Always the best seat in the house

A photograph of the camera rehearsal for Small Island, featuring a camera operators filming three actors standing on stage.

National Theatre Live brings the best of British theatre to cinema screens across the UK and around the world.

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 other people all around the world watching along with you. Sharing every gasp, every laugh, every dramatic moment.

This is theatre for everyone.

Sky Arts logo

Sky Arts is the proud sponsor of National Theatre Live in the UK

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Our home is at the National Theatre in London.

We make world-class theatre that is entertaining, challenging and inspiring. And we make it for everyone. We hope you can visit us soon.

How do we do it?

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We film our plays in front of a live theatre audience, but optimise everything for the big screen so it’s the next best thing to being there.

The actors on stage deliver their performances as they normally would any other night. But to make sure our audiences watching in cinema have the best seat in the house, we tailor the position of our cameras to capture each production and work closely with technical teams to make sure every element on stage such as lighting, hair and make-up look fantastic on the big screen.

We broadcast the live performance from the stage directly to cinemas across the UK, Europe and sometimes North America. The live footage from the broadcast is then packaged and shared, unedited, with cinemas around the world to screen at a time that suits them.

There is no difference between what you see in the live broadcast and a repeat screening. We pride ourselves in the high quality of our plays and work closely with our cinema partners to make sure your experience in cinemas is the best it possibly can be.

We hope you can join us for one of our upcoming broadcasts, and be a part of a global event, sharing every moment of drama with a community of thousands.

Want to know more?

Browse our frequently asked questions here.

Screen our content

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Share the magic of theatre with your audience.

We are a market leading event cinema distributor with an audience of more than 11 million people across 65 countries.

We make often sold-out plays and iconic stage performances from the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet, Gillian Anderson in All About Eve, Chiwetel Ejiofor in Everyman and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag accessible to theatre fans around the world.

Our content is provided at the highest possible specification, with quality prioritized at every stage of the production and delivery process. Our aim is to make the big screen experience the next best thing to being there for your audience.

With more than a decade of experience finding audiences for event cinema, we will provide audience insight to support your screenings, accompanied by exceptional marketing content including trailers, posters and social media content.

Wherever you are in the world, we’d love to work with you.

Contact us

To screen our content in the UK or China, please email

To screen our content outside of the UK and China, please email

By Experience logo

BY Experience is the world’s leading global distributor of alternative content and events to cinema screens, and distributes National Theatre Live titles outside of the UK and China.