skip to main content

National Theatre Live

Visit National Theatre Live for details of forthcoming broadcasts and venues

National Theatre Live performance of Hamlet being filmed, with a view of the stalls and the stage beyond, with cameras and audience in the foreground

What is it?

National Theatre Live brings the best of British theatre to cinema screens all over the UK and beyond, from Tokyo to San Francisco.

With state-of-the-art filming techniques, tailored to every play, we bring you each performance as it happens, in all its glory. From close-ups that capture every flicker of emotion, to sweeping wide shots of the stage. Whether you come along to the live broadcast, or catch one of many replays, you’ll have the best seats in the house.

And, you’ll be part of something much bigger. There’ll be thousands of others all around the world watching along with you. Sharing every gasp, every laugh, every dramatic moment.

This is theatre for everyone.

For forthcoming broadcasts visit the National Theatre Live website for details of dates and the venues showing the screenings.


NT Live Sky Arts logo

How does it work?

Each of our broadcasts is filmed in front of a live theatre audience. The position of cameras in the theatre is tailored to each play, to ensure that audiences watching in the cinema always get the best seat in the house.

Via satellite we broadcast the live performance from the theatre we are in to cinemas across the UK, as well as many European cinemas. Our cinema partners in North America capture the live broadcast feed via satellite and screen the titles on the same day, at a customer friendly evening time in their local time zone.

The live footage from the broadcast is then packaged and shared, unedited, with cinemas for repeat encore screenings in international territories not able to screen it live, or with cinemas wishing to relive the glory. There is little or no difference between what you see in the live broadcast and a repeat encore screening.

Join us for one of our upcoming broadcasts, and be a part of a global event, sharing every moment of drama and delight with a community of thousands.

Behind the scenes at the No Man's Land camera rehearsal. Photo by Ludovic des Cognets

Keeping safe at the cinema | COVID-19

Our cinema partners have assured us they have been working very hard to create a safe environment to entertain you in, following Government guidelines and working with the UK Cinema Association.

If you’re in the UK you can read the guidelines by following the link below, or check with your local cinema to learn more about the changes they have made and what you can expect as part of your visit.  For more information about international venues, please check your local guidelines.

Read the current guidelines

From Stage to Screen | Making National Theatre Live

This is how National Theatre Live send plays from the stage to over 3,500 cinema screens across the globe. Here are a few of the team's secrets.

More info