How do I stream National Theatre shows at home on Youtube for free? How to watch One Man, Two Guvnors and Jane Eyre

With the country on lockdown as the coronavirus crisis continues to grip the UK, many people have been left struggling to pass the time.

Friday, 3rd April 2020, 10:03 am
Updated Friday, 3rd April 2020, 10:04 am

Pubs, clubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms, spas and bowling alleys are among the venues which have had to close their doors in a bid to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

So, with the prospect of the lockdown potentially lasting for months, here is how to stream theatre shows for free via YouTube to help pass the time.

What is this all about?

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James Corden can be seen in One Man, Two Guvnors, which is being streamed on YouTube thanks to National Theatre during the lockdown (Pic: National Theatre)

National Theatre Live productions have been made available to watch on YouTube for free over the next two months.

The organisation is also unlocking its National Theatre Collection for all state school pupils to access for free at home as well as re-releasing some behind the scenes videos, recorded talks, and podcasts.

How long will the plays be available online?

The plays streaming on YouTube will be available on demand for seven days after they are released.

Are they only available on YouTube?

Yes. Most smart TVs have a YouTube app which you can use to watch the plays, or you view them on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

What about access?

Each title streamed as a part of National Theatre at Home will be subtitled.

What is streaming this week?

The first production to be broadcast at 7pm yesterday was Richard Bean’s One Man Two Guvnors featuring a Tony Award-winning performance from James Corden.

It is available on demand for seven days.

What else will be streamed?

Sally Cookson’s stage adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre will be streamed on April 9; Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island on April 16 and Twelfth Night on the April 23, which features Tamsin Greig as Malvolia in Shakespeare's

classic comedy.

Why is National Theatre doing this?

Lisa Burger, Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive, said: “Our ambition at the National Theatre is to create work which is challenging, entertaining and inspiring and we’re committed to continuing that through these difficult times.

“I'm thrilled that we’re able to fulfill this ambition in a different way through our collaboration with YouTube.

“I am exceptionally proud of the team at the National Theatre for working so hard to create National Theatre at Home and also to the rights holders who have been so supportive of this new initiative allowing us to bring theatre to households right across the world.

“We have delved into the National Theatre Live archive and curated a programme that’s varied from comedy to new dramas to classics so there is something for everyone to enjoy from their own homes.

“We will be streaming each production at the same time each week in order to recreate, where possible, the communal viewing experience and we hope this will be an opportunity for people to share their enjoyment together online."

How can I find out more?

Visit the National Theatre website.