NT Live, launched in June 2009 with a production of Phedre starring Helen Mirren in the title role, reached over 150,000 people on 320 screens in 22 countries in its inaugural season. In a press statement, Nicholas Hytner, director of the National, commented, "We couldn’t have foreseen that the experimental NT Live season would be such a hit with audiences around the world, who are hungry to see our work in their local cinema. We’re delighted that we can confidently build on its success with a second season of broadcasts."
The new season will launch on Oct. 14, 2010, with the broadcast of Complicite's A Disappearing Number, which will be broadcast live from Plymouth's Theatre Royal instead of the National – the first time an NT Live performance will originate outside London. The production won the Olivier Award for Best New Play (2008), the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play (2007) and The Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best New Play (2007).
The season will continue Dec. 9 with the broadcast of Nicholas Hytner's new production of Hamlet, starring Rory Kinnear in the title role, with David Calder as Polonius, Clare Higgins as Gertrude, Patrick Malahide as Claudius and Ruth Negga as Ophelia.
Fela! will follow Jan. 13, 2011, with Sahr Ngaujah as Fela Anikulpao-Kuti. Danny Boyle's return to the theatre directing Nick Dear's new play Frankenstein, based on Mary Shelley's novel, will be broadcast March 17, 2011. Also in the new season, at a date to be announced, will be Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, directed by NT associate director Howard Davies and starring Zoë Wanamaker as Madame Ranevskaya. Davies and Wanamaker are currently working together in the West End's All My Sons.