Three of the National Theatre’s recent acclaimed productions – Frankenstein, Hamlet and Othello – will be available free to every secondary school classroom in the UK as part of the South Bank venue’s National Theatre: On Demand In Schools initiative.
Each of the NT curriculum-linked productions, which were recorded in high definition as part of NT Live, will be free to stream in the classroom for three years from September 2015.
The first is Danny Boyle’s acclaimed 2011 production of Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein, which sees Olivier Award winners Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternate the iconic roles that led to them sharing the Olivier Award for Best Actor in 2012.
Joining the 19th century tale are the venue’s 2010 and 2013 productions of Shakespeare’s tragedies Hamlet and Othello. Both were directed by the venue’s outgoing Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner and star double Olivier Award winner Rory Kinnear.
The productions, which are split into chapters to allow teachers to find key scenes and play the shows over a number of lessons, will be accompanied by comprehensive learning resources produced by teachers and leading artists.
Talking about the project, the NT’s Director of Learning, Alice King-Farlow, said: “This new initiative underlines the National Theatre’s passionate commitment to supporting teachers and schools across the UK, whether through critically acclaimed productions streamed into classrooms, through our youth theatre festival Connections or through touring. In giving young people access to inspirational theatre, we aim to help schools to keep the arts as a vital part of the curriculum.”
News of the new initiative comes on the day that the National Theatre’s Artistic Director Designate Rufus Norris announced his first year of programming at the venue.
Among the staggering 20 productions announced this morning is a new piece by Islington Community Theatre that will be performed by a company of 11 to 19-year-olds in the Temporary Theatre from 21 to 25 July.
Entitled Brainstorm, the show is created in collaboration with leading cognitive neuroscientist Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and draws upon the life experiences of the cast to explore the most frustrating, chaotic and exhilarating changes that will ever happen to us.