National Theatre Live productions from the past 10 years are to be made available online for education institutions around the world, as part of a newly announced initiative by the organisation.
The National Theatre Collection, announced alongside a new season of work, comprises selected NT Live productions and archive material, which will be made available for schools, universities and libraries this year – a decade after the first NT Live broadcast.
All past NT Live shows have until now only been available to view in person at the theatre’s archive, however executive director Lisa Burger said this had become “oversubscribed and not terribly convenient”.
Two digital platforms, Bloomsbury Publishing’s Drama Online and ProQuest, will host the new service, which will go live in September with 15 plays.
These include Carrie Cracknell’s 2016 production of Medea starring Helen McCrory, the Tamsin Greig-led Twelfth Night from 2017, the original production of One Man, Two Guvnors starring James Corden and Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.
It will also include 20th-century plays including Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs, as well as shows broadcast by NT Live but produced elsewhere, such as the Young Vic’s staging of Yerma starring Billie Piper.
The number of titles is set to grow from 15 to 30 by March 2020.
Institutions will be able to pay a one-off fee to access the full collection, or can subscribe on an annual basis. Fees for both models have not yet been announced.
The theatre has been offering NT Live productions for free to state schools in the UK for the past three years, and this collection will be expanded and hosted on Drama Online.
Burger said that since its inception, the free schools collection is subscribed to by more than 60% of UK state secondary schools.
Burger said: “There’s a real hunger from people to be able to see and study the best contemporary British theatre. The really important things is to get the work out to more people.”