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National Theatre Live: 100 Plays in Cinemas – 76-100

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Wow, what a journey! Whether you’re onto your 99th or your first NT Live, we want to say thank you for joining us to celebrate these iconic shows in your local cinemas, wherever in the world you are. Here’s to the next 100, but first…

Screenings 76 to 100

76. All My Sons – 14 May 2019 (The Old Vic)

By Arthur Miller. Directed by Jeremy Herrin. With Headlong.

An NT Live first for all the cast, comprising Sally Field, Bill Pullman, Jenna Coleman and Colin Morgan. Arthur Miller’s classic play is set in America 1947, the set in this production consisted of a quaint house filled with big American dreams.

Photo by Johan Persson

77. Small Island – 27 June 2019 (Olivier Theatre)

By Helen Edmundson, based on the novel by Andrea Levy. Directed by Rufus Norris.

A company of 40 actors took to the stage in this timely and moving story. The timing was even more poignant as Andrea Levy sadly passed away on 14 February 2019. The play was a central part of NT Live’s tenth birthday celebrations.

Photo by Brinkhoff Moegenburg

78. The Lehman Trilogy – 25 July 2017 (Piccadilly Theatre)

By Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power. Directed by Sam Mendes. With Neal Street Productions.

Broadcast live during a heatwave with tropical thunderstorms in the UK. There was a fly in the glass box on stage which had to be swatted during one of the blackouts! The trio of brothers – and their descendants – were performed by Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles.

Photo by Stephanie Berger

A still image from the National Theatre Live screening of Fleabag with a still from the film of Phoebe Waller-Bridge sitting on a stool

79. Fleabag – 12 September 2019 (Wyndham'sTheatre)

By Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Directed by Vicky Jones. With Dry Write, Soho Theatre and Annapurna Theatre.

Guineapigs at the ready. The enormous one-woman show that inspired the hit BBC series and the most watched NT Live of all time outside of the UK. The run sold out shows in New York and London and it became the first one-woman show for NT Live – with more to come!

Photo by Matt Humphrey

80. A Midsummer Night's Dream – 17 October 2019 (Bridge Theatre)

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Nicholas Hytner.

The Bridge Theatre was transformed into a forest with flying fairies, contagious fogs and moonlight.

The roving audience and cameras followed the action as Gwendoline Christie, Oliver Chris and David Moorst played the mischievous fairies, while Hammed Animashaun donned the donkey ears and a bright yellow jumpsuit to play Bottom.

81. Hansard – 7 November 2019 (Lyttelton Theatre)

By Simon Woods. Directed by Simon Godwin.

Couple goals, right? The 81st release was a witty play full of one-liners and Bloody Mary cocktails with Lindsay Duncan and Alex Jennings, set against a political backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain in the 1980s.

Photo by Catherine Ashmore

82. Present Laughter – 28 November 2019 (The Old Vic)

By Noël Coward. Directed by Matthew Warchus.

Andrew Scott won an Olivier Award for Best Actor in this provocative and ever-memorable Noël Coward comedy from the Old Vic. The cast includes Indira Varma and Sophie Thompson and showcases a whole host of bright costumes to match the colourful life of the protagonist.

Photo by Manuel Harlan

83. Cyrano de Bergerac – 20 February 2020 (The Playhouse Theatre)

By Edmund Rostand, in a new version by Martin Crimp. Directed by Jamie Lloyd. With The Jamie Lloyd Company.

Starring James McAvoy in the title role, Jamie Lloyd’s fresh and alternative reimagining of Cyrano de Bergerac fit with black jackets, microphones and lack of prosthetic noses marked the last NT Live before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and theatres, businesses and the film industry came to a halt.

Photo by Marc Brenner

84. Leopoldstadt – 27 January 2022 (Wyndham's Theatre)

By Tom Stoppard. Directed by Patrick Marber. With Sonia Friedman Productions.

The play originally went on sale before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the two-year break before it could be released meant it was filmed in 2021. The heart-breaking tale that followed one family over the course of the 20th century became the first NT Live after the pandemic.

Photo by Marc Brenner

85. The Book of Dust - La Belle Sauvage – 17 February 2022 (Bridge Theatre)

By Phillip Pullman and Bryony Avery. Directed by Nicholas Hytner.

Set 12 years before the epic His Dark Materials trilogy, The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage was an innovative journey into a fantasy world. The spectacular staging and the illuminated origami-like puppets, including kingfishers and lemurs, will be remembered for years to come.

Photo by Manuel Harlan

Kit Harington, wearing military fatigues, stands on raised metal steps, gesturing forward with his right arm, and members of the company dressed in army uniforms and carrying guns stand either side of the steps.

86. Henry V – 21 April 2022 (Donmar Warehouse)

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Max Webster.

Game of Thrones star Kit Harington swapped Westeros for the great battle with France in this contemporary take on Shakespeare’s history play.

Understudy Diany Samba-Bandza played one of the lead roles of Katherine during the filmed performance in place of Anoushka Lucas.

Photo by Helen Murray

87. Straight Line Crazy – 26 May 2022 (Bridge Theatre)

By David Hare. Directed by Nicholas Hytner.

Ralph Fiennes plays the master manipulator whose legacy changed New York City for ever. For the filming, the team rigged a camera directly over the stage to capture shots of the detailed map.

Photo by Manuel Harlan

A woman (Jodie Comer) stands at a desk in a room lined with box files on shelves. One hand rests on the desk and the other is raised and pointing to something.

88. Prima Facie – 21 July 2017 (Harold Pinter Theatre)

By Suzie Miller. Directed by Justin Martin. With Empire Street Productions.

ALL RISE! Jodie Comer’s Olivier Award-winning West End debut in the premiere of the captivating play.

This has become the biggest selling NT Live ever in the UK: you could fill Wembley stadium five times with the number of people who have watched it in cinemas.

Image by Helen Murray

89. Much Ado About Nothing – 8 September 2022 (Lyttelton Theatre)

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Simon Godwin.

I hope Shakespeare packed his sun cream! Set in the beautiful Italian Riviera, Katherine Parkinson was Beatrice and John Heffernan was Benedick in this much-loved comedy that lit up the Lyttelton.

Photo by Johan Persson

90. Jack Absolute Flies Again – 6 October 2022 (Olivier Theatre)

By Richard Bean and Oliver Chris, based on Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Rivals. Directed by Emily Burns.

A third NT Live for Richard Bean, who shared the writing credit with Oliver Chris – a serial performer in NT Live productions.

The cast of the rollocking new comedy based on The Rivals included Caroline Quentin, Laurie Davidson, Natalie Simpson and Kelvin Fletcher and featured a bright and colourful set of wartime Britain.

Photo by Brinkhoff Mögenburg

91. The Seagull – 3 November 2022 (Harold Pinter Theatre)

By Anya Reiss, adapted from Anton Chekov. Directed by Jamie Lloyd. With The Jamie Lloyd Company.

This stripped-back version of The Seagull set to a stage of corkboard walls was Emilia Clarke’s West End debut, performing alongside NT Live regular Indira Varma – and more. The show clip has gone viral many times on social media with its wit and charm.

Photo by Marc Brenner

92. The Crucible – 26 January 2023 (Olivier Theatre)

By Arthur Miller. Directed by Lyndsey Turner.

Es Devlin’s startling set featured a wall of rain which meant the first row of audience members had to wear ponchos to protect them.

Erin Doherty played the powerful Abigail Williams and Brendan Cowell was John Proctor in this bold production of the classic text that kicked off 2023 in cinemas.

Photo by Johan Persson

93. Othello – 23 February 2023 (Lyttelton Theatre)

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Clint Dyer.

With a cast including Giles Terera, Rosy McEwen and Paul Hilton, this innovative, atmospheric and unsettling production of Othello was later live streamed to thousands on YouTube to celebrate the National Theatre’s 60th birthday in October 2023. The stream reached 185k viewers across four days.

Photo by Johan Persson

94. Life of Pi – 30 March 2023 (Wyndham's Theatre)

By Yann Martel, adapted by Lolita Chakrabarti. Directed by Max Webster. With Simon Friend Entertainment.

This was the first NT Live to be shot in 4k. A rig above the stage allowed cameras to capture the vast water surrounding Pi and handsome tiger Richard Parker.

Hiran Abeysekera has also performed the role at Sheffield Crucible and on Broadway. Performers wore hand-sculpted puppets that were attached like backpacks, allowing them to be moved around stage effortlessly.

Photo by Johan Persson

95. GOOD – 20 April 2023 (Harold Pinter Theatre)

By C.P. Taylor. Directed by Dominic Cooke. With Fictionhouse and Playful Productions.

GOOD featured Elliot Levey, Sharon Small and David Tennant in his first NT Live and a blistering return to the West End. This production was filmed in a different way than most captures, with the camera in line with Tennant for direct eye-contact shots with cinema audiences. Intense.

Photo by Johan Persson

96. Best of Enemies – 18 May 2023 (Noël Coward Theatre)

By James Graham. Directed by Jeremy Herrin. With Second Half Productions, Eleanor Lloyd, Wessex Grove, Young Vic Theatre and Headlong Theatre.

Best of Enemies was James Graham’s fourth NT Live but David Harewood and Zachary Quinto’s first. The sharp political thriller captured the debate between political rivals William F. Buckley Jr and Gore Vidal in 1968 America.

Photo by Johan Persson

97. Dear England – 25 January 2024 (Olivier Theatre)

By James Graham. Directed by Rupert Goold.

It’s coming home! The hit new play from the National Theatre and James Graham. A fantastic ensemble of performers played the England men’s football team, their various managers, pundits and fans, with Joseph Fiennes as Gareth Southgate.

The show has been screened at football clubs across the country including Tottenham Hotspur and AFC Wimbledon.

Photo by Marc Brenner

Andrew Scott is wearing a green shirt, standing, leaning against a kitchen cabinet on which stands a kettle, teapot and other items, looking over his shoulder, a cigarette dangling from his lips.

98. Vanya – 22 February 2024 (Duke of York's Theatre)

By Simon Stephens, after Anton Chekhov. Directed by Sam Yates. With Wessex Grove, Gavin Kalin Productions and Kater Gordon.

Andrew Scott played eight characters in this one man play. Yes, you heard that right.

Simon Stephens’ update of Chekhov’s play relocated the story to an Irish potato farm, changing character names to match the new setting. The performance earned Scott multiple theatre award nominations.

Photo by Marc Brenner

A group of people are having a party in a large room with red panelled walls and cream furniture and floor. Some are standing, some sit on the sofa and chairs and some lie or kneel on the floor. There are two large bunches of white balloons.

99. The Motive and the Cue – 21 March 2024 (Lyttelton Theatre)

By Jack Thorne. Directed by Sam Mendes. With Neal Street Productions.

Speak the speech! Jack Thorne’s new play based on Letters from an Actor by William Redfield and John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet by Richard L. Sterne.

Johnny Flynn played Richard Burton, Tuppence Middleton was Elizabeth Taylor and Mark Gatiss won an Olivier Award for playing John Gielgud. During post-production, a fly that kept infiltrating key shots had to be masked out in four scenes.

Photo by Mark Douet

100. Nye – 23 April 2024 (Olivier Theatre)

By Tim Price. Directed by Rufus Norris. With Wales Millenium Centre.

Congratulations, you made it to our 100th show!

Michael Sheen plays Nye Bevan in an ensemble cast for Rufus Norris’ last play of his tenure as Artistic Director of the National Theatre. Tim Price’s play delves into the life and legacy of Tredegar’s Aneurin ‘Nye’ Bevan as he navigates his way from the coal mines of Wales to the Houses of Parliament.

Photo by Johan Persson

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100 Plays in Cinema

Find out more about the history of National Theatre Live in our brand new documentary.