Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, finds out that his Uncle Claudius killed his father to obtain the throne, and plans his revenge.
The ruined aftermath of a bloody civil war. Ruthlessly fighting to survive, the Macbeths are propelled towards the crown by forces of elemental darkness. Shakespeare’s most intense and terrifying tragedy, directed by Rufus Norris (The Threepenny Opera, London Road), will see Rory Kinnear (Young Marx, Othello) and Anne-Marie Duff (Oil, Suffragette) return to the National Theatre to play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein’s bewildered creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the friendless Creature, increasingly desperate and vengeful, determines to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal. Urgent concerns of scientific responsibility, parental neglect, cognitive development and the nature of good and evil are embedded within this thrilling and deeply disturbing classic gothic tale.
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.
Tennessee Williams’ twentieth century masterpiece Cat on a Hot Tin Roof played a strictly limited season in London’s West End in 2017. Following his smash hit production of A Streetcar Named Desire, Benedict Andrews’ ‘thrilling revival’ (New York Times) stars Sienna Miller alongside, Jack O’Connell and Colm Meaney. On a steamy night in Mississippi, a Southern family gather at their cotton plantation to celebrate Big Daddy’s birthday. The scorching heat is almost as oppressive as the lies they tell. Brick and Maggie dance round the secrets and sexual tensions that threaten to destroy their marriage. With the future of the family at stake, which version of the truth is real – and which will win out?
National Theatre Live will broadcast the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Coriolanus, Shakespeare’s searing tragedy of political manipulation and revenge, with Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, War Horse (film), BBC's The Hollow Crown) in the title role and Mark Gatiss (Season's Greetings at the National Theatre, BBC's Sherlock) as Menenius, directed by the Donmar's Artistic Director Josie Rourke. When an old adversary threatens Rome, the city calls once more on her hero and defender: Coriolanus. But he has enemies at home too. Famine threatens the city, the citizens’ hunger swells to an appetite for change, and on returning from the field Coriolanus must confront the march of realpolitik and the voice of an angry people.
Caesar returns in triumph to Rome and the people pour out of their homes to celebrate. Alarmed by the autocrat’s popularity, the educated élite conspire to bring him down. After his assassination, civil war erupts on the streets of the capital. Nicholas Hytner’s production will thrust the audience into the street party that greets Caesar’s return, the congress that witnesses his murder, the rally that assembles for his funeral and the chaos that explodes in its wake.
As London's East End scrubs up for the coronation, Mr and Mrs Peachum gear up for a bumper day in the beggary business. Keeping tight control of the city's underground – and their daughter’s whereabouts.
Golden Globe® winner and Academy Award® nominee James Franco (127 Hours, Milk) and Tony Award® nominee Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, Girls) star in the hit Broadway production Of Mice And Men, filmed on stage by National Theatre Live. This landmark revival of Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck's play is a powerful portrait of the American spirit and a heartbreaking testament to the bonds of friendship. Of Mice and Men is directed by Tony Award®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circles award winner Anna D. Shapiro (Broadway’s August: Osage County) and features Leighton Meester (Country Strong, Gossip Girl) and Tony Award® winner Jim Norton (The Seafarer). The production was nominated for two Tony Awards®, including Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for Chris O'Dowd.
National Theatre Live’s 2010 broadcast of Alan Bennett’s acclaimed play The Habit of Art, with Richard Griffiths, Alex Jennings and Frances de la Tour, returns to cinemas as part of the National Theatre's 50th anniversary celebrations. Benjamin Britten, sailing uncomfortably close to the wind with his new opera, Death in Venice, seeks advice from his former collaborator and friend, W H Auden. During this imagined meeting, their first for twenty-five years, they are observed and interrupted by, amongst others, their future biographer and a young man from the local bus station. Alan Bennett’s play is as much about the theatre as it is about poetry or music. It looks at the unsettling desires of two difficult men, and at the ethics of biography. It reflects on growing old, on creativity and inspiration, and on persisting when all passion’s spent: ultimately, on the habit of art.
A ship is wrecked on the rocks. Viola is washed ashore but her twin brother Sebastian is lost. Determined to survive on her own, she steps out to explore a new land. So begins a whirlwind of mistaken identity and unrequited love. The nearby households of Olivia and Orsino are overrun with passion. Even Olivia's upright housekeeper Malvolia is swept up in the madness. Where music is the food of love, and nobody is quite what they seem, anything proves possible.
Alan Bennett’s sharp and hilarious new play is ‘just what the doctor ordered’ (Daily Telegraph). Filmed live at London’s Bridge Theatre during its limited run, don’t miss this acclaimed production full of ‘singalongs and stinging wit’ (Guardian). The Beth, an old fashioned cradle-to-grave hospital serving a town in Yorkshire, is threatened with closure as part of an efficiency drive. A documentary crew, eager to capture its fight for survival, follows the daily struggle to find beds on the Dusty Springfield Geriatric Ward, and the triumphs of the old people’s choir. One of Britain’s most celebrated writers, Alan Bennett’s plays include The History Boys, The Lady in the Van and The Madness of George III, all of which were also seen on film. Allelujah! is his tenth collaboration with award-winning director Nicholas Hytner.
Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan feature in David Hare’s Skylight, directed by Stephen Daldry, broadcast live from London’s West End by National Theatre Live.
For sixty years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace – a meeting like no other in British public life – it is private. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said. Not even to their spouses. The Audience breaks this contract of silence – and imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their Queen. From Churchill to Cameron, each Prime Minister has used these private conversations as a sounding board and a confessional – sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive.
National Theatre Live will broadcast Manchester International Festival’s electrifying production of Macbeth, with Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn, Hamlet) in his first Shakespeare performance in over a decade as Macbeth, and Alex Kingston (Doctor Who, ER) as Lady Macbeth. Directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford (Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse, Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway) and BAFTA Award-winner Kenneth Branagh, this unique production of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of ambition and treachery unfolds within the walls of an intimate deconsecrated Manchester church.
Hardcastle, a man of substance, looks forward yo acquainting his daughter with his old pal's son with a view to marriage. But thanks to playboy Lumpkin, he's mistaken by his prospective son-in-law Marlow for an innkeeper, his daughter for the local barmaid. The good news is, while Marlow can barely speak to a woman of quality he's a charmer with those of a different stamp. And so, as Hardcastle's indignation intensifies, Miss Hardcastle's appreciation for her misguided suitor soars. Misdemeanours multiply, love blossoms, mayhem ensues. One of the great, generous-hearted and ingenious comedies of the English language, Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer offers a celebration of chaos, courtship and the dysfunctional family.
Wild and newly single, Julie throws a late night party. In the kitchen, Jean and Kristina clean up as the celebration heaves above them. Crossing the threshold, Julie initiates a power game with Jean – which rapidly descends into a savage fight for survival.
Following a sell-out run at London’s Royal Court Theatre, Olivier and Academy Award® winner Martin McDonagh (The Pillowman, The Cripple of Inishmaan, In Bruges) returns to the West End with Matthew Dunster’s award-winning production of his deeply funny new play Hangmen, broadcast live to cinemas by National Theatre Live. In his small pub in the northern English town of Oldham, Harry (David Morrissey – The Walking Dead, State of Play) is something of a local celebrity. But what's the second-best hangman in England to do on the day they've abolished hanging? Amongst the cub reporters and pub regulars dying to hear Harry’s reaction to the news, his old assistant Syd (Andy Nyman – Peaky Blinders, Death at a Funeral) and the peculiar Mooney (Johnny Flynn – Clouds of Sils Maria) lurk with very different motives for their visit.
An aged king decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, according to which of them is most eloquent in praising him. His favourite, Cordelia, says nothing. Simon Russell Beale, whose recent appearances at the National include Timon of Athens and Collaborators, takes the title role in Shakespeare’s tragedy.
Everyman is successful, popular and riding high when Death comes calling. He is forced to abandon the life he has built and embark on a last, frantic search to recruit a friend, anyone, to speak in his defence. But Death is close behind, and time is running out. One of the great primal, spiritual myths, Everyman asks whether it is only in death that we can understand our lives. A cornerstone of English drama since the 15th century, it now explodes onto the stage in a startling production with words by Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate, and movement by Javier De Frutos.