National Theatre Collection launches new digital streaming service

Execs stick to their mission to make world class theatre that’s entertaining, challenging and inspiring

Adapted by Ben Power, Bijan Sheibani's thrilling production of Shakespeare's classic story brings the greatest love story of all time alive for a new generation.

THE NATIONAL Theatre Collection goes live today with 19 titles available worldwide in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing and ProQuest.

This new streaming service draws on ten years of NT Live broadcasts, alongside high quality archive recordings never previously seen outside of the NT’s Archive. The National Theatre Collection will make the best of British theatre available to libraries, schools, universities and the education sector around the world.

The National Theatre Collection is available through Bloomsbury’s award-winning digital library Drama Online and as a stand-alone resource from renowned EdTech leader ProQuest. ProQuest will also integrate the collection in its popular Theatre and Drama Premium. It will transform the current landscape of theatre studies and digital learning by connecting students, researchers and teachers across the globe to world-class productions, archive materials and learning resources. The National Theatre Collection is available via two models: a one-time payment for the full collection, or via an annual subscription. 

The National Theatre Collection launches with 19 titles and will grow to 30 titles by March 2020. It features a wide range of works regularly studied at secondary/high school and degree level. Unique in its scope, the collection encompasses:

  • Greek classics such as Medea by Euripides, in a contemporary adaptation by Ben Power, directed by Carrie Cracknell with Helen McCrory in the title role
  • Vibrant modern stagings of Shakespeare, such as Twelfth Night, directed by Simon Godwin, with Tamsin Greig in the role of ‘Malvolia’ and Coriolanus directed by Josie Rourke with Tom Hiddleston in the title role
  • 20th century classics such as Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs and the Young Vic’s production of Lorca’s Yerma, adapted and directed by Simon Stone with Billie Piper in the title role
  • Literary adaptations, such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein adapted by Nick Dear and directed by Danny Boyle, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller
  • Comedies such as She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith, directed by Jamie Lloyd with a cast including Cush Jumbo and Katherine Kelly and One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean, directed by Nicholas Hytner, and featuring James Corden‘s Tony Award-winning performance

UK schools will also be able to access a greater range of productions through the National Theatre Schools Collection on Drama Online. Launching in January 2020, the productions available as part of the Schools Collection will complement the curriculum and be free for UK state-funded schools to access, together with learning resources, ensuring access to the arts as part of a rich and broad education for young people.  

Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre said: “We are delighted to announce that National Theatre Collection goes live today in partnerships with Bloomsbury and ProQuest. This collection of iconic plays reflects the rich and diverse spectrum of British theatre over the past decades and will now be accessible to students and teachers worldwide for the first time ever. We hope that this new platform will open up the National Theatre to students, teachers and theatre-makers across the globe, whilst also ensuring that drama remains an integral part of a broad education. We would like to extend our thanks to the rightsholders of these materials who have made this service possible”.

Hamlet By Shakespeare

Jenny Ridout, Global Head of Academic Publishing, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC said: “It is exciting to be taking our longstanding publishing relationship with the National Theatre forward in this landmark digital collaboration. The National Theatre Collection on our educational platform Drama Online gives students and scholars the world over the opportunity to study and enjoy a wealth of plays alongside the playtexts and works of scholarship in one expertly curated digital space. Drama Online exemplifies Bloomsbury’s investment in creating dynamic and authoritative digital resources for universities and schools around the world. The National Theatre Collection will ensure that world-class theatre has a lasting impact, inspiring the theatre makers and performers of the future.”

Katie Birch, Director of Product Management at ProQuest said, “Students and faculty increasingly rely on multimedia content to enrich learning and classroom experiences. ProQuest’s collaboration with National Theatre makes it easy to stream spectacular, dramatic performances on-demand alongside unique archival content to study the performing arts from every angle both in front of and behind the curtain”.

The National Theatre Collection is supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), Fondation Hoffmann, the Sidney E. Frank Foundation and The Attwood Education Foundation.

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