Welcome to the National Theatre

Welcome to the National Theatre. Let’s go inside and have a look around. The National Theatre is open to everyone. People come here from all over the world to watch plays, see exhibitions and take part in workshops. Over 800,000 people
visit the National Theatre each year. Before actors go on stage,
they change into their costumes in a dressing room, like this one. Their dressing room is also a place they can relax
between the afternoon show, called the matinee, and the evening show. Before a play is shown to an audience, the actors need to rehearse. They do that here, in the rehearsal room. It’s where everyone in the company gets to know each other and works out
what they’re going to be doing on stage. This is Drum Road,
the pathway that connects all the backstage workshops. One of the special things
about the National Theatre is that almost everything you see on stage has been made
right here in this building. This is the metal workshop, where they make metal frames for the sets, so that they’re strong enough to carry all the weight
of lots of people and objects. Next is the carpentry workshop, where the wooden parts
of the set are built. Every play has
a designer and a director who tell the workshop teams what they want their set to look like. The workshop teams then figure out
how to make those ideas a reality. After the different parts of the set
have been made, they’re put together. The team here might be making anything – a giant table, an army tank, a boat or a whole house. This is where
the scenic artists work. They’re the very last people to work on the scenery before it goes onto the stage. They draw, paint and add texture, to help the audience believe in the world they see on stage. This is the props workshop. These skilled craftspeople are expert makers. They can build furniture, puppets, pretend food, statues… The range is endless. Here in the costume department, they make everything an actor wears on stage, including wigs and masks. The costume makers have to make sure
everything a character wears is just right for the time period
and setting of the play. Many actors say they don’t really
feel like their character until they have their costume on, so that first fitting is really important. As we approach the stage, you’ll see the deputy stage manager. It’s her job to cue
everyone working on the show, telling actors when to go on, and the technical teams
when to change the lights and play the sound effects. (WHISTLE) After all this hard work, it’s finally time to take to the stage.
This is… It seats over 1,000 people. Imagine how it must feel to step out and perform on this stage. I hope you’ve enjoyed your tour
of the National Theatre. There are hundreds of theatres
all over the country. Why don’t you pay a visit
to your local theatre and find out how they do things there?


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