Live from London
National Theatre Live launched in June 2009 with a broadcast of the National Theatre production of Phèdre with Helen Mirren. We’ve since broadcast more than fourty other productions live, from both the National Theatre and from other theatres in the UK.
Our broadcasts have now been experienced by over 5.5 million people in over 2,000 venues around the world, including over 650 venues in the UK alone.
Theatre have included Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller; War Horse; Man and Superman with Ralph Fiennes; and Everymanwith Chiwetel Ejiofor. Our biggest single broadcast to date is Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch at the Barbican, which has been seen by over 550,000 people.
How we do it
Though each broadcast is filmed in front of a live audience in the theatre, cameras are carefully positioned throughout the auditorium to ensure that cinema audiences get the ‘best seat in the house’ view of each production. Where these cameras are placed is different for each broadcast, to make sure that cinema audiences enjoy the best possible experience every time.
Satellites allow the productions to be broadcast live to cinemas throughout the UK, as well as many European venues. Other venues view the broadcasts ‘as live’ according to their time zone, or at a later date.
27th September 2018 at 8.00 pm
Broadcast live from London’s West End, see Ian McKellen’s ‘extraordinarily moving portrayal’ (Independent) of King Lear in cinemas.
Chichester Festival Theatre’s production received five-star reviews for its sell-out run, and transfers to the West End for a limited season. Jonathan Munby directs this contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s tender, violent, moving and shocking play.
Considered by many to be the greatest tragedy ever written, King Lear sees two ageing fathers – one a King, one his courtier – reject the children who truly love them. Their blindness unleashes a tornado of pitiless ambition and treachery, as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with bitter ends.