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National Theatre Collection available free for state schools across the UK


The National Theatre Collection will be available free of charge to state schools and state-funded further education colleges across the UK in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing. The collection provides high-quality recordings of 24 world-class productions, drawing from 10 years of NT Live broadcasts and never before released productions from the National Theatre’s Archive. Schools and further education colleges can register now via Bloomsbury Publishing’s award-winning digital library Drama Online.

  • Celebrating the best of contemporary British theatre, the titles will support learning across the primary and secondary curriculum and include:
  • Shakespeare set texts including Macbeth, Othello, Twelfth Night and King Lear (Donmar Warehouse) in vibrant modern stagings
  • Novels brought to life in exciting literary adaptations such as Frankenstein, Treasure 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 Collection will increase to 30 titles by March 2020 and further resources exploring backstage aspects such as lighting, sound and staging will be added later in the year. The easy-to-use platform includes helpful features such as scene-by-scene selections and synopses, theme and key word searches.

Alice King-Farlow, Director of Learning at the National Theatre said, “We are thrilled to announce that the National Theatre Collection is now available free for state schools to access, in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing. No matter where they are in the UK, students and teachers will be able to explore 30 productions, supported with teaching resources, showcasing a breadth of titles, writers and practitioners and offering an insight into all aspects of theatre-making. The National Theatre believes all young people in the UK should have the opportunity to watch, make and explore theatre as part of a broad and balanced education, and the National Theatre Collection is an essential part of our commitment to schools nationwide. We would like to extend our thanks to the rightsholders of these materials who have made this service possible”.

Jenny Ridout, Global Head of Academic Publishing at Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. said, “We are delighted to be further developing our partnership with the National Theatre on Drama Online in this free collection for UK state schools and state-funded FE colleges. This ensures that as wide a range of students and teachers as possible can take their virtual seats on the South Bank to enjoy and study world-class theatre, via Bloomsbury’s world leading digital drama platform, to inspire and entertain, and to help create the theatre writers, performers, designers and audiences of the future.

Alex Harris, Head of Drama at Spires College in Torquay, said, “Being able to watch the very best of British theatre allows me as a teacher to share with my students what is possible on stage. Being based in Torquay means that access to a wide range of styles of theatre can be limited and so streaming National Theatre productions in the classroom means that my students can experience different styles and genres that will hopefully ignite a life-long passion for the arts. I have had great success using the Collection to teach students about the technical elements of theatre and showing them what can be achieved through lighting, sound, media and stage design has opened their eyes to the potential of these production elements and their impact on a performance.”

Teachers can sign up now to National Theatre Collection on Bloomsbury’s Drama Online Platform via www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/ntcollection

Other academic institutions including libraries, universities and independent schools can access National Theatre Collection via a one-time payment for the full collection, or via an annual subscription in partnership with ProQuest and Bloomsbury.

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

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