 views.
The original 2011 run in the Lyttelton was seen by 82,223 people.
Before the production began and during the interval, the NT made a plea for donations, warning of the “devastating impact” coronavirus is having on theatres.
The NT said it had been overwhelmed by the audience’s generosity during the screening, with donations raising more than £50,000.
People are able to give via the NT’s website and on YouTube, with donations made via the video-sharing platform being processed by the American Associates of the National Theatre – the US-based, non-profit organisation that supports the NT’s work.
Donations made via YouTube must go through the AANT as the site only allows viewers to donate to American charities.
National Theatre at Home will continue each week with a new NT Live production, premiering on Thursdays at 7pm and then made available for the next seven days.