National Theatre Collection available to pupils and teachers at home for free

National Theatre

The National Theatre’s mission is to make world class theatre that’s entertaining, challenging and inspiring – and to make it for everyone. It aims to reach the widest possible audience and to be as inclusive, diverse and national as possible with a broad range of productions that play in London, on tour around the UK, on Broadway and across the globe. The National Theatre's extensive UK-wide learning and participation programme supports young people and schools through performance and writing programmes like Connections, New Views and Let’s Play, while Public Acts creates ambitious new works of participatory theatre in sustained partnership with theatres and community organisations around the country. The National Theatre extends its reach through digital programmes including NT Live, which broadcasts some of the best of British theatre to over 2,500 venues in 65 countries. The National Theatre invests in the future of theatre by developing talent, creating bold new work and building audiences, partnering with a range of UK theatres and theatre companies.

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Following the announcement from the UK Government for all UK schools to close in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, the National Theatre Collection will now be available to pupils and teachers at state schools and state-funded further education colleges via remote access in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing. Schools will be able to share log-in details with pupils to access resources at home during this period.

Bloomsbury Publishing has also extended the free trial period for academic institutions including universities, libraries and independent schools until the end of May 2020 to continue to support the educational community across the globe.

The National Theatre Collection provides high-quality recordings of 24 world-class productions, with a further six anticipated in April, drawing from 10 years of NT Live broadcasts and never before released productions from the National Theatre’s Archive.

Alice King-Farlow, Director of Learning at the National Theatre said, “Given the unprecedented challenges we are all currently facing across the globe, we want to ensure that pupils, teachers and academic institutions are supported during this time and can continue to have access to a range of learning resources during the school closure period. The National Theatre Collection is an invaluable resource and with thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing, we are able to open up access to pupils and teachers across the UK and ensure young people will be able to continue to explore world-class productions and all aspects of theatre-making”.

Celebrating the best of contemporary British theatre, the titles support learning across the primary and secondary curriculum and include: 

  • Shakespeare set texts including MacbethOthelloTwelfth Night and King Lear (Donmar Warehouse) in vibrant modern stagings
  • Novels brought to life in exciting literary adaptations such as FrankensteinTreasure 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. The easy-to-use platform includes helpful features such as scene-by-scene selections and synopses, theme and key word searches.

Jenny Ridout, Global Head of Academic Publishing at Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. said, “Bloomsbury is working hard to ensure that all UK state schools and their students can access the National Theatre Collection via our Drama Online platform, wherever they are studying, during this exceptionally challenging time. As we all work together through this unique situation, Bloomsbury Digital Resources would like to help the library and educational community in any way we can.  As a result, our various digital resources are now available to academic and educational institutions on request until the end of May, at no cost or obligation.”

Teachers can sign up now to National Theatre Collection on Bloomsbury’s Drama Online Platform via

Additional digital learning resources

The National Theatre has additional learning resources for pupils and teachers to access for free online including:

  • National Theatre Talks – a collection of conversations recorded live from National Theatre stages
  • New Views online playwriting course - forming part of the annual New Views playwriting competition for 14-19 year-olds, this freely accessible programme by playwright Jemma Kennedy covers topics including narrative, dialogue and stagecraft with video, audio and excerpts from plays
  • Downloadable resource packs for anyone interested in discovering more about productions staged by the National Theatre
  • Video collections exploring how theatre is made
  • NT YouTube channel including videos related to shows, backstage ‘how we made it’ videos and recordings of NT Talks
  • Digital Exhibitions with Google Arts and Culture exploring Costume, Shakespeare and the Architectural History of the NT

The National Theatre Collection is supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), Fondation Hoffmann, Sidney E. Frank Foundation, The Cranshaw Corporation for Mrs. Robert I. MacDonald and The Attwood Education Foundation.

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