Theatre News

National Theatre announces free series of shows on YouTube received 15 million views in 4 months

The venue has revealed numbers from its streaming initiative

Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus
Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus
© Johan Persson

The National Theatre's "At Home" series tallied 15 million views in total, the venue has announced.

Featuring 16 productions streamed on YouTube for free, the theatre has said that, in total, 9 million households from 173 countries took advantage of its scheme while the pandemic continues and arts spaces remain largely closed.

If each YouTube view were a seated audience member, then 15 million watchers would fill the venue's largest space, the Olivier (with 1150 seats) 13,000 times. If the auditorium was playing once a day, that run would last for over 35 years.

All of the shows were presented for free, with the National working alongside venues and companies such as Fuel, Leeds Playhouse, the Young Vic, the Donmar Warehouse and more.

The venue is calling for donations during the tricky time – you can visit for more information. In a recent report by the DCMS, "the levels of donation for those free streams of performances has been remarkably low", and as such venues continue to remain in perilously difficult positions.

The UK government has yet to reveal full details of its £1.57bn package to support the arts, with details imminent.