Learning at the National Theatre – Spring 2017

Supported by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the National Theatre’s Partner for Learning

Opening up theatre with inspiring projects for schools, young people, and families and a wide range of events for adults including:

  • A series of events in conjunction with British Science Week exploring how theatres use science, technology, engineering and maths to put together a show
  • Two Shakespeare productions touring into 27 schools and being seen by over 12,000 students in London and the South East
  • Our annual Drama Teacher Conference, this year attended by 125 teachers from throughout the UK
  • Opportunities to meet and work with leading theatre practitioners

Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, president, EMEA at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said: “I am extremely supportive of organisations that develop programmes which give young people the knowledge, the skills and the inspiration they need to succeed. As the National Theatre’s Partner for Learning, we are able to combine the arts, together with STEM subjects, to ensure that creativity and vision help to develop our future workforce.”

Celebrating science on stage: BRITISH SCIENCE WEEK

Join us during British Science Week to explore how theatres use science, technology, engineering and maths to put together a show. 

Alice King-Farlow, Director of Learning said:

‘We’re thrilled to be showcasing science on stage and the extraordinary work of the NT’s technical teams this spring as part of British Science Week. The creative industries depend on STEM as well as Arts subjects, and theatre’s an inspiring showcase to demonstrate the creative application of science, maths and technology in the arts.’ 

Science on Stage 
Olivier Theatre, Wed 15 Mar1-2.30pm, for schools: suitable for years 6, 7 & 8

Have you ever wondered how it looks like daylight on stage? Or how you can hear an actor whisper at the back of a huge theatre? Or how you lift an object the size and weight of a London bus?

Science communicator and broadcaster Emily Grossman will present this fun and fact-packed investigation of how theatre uses science to tell stories. Joining Emily on stage for a series of demonstrations will be technicians, engineers and artists from across the NT.

Family Technical Theatre Day 
Sat 18 Mar, 11 – 3.30pm, Duffield Studio, £8/£5

Explore backstage, learn how lighting and sound design work from a professional technician and then create your own designs to bring a scene to life.

Virtual Reality and Theatre

Sat 11 Mar 2017, 11am-12.30pm1-2.30pm3-4.30pm, Duffield Studio, £5/£3

How can we use virtual reality to take people on incredible theatrical adventures? In this unique workshop from theatre company curious directive, meet a coral reef scientist, try out a virtual reality scuba dive in Indonesia, and discover the threats facing the rainforests of the sea. Led by Horniman Museum Aquarium curator, Jamie Craggs and Artistic Director of curious directive, Jack Lowe.


Supported by the British Science Association.


Dorfman Theatre, February half-term, and touring into schools

Romeo and Juliet 11 – 24 Feb

Set against a vibrant urban backdrop bursting full of excitement, colour, dancing and live song, a company of eight tell the most famous love story of all time. A swift, contemporary celebration of Shakespeare’s masterpiece suitable for 8 – 12yrs

Macbeth 6 – 20 Feb

Amid bloody rebellion and the deafening drums of war, Macbeth and his wife will stop at nothing to fulfil their ambition. Witchcraft, murder, treason and treachery are all at play in this murky world. A bold contemporary retelling of one of Shakespeare’s darkest plays. Suitable for 13yrs+

Shakespeare for younger audiences is supported by: The Ingram Trust, Archie Sherman Charitable Trust, Behrens Foundation, Cleopatra Trust, The Ernest Cook Trust, Jill and David Leuw, Mulberry Trust, The Royal Victoria Hall Foundation and the Topinambour Trust


Thu 16 and Fri 17 Feb10am-5pm, £175 for both days (£100 for individual days)
A must for any drama teacher… A wonderful opportunity to be inspired… An absolutely joyful, inspiring way to spend my half-term holiday. (2016 conference feedback)

A few places are still available for the NT’s annual Drama Teacher Conference, two packed days of inspiring professional development with incredible theatre-makers.  Contributors include director Lyndsey Turner and playwright Simon Stephens.



Theatre First: The Story Fishers

For Year 1 pupils and their teachers

Working with professional theatre artists, children will create songs, movement, music and costumes for a unique interactive performance at the NT. £300 per class, bursaries available.


For Years 5 – 6

Transform your end of year play with a brilliant new script specially commissioned by the NT. A choice of two plays, with support to involve your class in an exciting theatre-making process and inspire learning across the curriculum.

Cost: £350 per school to cover a 2-day course for teachers and a toolkit to stage your play, extensive teaching resources and a script complete with songs and score/backing track. Bursaries available.

Playmakers is supported by: The Ernest Cook Trust and The Sampimon Trust



Twelfth Night Student Conference

Tue 21 Mar, 10.30am-3.30pm, Olivier Theatre, £7.50 (one free teacher place per 10 students)

An event for students featuring talks and on-stage masterclasses with the NT Company, production team and academic speakers. For Key Stages 4 and 5 English and Drama students.


Workshops designed to support drama and theatre studies at KS3, KS4 and post-16, are available on acting, directing or design and can focus on any production in the current NT repertoire.


Make Theatre Days: an active and exciting introduction to theatre-making and the backstage world of the NT for KS3 students


Work Experience Project: Key Stage 4 students, 19 – 22 June

A structured, 4-day work experience programme for students from targeted state schools in London. Hands-on workshops with staff and artists from across the NT will introduce students to a wide range of careers in theatre.

Archive Learning Days: Key Stages 4 and 5

Free sessions exploring key NT productions and genres.

King Lear – Thu 27 Apr, 10am-3.30pm for KS5 students



The NT’s playwriting programme and competition for 15 – 19 year-olds.  Over 600 students from 62 schools all over the country are currently writing one act plays with support from professional playwrights. The 2017 winning play will be announced on 5 June and performed by a professional cast in the Dorfman Theatre on 4 July.

To sign up for New Views 2017/2018 visit www.new-views.tv


Over 2600 schools, including 44% of all state secondary schools in the country, have now signed up to the NT’s free streaming service for schools. Six titles are available with accompanying teaching resources:  Hamlet, Othello, Frankenstein, She Stoops to Conquer, The Comedy of Errors and our first title for primary schools, Treasure Island. New titles for September will be announced later this year.



The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, adapted by Simon Stephens from Mark Haddon’s best-selling book and directed by Marianne Elliott, is currently on tour across the UK and Ireland (until September 2017). Sally Cookson’s imaginative adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece Jane Eyre, a co-production between the NT and Bristol Old Vic, will tour the UK from April – September 2017. There is a creative learning programme for schools and communities alongside both productions, in collaboration with UK tour venues.

curiousonstage.com      janeyereonstage.com


Learn new skills and find out more about theatre-making in the Clore Learning Centre.

Bursaries available.

Workshop: Gender and Disguise with Simon Godwin

Sat 11 and Sun 12 Mar10.30am-4.30pm, £20, bursaries are available.

Look at ways to play with gender, sexuality and disguise on stage at this two-day workshop led by the director of Twelfth Night.

Course: How to be a Stage Manager

9, 16, 23 and 30 Mar5-8pm, Clore Learning Centre, £40
Try out the huge variety of jobs undertaken by a stage management team.

Workshop: Devising from Science 

Sat 18 May, 11am-6pm, Clore Learning Centre, £10
Join theatre company curious directive for a day creating theatre from science.

Workshop: Video Design and Theatre

Thu 30 Mar5-8pm, Clore Learning Centre, £10, theatre ticket included
Dive into the breathtaking digital design for Ugly Lies the Bone in this workshop with video designer Luke Halls.

Easter Space to Create

Fri 7 Apr – Sun 9 Apr, Clore Learning Centre

This Easter we are inviting 60 young people to take part in Space to Create: an exciting weekend of theatre-making where you can work alongside some of the UKs leading artists to bring ideas to life through experimentation, ingenuity and bold performance.



Connections is the National Theatre’s large-scale youth programme, involving young people across the UK in a year-long festival of theatre-making. Over 250 school and youth theatre companies are taking part in Connections 2017. They will produce one of ten new plays written specifically for young people by some of our most exciting playwrights, and perform at one of 28 leading theatres across the UK. One production of each of the 10 plays will be invited to perform at the National Theatre from 28 June to 3 July.

Connections is an inspirational, powerful and positive force for young people engaging in theatre making.”
Connections Company, 2016

Connections Festivals take place around the UK from 21 March – 13 May at: 

Aberystwyth Arts Centre 1 April artsdepot, London 24 – 28 April

Bristol Old Vic 28 – 31 March

Cast, Doncaster 2 – 4 May

Chichester Festival Theatre 21 – 26 March

Derby Theatre 24 – 29 April

Eden Court, Inverness 10 – 13 April

HOME, Manchester 26 – 29 April

Lyric Hammersmith, London 3 – 6 May Lyric Theatre, Belfast 29 – 30 April

Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury 21 – 25 March North Wall Theatre, Oxford 5 – 7 May

Northern Stage, Newcastle 4 – 8 April

Norwich Playhouse / The Garage, Norwich 25 – 28 April

Octagon Theatre, Bolton 23 – 25 March

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch 7 – 8 May

Royal & Derngate, Northampton 27 April – 6 May

Sheffield Theatres 27 March – 1 April

Sherman Cymru, Cardiff 20 – 22 April

Soho Theatre. London 29 March – 1 April

The Albany, London 10 – 13 May

The Lowry, Salford 1 – 2 April

Theatre Royal Stratford East, London 28 March – 1 April

Theatre Royal, Bath 4 – 8 April

Theatre Royal, Plymouth 25 – 29 April

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh 22 – 25 March

Warwick Arts Centre 28 – 30 April


2017 plays:

Three by Harriet Braun

#YOLO by Matthew Bulgo

FOMO by Suhayla El-Bushra

Status Update by Tim Etchells

Musical Differences by Robin French

Extremism by Anders Lustgarten

The School Film by Patrick Marber

Zero For The Young Dudes! by Alistair McDowall

The Snow Dragons by Lizzie Nunnery

The Monstrum by Kellie Smith

Applications for Connections 2018 will open in May 2017


Connections is supported by: The Buffini Chao Foundation, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Delta Air Lines, Jacqueline and Richard Worswick, Susan Miller and Byron Grote, Hays Travel Foundation, Faithorn Farrell Timms and supporters of the Connections Appeal.





Platforms  & Talks

An eclectic programme of talks, discussions and interviews, offering the chance to learn more about the National’s work and the arts in general. £6/£5/£4


Bright Star with Ruth Rosen Mon 27 Feb, 6.30pm, Cottesloe Room

Lindsey Ferrentino and Indhu Rubasingham on Ugly Lies the Bone Fri 3 Mar, 6pmLyttelton

Improbable on Lost Without Words Fri 10 Mar, 4.30pm, Dorfman

Padraig Cusack and Rufus Norris on My Country Tue 14 Mar, 6.30pm, Dorfman                                                                                                                 

Simon Godwin Tue 21 Mar, 6pm, Olivier

Tamsin Grieg Fri 24 Mar, 3pm, Olivier

New Rehabilitation Therapies and Virtual Pain Management Wed 29 Mar, 6pm, Cottesloe Room

Gender Fluid Wed 5 Apr, 6pm, Cottesloe Room

Roger Michell on Consent Wed 12 Apr, 6pmDorfman

Revenge on Stage Tue 18 Apr, 6pm, Cottesloe Room

Twelfth Night on Stage and Screen Fri 21 Apr, 6pm, Cottesloe Room

A Voyage Round Olivier with Derek Granger Wed 10 May, 6pm Cottesloe Room

Nicholas Hytner: Balancing Acts Mon 22 May, 6pm, Lyttelton

Shakespeare Retold with Tracy Chevalier Fri 9 Jun, 6.30pm, Dorfman

Jan Ravens: Difficult Women Tue 13 Jun, 6pm, Dorfman

History of Common Land Thu 15 June, 6pm, Cottesloe Room

Jeremy Herrin and D C Moore Fri 16 Jun, 6pm, Olivier

Inua Ellams on Barber Shop Chronicles Mon 19 Jun, 6.30pm, Dorfman

Men and Mental Health, Tue 20 Jun, 6pm

Mothers/Daughters/Sisters Wed 21 Jun, 6pm, Cottesloe Room

Yaël Farber on Salomé Fri 14 Jul, 6pm, Olivier


In Context
In-depth exploration of repertoire, productions and their contexts, with theatre practitioners and academics. Cottesloe Room, Clore Learning Centre except where stated.

Half day £25/£20, full day £50/£40, student price £7.50 where stated.
How Do We Remember? Thu 16 Mar2-5pm

Shakespeare’s Comedies: Character, Plot and Language Mon 27 Mar2-5pm

Modern American Drama (including Angels in AmericaMon 10 May10.30-3.30pm, student tickets at £7.50 available

Religious and Ancient Text on Stage Wed 17 May2-5pm

Glam and Decay – Designing Angels in America Thu 18 May2-5pm

Working as a Producer in Theatre and Arts Fri 19 May 10.30-4.30pm. Student tickets at £7.50 available

Under the Skin of Angels in America Sat 25 May10.30-4.30pm

Acts of Violence and Salomé Mon 12 Jun2-5pm

Spoken Word and Monologue in Black Theatre Sat 10 Jun2-5pm
Revolt: the world of Common Wed 19 Jul2-5pm
National Debates

Lively panel discussions in the Dorfman Theatre exploring questions raised by the repertoire.


Return from Duty – the road to recovery Thu 30 Mar, 5.45pm, Lyttelton £6/£5

A Question of Consent Wed 26 Apr, 6pm, Dorfman £5/£4


On Screen, Clore Learning Centre

Film screenings linked to NT repertoire.


A Century of Folk Customs from the UK Mon 20 Mar, 6pm, Cottesloe Room, £5/£3

Kajaki. The True Story. Plus Q&A with the Director Paul Katis and veteran Stuart Pearson.

Fri 31 Mar 5pm, Cottesloe Room £5/£3

Winstanley Plus Q&A with Director Kevin Brownlow. Mon 17 Jul, 5pm, Cottesloe Room, £5/£3





Free exhibitions at the NT, open daily, with linked events in the Clore Learning Centre.


The Art of Make Believe: Staging Children’s Stories – Wolfson Gallery until 22 April 2017

Family workshops 4 – 6 and 11 – 13 April. Discover some of the wonderful ways we turn our favourite stories into theatre, exploring costume and set design, model making and more.


Bright Young Tings

Black Theatre in London in the 80’s. Photographs by Michael Mayhew and artwork by artist Cherelle Sappleton. Lyttelton Lounge, from 24 Feb until 15 April 2017


Talk: Stage Photographers Sat 4 Mar, 6-7pm, £6/£5

In Context: Black Women Time Sat 11 Mar, 2-5pm, £25/£20

In Context: GLC Story – Black Feminist Theatre 1981-86 Sat 1 Apr, 2-5pm, £25/£20/£7.50


In Visible Ink

Tracing some of the changes for the LGBT+ community over the past 25 years. Lyttelton Lounge, from 27 April until September 2017


In Context: Queer Stages UK Wed 5 July, 2-5pm, £25/£20

Talk: Drag as Art Form Wed 12 July, 6-7pm, £6/£5

Talk: Trans Culture Fri 14 July, 6-7pm), £6/£5


We’re here because we’re here 

On 1 July 2016, thousands of volunteers took part in a modern memorial to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. ‘We’re here because we’re here’ was a UK-wide event commissioned by 14-18 NOW, conceived and created by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris, Director of the NT.

An exhibition of photographs showing the day as it unfolded across the UK.

Wolfson Gallery, May 2017 until August 2017



Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s programme of arts support reflects our belief that the arts matter. They help economies to thrive, individuals to connect with each other across cultures, and they educate and enrich societies. Our commitment to the arts is a key element of our responsible growth. Around the world, we support not-for-profit arts institutions that deliver both the visual and performing arts which provide inspirational educational programmes, open access for all communities, create jobs, and are pathways to greater cultural understanding. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about, and connect with us on Twitter @BofAML.