James Corden in One Man Two Guvnors


Wolverhampton Grand Theatre and the National Theatre have announced a season of free theatre screenings at Wolverhampton Central Library. A series of theatre productions on the National Theatre Collection will be shown once a month, on Monday evenings with two family orientated screenings on Saturday afternoons.

Through the National Theatre’s Theatre Nation Partnerships programme, free screenings of National Theatre Collection productions are being piloted at local libraries in Wolverhampton and Peterborough. Theatre Nation Partnerships works to build engagement in theatre with audiences, schools and community groups in 13 areas in partnership with 13 organisations across England.

The National Theatre Collection, in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing and Proquest, provides access to high-quality recordings of 50 world-class productions to schools, colleges and educational establishments across the globe. Free for UK state schools, over 83% of state secondary schools are now signed up to access the platform. Screenings are delivered via Drama Online, a Bloomsbury Digital Resources platform available to university, school and public libraries.

To become a member of Wolverhampton Libraries, click here.

The first screening will be ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS on Monday 15 May at 7:30pm. Recorded in London’s West End in 2011, featuring a Tony Award-winning performance from host of the The Late Late Show, James Corden.

Fired from his skiffle band, Francis Henshall becomes minder to Roscoe Crabbe, a small time East End hood, now in Brighton to collect £6,000 from his fiancée’s dad. But Roscoe is really his sister Rachel posing as her own dead brother, who’s been killed by her boyfriend Stanley Stubbers. Holed up at The Cricketers’ Arms, the permanently ravenous Francis spots the chance of an extra meal ticket and takes a second job with one Stanley Stubbers, who is hiding from the police and waiting to be re-united with Rachel. To prevent discovery, Francis must keep his two guvnors apart. Simple.

On Monday 19 June at 7:30pm, there will be a screening of SMALL ISLAND, staged in 2019 at the National Theatre.

SMALL ISLAND embarks on a journey from Jamaica to Britain, through the Second World War to 1948 – the year the HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury. The play follows three intricately connected stories. Hortense yearns for a new life away from rural Jamaica, Gilbert dreams of becoming a lawyer, and Queenie longs to escape her Lincolnshire roots. Hope and humanity meet stubborn reality as the play traces the tangled history of Jamaica and the UK. A company of 40 actors take to the stage of the National Theatre in this timely and moving story.

Before the screening of SMALL ISLAND, there will be a talk from Wolverhampton resident, Mr Reuben Campbell who made his own journey to the UK as a hopeful 20-year-old in 1962, bidding farewell to his loved ones in Jamaica in search of new beginnings, well-known for opening the Rising Star Club in Bilston.

On Saturday 15 July at 2:30pm, there will be a screening of TREASURE ISLAND staged at the National Theatre in 2015.

Patsy Ferran is Jim and Arthur Darvill is Long John Silver in this rip-roaring adventure for the whole family.

It’s a dark, stormy night. The stars are out. Jim, the inn-keeper’s granddaughter, opens the door to a terrifying stranger. At the old sailor’s feet sits a huge sea-chest, full of secrets. Jim invites him in – and her dangerous voyage begins.

Associate Director of Audiences & Communication at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Vicky Price said; “We are grateful to Theatre Nation Partnerships for this new collaboration with City of Wolverhampton Libraries. By allowing access to a wide variety of filmed productions from the National Theatre Collection catalogue we can continue the Grand Theatre’s aim to reach and positively impact even more people in the city and surrounding areas. To be able to offer these screenings for free helps to make quality theatre accessible to anyone who wishes to attend.”

Alice King-Farlow, Director of Learning and National Partnerships at the National Theatre said, “Theatre Nation Partnerships aims to build engagement in theatre across the country and we are delighted to support Wolverhampton Grand’s partnership with City of Wolverhampton Libraries to pilot free screenings of world-class theatre productions via the National Theatre Collection. We are piloting free library screenings in Peterborough and Wolverhampton, and we hope this initiative will make theatre more accessible to a wider audience and inspire people to also discover what their brilliant local theatre offers”.

Theatre Nation Partnerships is supported by Arts Council England and made possible thanks to National Lottery players

Screenings for the remainder of the year will be announced monthly.

These screenings are available for anyone who is a member of City of Wolverhampton Council Libraries, if you are not a member, don’t worry, you can join on the day of the screening or when booking your place.

To book free admission to the first three screenings, ONE MAN, TWO GUVVNORS on Monday 15 May, SMALL ISLAND on Monday 19 June and TREASURE ISLAND on Saturday 15 July, please email libraries@wolverhampton.gov.uk or call 01902 552 025.