You may have seen a post I put up on Facebook at the end of last week, about The National Theatre’s new initiative, which will give the world online access to its vast archive of theatre productions.
The purpose of the initiative is to reach as many people as possible with ‘the best contemporary British theatre’.
The National has been offering this free service to UK state schools for three years now, which provides a free comprehensive resource, created by teachers and leading artists that transforms learning and gives an exciting insight into theatre.
The theatre now wants to expand and enhance the service to give everyone theopportunity to readily watch an array of great live performances, for a one-off fee.
This excellent scheme begins in September and will show 15 performances initially. This will be a mixture of selected NT Live productions and archived material, plus shows produced from other theatres including The Young Vic. The number of titles will increase to 30 by March 2020.
I whole-heartedly agree with this initiative. It is an excellent opportunity to make theatre accessible for everyone.
I especially like the fact that it has already been implemented into states schools free of charge. As we know funding is being cut left, right and centre for the arts, so hopefully this initiative, with the backing of a renowned theatre and leading artists, will change people’s perceptions.
Providing students of all ages with an insight into this fantastic industry through online performances, resources and knowledge banks will, in my opinion, help broaden their minds and shine a light on an industry that they may never have even known about or thought about before. It will undoubtedly inspire them to become the next generation of performers, producers, creatives or set designers. Giving these types of opportunities is vital. Not only for the students to make a good career choice and achieve their potential, but also for the future of our industry.
Making this scheme available to all has got my backing too. No matter who you are, where you are from, how old you are - theatre IS for everyone.
Some people may not have visited the theatre before for various reasons - perhaps cost or logistics? - or in this digital age they may prefer to watch the show on a screen. This initiative will make it easy for everyone to access great theatre to enjoy, escape to, learn, be inspired by, laugh, cry…
Enabling the world to see our fantastic theatre is just what our industry needs. By opening people’s eyes and minds to the wonder of British theatre, this initiative will certainly have the audience coming back for more! Here’s the link to the article we shared!
Photo insert: The National