National Theatre Live is the National Theatre's groundbreaking project to broadcast the best of British theatre live from the London stage to cinemas across the UK and around the world.
National Theatre Live launched in June 2009 with a broadcast of the National Theatre production of Phèdre with Helen Mirren. We've since broadcast more than twenty other productions live from the National Theatre, and on occasion other theatres in the UK and around the world.
Our broadcasts have now been experienced by over 3.5 million people in more than 1,100 venues around the world, including 550 in the UK alone. Past National Theatre broadcasts have included Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, War Horse, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and Sam Mendes’ King Lear with Simon Russell Beale.
Broadcasts from other theatres include The Audience with Helen Mirren from the West End, Coriolanus with Tom Hiddleston from the Donmar Warehouse and A Streetcar Named Desire with Gillian Anderson from the Young Vic.
Though each live broadcast is filmed in front of a live audience in the theatre, cameras are carefully positioned throughout the auditorium to ensure that cinema audiences get the 'best seat in the house' view of each production. Where these cameras are placed is different for each broadcast, to make sure that cinema audiences enjoy the best possible experience every time.
Satellites allow the productions to be broadcast live, without delay, to cinemas throughout the UK as well as many European venues. Other venues view the broadcasts 'as live' according to their time zone, or at a later date.