All the shows to watch on the National Theatre at Home streaming service
In 2020, over 15 million people watched free theatre streams from the National Theatre, allowing audiences from over 170 countries to experience new theatre. After global success, the South Bank venue has begun its own streaming service: National Theatre at Home. Since its launch in December 2020, dozens of productions are now available to watch on National Theatre at Home.
Here's a rundown of all the shows on National Theatre at Home, as well as what LondonTheatre.co.uk said about the productions when they were on stage.
'Master Harold' and the Boys
Athol Fugard's 'Master Harold' and the Boys played at the National Theatre in 2019. In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "The production may be a slow-burn initially, but it ignites with an overpowering power that is shattering."
50 Years on Stage
In 2013, the National Theatre turned 50. Britain's finest actors came together to celebrate the NT's legacy: Simon Russell Beale, Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch and Judi Dench took part in the event.
All About Eve
Gillian Anderson and Lily James starred in the stage adaptation of All About Eve in 2019. All About Eve tells the story of Margo Channing, a Hollywood actress who invites Eve Harington to be her assistant, unaware of the consequences that may occur which could jeopardise her own career. Check out Gillian Anderson and Lily James in All About Eve.
All My Sons
The 2019 Old Vic production of All My Sons starred Sally Field, Bill Pullman and Jenna Coleman. In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "Field and Pullman both bring a real sense of authenticity to their parts. Pullman is the burly, slurry proud Southerner, while it's genuinely a little worrying how Field's Kate is living in the past. Her troubling shakes as she worries about her son transform into beaming smiles and nostalgic tears as her sons' friends visit from afar. The pair are pulsating at times, especially Field, who you can hardly take your eyes off."
Lucian Msamati played Antonio Salieri in this 2016 production, seen at the Olivier Theatre. The titular musical prodigy is caught in a sharp battle with Mozart, orchestrated by new symphonies and in fact God. But, can the pair harmonise their musical melodies together? In a London Theatre review, our critic said "the total integration of the musicians to the wider mise en scène... quite rightly places the music at the heart of the production... a giddy, stylish and opulent revival of total music theatre at its most exciting."
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Gwendoline Christie starred in the 2019 adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Bridge Theatre, directed by Nicholas Hytner. In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "this is very much an ensemble show, with diverse casting to the fore."
Angels in America
Thousands tried to grab tickets to see Andrew Garfield and Russell Tovey in the two-part play, and now you can watch it at home. Staged at the National's Lyttelton in 2017, this revival was theatre at its finest, and in a London Theatre review, we hailed the play "as necessary as oxygen."
Antony and Cleopatra
In 2018, Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo starred in Shakespeare's tragedy at the National Theatre. In a London Theatre review, our critic said this production brings a "ferocious, impassioned urgency to this forever compelling story of the passionate and violent co-dependent relationship."
How can you "encapsulate the essential conflicts between politics, power, the rights of the individual and common humanity"? Easy. Theatre. Don Taylor's 2012 adaptation of Sophocles' Greek drama revived a millennia-old story into the present day.
As You Like It
Fra Fee, Rosalie Craig, and Patsy Ferran starred in As You Like It at the National Theatre in 2016.
A Streetcar Named Desire
Gillian Anderson, Ben Foster and Vanessa Kirby starred in the 2014 revival of the Tennessee Williams play at the Young Vic. In a five star review for London Theatre, our critic said: "This is a production which is likely to sit with you for sometime, and for many will become definitive. The heart of Williams' work remains fully intact, and the story is thrust into a modern perspective in the most challenging and affecting way possible."
A Taste of Honey
Lesley Sharp played Helen in Shelagh Delaney's look on post-war Britain.
A View From the Bridge
Ivo van Hove directed Mark Strong and Nicola Walker in the Arthur Miller play. In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "There's a combustible energy but also piercing sadness to the dramatic inevitability of its story."
Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Meera Syal starred in David Hare's 2014 play that dramatises the juxtaposition of poverty and wealth in Mumbai seen at the Olivier Theatre. In a London Theatre review, "Director Rufus Norris blends it into an atmospheric, sprawling work, with a massive cast of 34 animating it with a lot of colour."
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Sienna Miller and Jack O'Connell starred in the West End revival of Tennessee William's stylish drama, performed at the Apollo Theatre. Unlike earlier revivals, our London Theatre review states "the whole image resembles a prison cell for the nouveau riche."
Chewing Gum Dreams
The I May Destroy You star Michaela Coel performed her one-woman play, seen at the National Theatre in 2014. The play then went on to be adapted for television, earning Coel two BAFTAs.
Nina Raine's 2017 play was first at the Dorfman Theatre, later transferring to the Harold Pinter Theatre. It's the National performances that can be streamed, and in a London Theatre review is "expertly delivered by a committed and fearless cast who together mine a form of naturalism that feels appropriate to both character and situation, never indulging yet blooming at the appropriate swells."
First performed in Pakistan, Shahid Nadeem's play found its London home in the Lyttleton Theatre in 2015. Zubin Varla and Prasanna Puwanarajah starred in this political drama, where a war develops between heirs to the Muslim future. In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "the National Theatre is to be applauded for stretching its cultural reach east as well as West."
Death of England
All three Death of England plays: Death of England, Death of England: Delroy, and Death of England: Face to Face are available on National Theatre at Home.
East is East
The 25th anniversary production of Ayub Khan Din's East is East is available to stream on National Theatre at Home. In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "the play continues to resonate in its depiction, as timely now as then, of a generation caught between cultural cross-currents."
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sharon D. Clarke starred in Carol Ann Duffy's 2015 adaptation of Everyman. In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "Elements combine to create a very memorable evening and a brave choice for Norris' first gig as director during his first National Theatre tenure."
Faith, Hope and Charity
Alexander Zeldin’s offers another uncompromising theatrical experience that goes to the heart of our uncertain times. Faith, Hope and Charity follows all those who interact with a community centre.
Performed in the Lyttleton Theatre in 2019, Lindsay Duncan and Alex Jennings starred in the eighties drama where a Tory politician finds himself in an unblissful marriage. In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "Jennings and Duncan put in fine performances as the contemptuous couple, but Simon Godwin's direction sees them pointlessly wandering around the house. There aren't many meaningful actions alongside this conversation that makes it seem naturalistic."
Ruth Wilson starred in Ivo van Hove's adaptation of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler in 2016. Check out production images from Hedda Gabler.
Michaela Coel starred in Nadia Fall's 2013 play, filmed in the NT's Temporary theatre space. Home explores how homelessness affects society, and what happens to those when typical society doesn't work out.
I Want My Hat Back
Joel Horwood and Arthur Darvill adapted Jon Klassen's childrens book into a musical. The whimsical production follows a bear, who can't find his hat. Asking all the animals in the forest, he's clueless.
Vanessa Kirby played the title role in Polly Stenham's 2018 adaptation, seen at the Lyttelton Theatre. Newly set in present-day London, Julie is definitely a play for the younger generation; our London Theatre review states Julie is a shining example of "how we should approach theatre for young people."
The second show staged at the Bridge Theatre now gets a new virtual life. Ben Whishaw played the title character, which in a London Theatre review "placed the show in the here and now, and given it a thrilling contemporary urgency by immersing the audience at the centre of it."
Ian McKellen stars as the title ruler in Shakespeare's tragedy. When King Lear came to the West End, our critic said: "If there was one reason to see this Lear, it has to be McKellen. Each line is spoken with an elderly wisdom, even in the depths of his palpable madness. It's tormenting and triumphant."
Helen McCrory led the cast in this 2014 adaptation, following the title character's attempts to seek revenge on her ex-husband. Michaela Coel, Danny Sapani and Dominic Rowan also star, with our London Theatre critic saying: "underpinned by a powerhouse central performance from McCrory...Medea makes for a potent evening of ancient drama with sharp psychological observation, dark humour, and plenty of bite."
Lucy Kirkwood's play saw Olivia Colman and Olivia Williams play two sisters together, forced together by a collision. One's a scientist. One spends her time Googling. So how do their pair reunite? In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "You don't have to be a rocket scientist to be drawn in to Kirkwood's powerful family drama."
No Man's Land
Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart star in the 2016 revival of Harold Pinter's play. In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "It's a play, in other words, that always seems to attract spellbinding actors; but what Stewart and McKellen additionally bring to it is their long established rapport and trust, even as the two characters they are playing circle warily around each other."
Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear play Othello and Iago in this 2013 production, which saw both actors winning Best Actor at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Nicholas Hytner's rendition gave a new lease of life to this Shakespeare tragedy.
See the Leeds Playhouse production of Oliver Twist on the National Theatre at Home streaming service.
Lesley Sharp plays Philoctetes in an all-female adaptation of Paradise at the National Theatre. In a London Theatre review, our critic said the play is "brave, bold, and bruising."
Sally Cookson adapts J. M. Barrie's fantasy tale for the National Theatre.
In 2009, Phèdre made history as the first National Theatre play streamed worldwide. Helen Mirren leads the cast in Jean Racine's Greek drama, pulsating with electric moments.
Rockets and Blue Lights
Rockets and Blue Lights blends 1840s history with stories of today to explore how our ancestors affect our lives.
Yaël Farber's 2017 adaptation of Salomé wowed audiences at the National Theatre. In a London Theatre review, our critic said it's a "visual treat that's often captivating and mesmerising to watch."
*The Cherry Orchard *
Zoe Wanamaker starred in Andrew Upton's adaptation of the Chekhovian classic, staged in the Olivier. In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "the overall effect is irresistibly fresh and bordering on being hypnotic... the play has tangible atmosphere and there's a well-defined balance between comedy and the inevitable pathos of the ending."
The Deep Blue Sea
Terrence Rattigan's post-war play played the National Theatre in 2016. Helen McCrory starred as Hester Collyer. In a London Theatre review, McCrory is "one of our most brittle yet subtle actresses, play Hester: she has exactly the air of contained feeling, like a wave that is on the verge of breaking, that seems perfect."
The Habit of Art
Richard Griffiths, Alex Jennings, Adrian Scarborough and Frances de la Tour star in The Habit of Art.
Sarah Niles, Rachael Ofori and Natalie Simpson play the sisterly trio in Chekhov's play. In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "British productions of Chekhov are usually light on laughter and heavy on the tragedy of the situations they portray, but the most striking fact... is that for all the piercing drama that unfolds is how much genuine humour it finds."
James Graham's This House shines a light on the inner workings of British politics.
Lyndsey Turner directs the Caryl Churchill play. Top Girls follows Marlene, the first woman to head the Top Girls employment agency.
Patsy Ferran and Arthur Darvill led the 2014 Treasure Island company. In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "the National have unleashed another epic piece of theatremaking, the set is undoubtedly the star here in Lizzie Clachan's designs that makes amazing use of the Olivier's massive revolve to bring forth 3D views of the ship's interior and the cave in which the treasure is found in a second."
Trouble in Mind
In 1950s America, Willetta Mayer begins rehearsals for a play about racism — directed by two white men. In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "Trouble in Mind is an engaging and stirring piece of activist theatre which wrestles with the structural problems and racial inequalities at the heart of show business."
Tamsin Greig played Malvolia in Shakespeare's play all about stolen identities.
Under Milk Wood
Michael Sheen starred in one of the first National Theatre productions in 2021. The Welsh drama follows a small community as they balance the old and the new. In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "Lyndsey Turner's emotive staging of Dylan Thomas's 1953 play for voices proffers some profound ideas: to heal familial bonds, to find lucidity in the murkiness of dementia, and to reach much-needed catharsis after a long period of suffering."
Billie Piper's performance in this 2017 Young Vic production saw her win every Best Actress award in the UK. It's no surprise really. Our London Theatre review says: "Consistently bracing, urgent and ultimately tragic this is a modern spin on a well-worn text that redefines this play and forces you to consider it as a piece of brand new writing... Stone has instead crafted a whole new structure, characters and dialogue that feast off the very bones of piece and 'liberate' it almost beyond recognition."
Young Marx was the first production at the Bridge Theatre. In a London Theatre review, our critic said: "There is a lot of truth in the history this play, it's a deep dive into the personal lives of these two great minds."
Photo credit: Trouble in Mind (Photo courtesy of production)
Originally published on