National Theatre at Home raises over £100k through YouTube livestreams

The National Theatre’s initiative which sees previous productions live-streamed every week for free on YouTube has raised over £100k for the organisation, it has been confirmed.

National Theatre at Home was launched after theatres were forced to close in response to the coronavirus pandemic and has previously seen shows such as One Man, Two Guvnors and Treasure Island be made available to audiences worldwide.

“We’ve been touched and overwhelmed by people’s generosity which has seen us raise over 100k so far,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

It comes after the fourth play in the series, Twelfth Night, premiered online on Thursday.

The Shakespeare comedy, starring Friday Night Dinner actress Tamsin Greig, is now available to view on-demand until 30 April.

A further two productions have also been announced as forming part of the initiative, with Frankenstein (starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller) and Antony & Cleopatra (featuring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo) being streamed on YouTube over the next two weeks.

Speaking on Thursday, Rufus Norris, Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre, said: “We’ve been completely overwhelmed by the response to National Theatre at Home since we launched at the start of April.

“We know that these are difficult and challenging times for many, and we hope that through this initiative we’re able to supply a weekly slice of entertainment for people to enjoy together, albeit digitally, when each production goes out at 7pm on Thursdays.

“We’re thrilled to be announcing the next two titles today, Frankenstein and Antony & Cleopatra which both feature award-winning performances and I’m sure will be enjoyed by all.”

News of the amount raised through National Theatre at Home comes after Norris told The Guardian he is “massively worried” about the financial position of the theatre.

“The National has a turnover of £100m a year. It costs an awful lot of money for every day we are shut.

“No one knows when we can open again or when we can get back to a stable situation in which audiences feel confident inside auditoriums,” he said.

More information about National Theatre at Home, including how to donate to the theatre, can be found on the National Theatre’s website.

Photo: Marc Brenner.

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