The Friday before the Covid-19 lockdown began my other half and I were due to go with some friends to see a play at the Liverpool Playhouse – unfortunately everything was postponed and no-one knows quite when our cultural hubs are going to be able to jump back in to life. But never fear – the National Theatre, known for their wonderful NT Live productions, have got a plan.
The NTL shows are usually brilliant. I always try to catch them when they’re on and over the years for less than a tenner each I’ve seen Frankenstein, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller playing the Doctor and his Monster in rotation (I’ve seen both versions), Both Rory Kinnear & Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet, Tom Hiddleston as Shakespeare’s legendary Roman leader Coriolanus (yes, the shirtless scene was VERY good) and Ken Branagh as MacBeth to name but a few. Granted, it might not be quite the same as the real thing but it’s a very close second, especially when you live over 200 miles away – and here’s the good news: ome of their best productions are coming to a screen near you…
From the 2nd April, on Thursdays at 7pm, the NT are launching their new initiative ‘National Theatre at Home’ where they will be showing a recording of one of their shows on YouTube which is then accessible for the following week.
The show to kick it all off is a live recording from 2011 of the popular comedy ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ which stars James Corden and was written by Richard Bean. It tells the story of Francis Henshall, who as the title suggests, has two different jobs for different men. The plot revolves around Francis’s attempts to ensure that the two men never meet, thus keeping his employment secret from the other.
Jane Eyre will follow up win the second week, Treasure Island will continue the run on the 16th April, and the last play currently announced is April 23rd, William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
The shows are free to stream, however if you’d like to give a donation to the NT to support them during this difficult period, their website can be found here.