Sky Arts extends partnership with National Theatre Live, exclusively acquiring hit productions Jane Eyre and Twelfth Night

Monday 19 October 2020

Sky Arts has today extended its headline sponsorship of National Theatre Live in the UK for a further three years. And this year, in a UK TV first, two of the theatre’s hit productions will also be screened directly to Sky Arts, the UK’s only dedicated arts channel which is now free for everyone to watch on Freeview channel 11.

A hugely successful project from one of the country’s leading theatres, National Theatre Live broadcasts critically-acclaimed performances to audiences beyond the theatre walls.

Jane Eyre, a National Theatre co-production with Bristol Old Vic, directed by Sally Cookson and starring Madeleine Worrall and Felix Hayes, won rave reviews for its depiction of the trailblazing heroine and her fight for freedom. Twelfth Night, directed by Simon Godwin and starring Tamsin Greig as Malvolia, will bring audiences Shakespeare’s well-loved tale of mistaken identity and unrequited love. Both productions will air on Sky Arts in December this year.

As part of the partnership, members of Sky’s loyalty programme, Sky VIP, will continue to have access to private regional screenings and backstage tours, with over 70,000 tickets made available to customers via the programme last year.

Since its launch in 2009, National Theatre Live has broadcast to 937 UK cinemas reaching an audience of 5.2 million. This year, the National Theatre at Home initiative also saw 15 productions broadcast to 13.9 million viewers via YouTube.

The extension of Sky Arts’ sponsorship of National Theatre Live, which began in 2017, forms part of Sky’s renewed mission to increase access to and drive participation in the arts at a vital time for the cultural sector, as it becomes a free-to-air TV channel.

Vanessa Woodard, Director of Partnerships, Sky Arts, said: “We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with the National Theatre. NT Live continues to be a fantastic way of making live theatre accessible to everyone and we are proud to be able to support this. With our shared values of driving accessibility, inclusion and participation in the arts, we look forward to exploring more collaborations between Sky Arts and the National Theatre in the future.”

Emma Keith, Head of Broadcast and NT Live said: We’re delighted that Sky Arts is continuing its headline sponsorship of National Theatre Live in the UK for the next three years, a partnership based on our shared goals of bringing arts and culture to everyone across the UK. The theatre and cinema industry have been greatly affected over the last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and many challenges remain, however we are committed to continue sharing our work with audiences. We are thrilled that Jane Eyre and Twelfth Night will be shown on Sky Arts this December, the first time NT Live titles will be seen on the small screen, and we hope many people will watch and enjoy them later this year.”

Notes to Editors

For further information, please contact Lucy Butterfield:

07815 646886

About Sky Arts

As the UK’s only dedicated arts channel, Sky Arts exists to bring more art to more people across the UK. By throwing open the doors to make the channel free to air, we want to increase access to and participation in the arts.

Offering something for everyone, whatever their passion, Sky Arts showcases the best of classical and popular music, theatre, opera, dance and the visual arts, as well as original drama and comedy.

About Sky

Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Across six countries, we connect our 24 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to our own award-winning original content.

Our technology, including the market leading Sky Q, connects people to everything they love - TV, music, games, online video, fitness and educational content, all in one place, easy. Our streaming service, NOW TV, brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service.

Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, I Hate Suzie and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free, while Sky Arts, the UK’s only dedicated free-to-air arts channel, makes the arts accessible for everyone. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years alone.

We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030. We take pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity and we’ve put in place a new programme to invest £30million across our markets over the next three years to tackle racial injustice.

About National Theatre Live

National Theatre Live has distributed more than 80 theatre productions to 65 countries, reaching an overall audience of almost 11 million people since their first live broadcast of Phédre starring Academy Award® winner Helen Mirren, 11 years ago in 2009. National Theatre Live currently screens in 2,500 venues across 65 countries. Recent broadcasts include Cyrano de Bergerac with James McAvoy, Present Laughter with Andrew Scott, Fleabag with Phoebe Waller-Bridge, All My Sons with Sally Field and Bill Pullman, All About Eve with Gillian Anderson and Lily James, Antony & Cleopatra with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo, Julius Caesar with David Morrissey and Ben Whishaw, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Sienna Miller.

For more information on screenings and to sign up to the National Theatre Live newsletter, go to

Sky Arts is Headline Sponsor of National Theatre Live in the UK.

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