Drama Online - National Theatre Collection for Public Libraries

National Theatre Collection for Public Libraries

The National Theatre has trialled a successful set of screenings in the Wolverhampton and Peterborough public libraries, in collaboration with Landmark Theatres and the Wolverhampton Grand. As a result, the National Theatre are delighted to be expanding the Collection's offering from September 2023, with the titles from the Third Collection only being made freely available to UK public libraries. These screenings will be available to library patrons who are on-site.

This will include but won't be limited to, exciting adaptations such as Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, The Crucible and Romeo and Julie. There is some exciting new writing too, with titles like Our Generation, Dixon & Daughters and Shut Up, I’m Dreaming. Or if you you’d like to look at something more modern, why not explore productions such at Wuthering Heights or Phaedra. The National Theatre is excited to be bringing a brilliant and varied set of titles to members of the public, so they can also enjoy high-quality screenings put on by their local library or by accessing the screenings themselves within the library spaces.

Registration is via the online form found here. Please note, only one registration per public library/library authority is required.

If you have any feedback or questions about the NT Collection, please reach out: ntcollection@nationaltheatre.org.uk

Greek Tragedy, Early Morality, and Shakespeare

  • Phaedra: Writer-Director Simon Stone reimagines Seneca's famous tragedy.
  • Everyman: When Death comes calling, Everyman must abandon his hedonistic life and embark on a frantic search to find a friend that will speak in his defence. Chiwetel Ejiofor is Everyman, directed by Rufus Norris.
  • Antony and Cleopatra: Politics and passion are violently intertwined in Shakespeare's gripping tale of power. Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo star in the title roles.
  • Much Ado About Nothing: Escape to the Italian Riviera in Simon Godwin's production with a cast including Katherine Parkinson and John Heffernan.
  • As You Like It: Disguising herself as a boy, Rosalind embraces a different way of living and falls spectacularly in love with Orlando in Shakespeare’s glorious comedy of love and change.
  • Othello: Clint Dyer directs an extraordinary new vision for one of Shakespeare’s most enduring tragedies, with a cast that includes Giles Terera, Rosy McEwen and Paul Hilton.

Adaptations of 19th and 20th Century Novels

  • Wuthering Heights: Shot through with music and dance, Emma Rice transforms Emily Brontë's masterpiece into a passionate, powerful and uniquely theatrical experience.
  • The Book of Dust: Eighteen years after his groundbreaking production of His Dark Materials, Nicholas Hytner returns to Pullman's parallel universe to direct a spellbinding adaptation by Bryony Lavery.
  • Hamlet: Hamlet’s dad is dead. His uncle has taken over the kingdom and married Hamlet’s mum. The whole world feels like it’s turned upside down. This energetic and engaging schools production retells Shakespeare’s tragedy.
  • Hex: Rufus Norris directs this vividly original musical retelling of the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ fairy tale with music by Jim Fortune, and choreography by Jade Hackett.
  • Romeo and Julie: Romeo is a single dad hanging on tight. Julie is fighting to follow her dream of studying at Cambridge. Two Welsh teens raised a few streets apart – but from entirely different worlds – crash into first love and are knocked off their feet.
  • The Wife of Willesden: Critically acclaimed, multi-award winning, best-selling author Zadie Smith‘s rambunctious play transports Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath to 21st Century Northwest London.

20th and 21st Century Plays

  • The Crucible: Olivier Award-winner Lyndsey Turner directs this electrifying new production with designs by Es Devlin in a restaging of Arthur Miller's masterpiece.
  • Jack Absolute Flies Again: Richard Bean and Oliver Chris's play is based on Sheridan's 1775 play The Rivals, and stars Caroline Quentin, Laurie Davidson, Natalie Simpson and Kelvin Fletcher.
  • Dixon and Daughters: Mary has just been released from prison. Over a tumultuous two days, her family is forced to confront not just their past but themselves in this powerful story of family and forgiveness.
  • The Great Wave: On a Japanese beach, teenager Hanako is lost to the sea. Their mother, however, can’t shake the feeling her missing daughter is still alive, and soon family tragedy takes on a global political dimension.
  • Trouble in Mind: In 1950s America, protests for racial equality erupt in the face of voter suppression. On Broadway, Wiletta Mayer, a talented black actress, begins rehearsals for a new play about racism – written and directed by two white men.
  • Under Milk Wood: The retired sea captain yearning for his lost love. The landlady living in terror of her guests. A father who can no longer access his memories. Michael Sheen stars in Dylan Thomas’ poetic masterpiece.

Plays about Generation Z

  • Our Generation: Created from five years of interviews with 12 young people from across the UK, this captivating coming-of-age play is for anyone who is – or has ever been – a teenager.
  • Shut Up, I'm Dreaming: The PappyShow's love letter to a new generation, directed by Kane Husbands and based on the views, ideas and experiences of teenagers.

Plays for Early Years and Key Stage 1

Plays for Key Stage 2 and above

  • Greek Myths Unplugged - Three new short plays by some of the UK’s most exciting writers have been creatively filmed and edited to bring theatre to life online for children. The films reinvent and reimagine the original myths enabling pupils to explore the resonances of Greek Myths to today’s world anew.
  • The Magic Finger - The Unicorn Theatre, in collaboration with the Roald Dahl Story Company, present a new theatrical reading of the classic Roald Dahl tale, The Magic Finger, starring Corinna Brown. Come along for the ride as we follow the Gregg family who go out in search of animals to hunt; however, the girl next door is not happy with this, and decides to set the Magic Finger on them all...
  • Philip Pullman's Grimm Tales - The Unicorn Theatre presents a deliciously gruesome selection of theatrical readings from Grimm Tales, re-told for the whole family by an extraordinary cast.