40+ reasons to stay in

40+ reasons to stay in

Please note this blog post is now out of date.

For the latest version of this information go to

https://bit.ly/2UZM10Q

This is updated regularly

Also follow on Twitter for daily updates (@johnchapman398)

New reviews are published daily on this blog (2nd from Bottom) which can also be followed

Are you fed up with not being able to go out to the theatre? Don’t be. There’s a wealth of stuff online and buoyed by my two visits to virtual theatres last weekend (here and here), here’s a handy list of current opportunities. OK, so it’s not quite the same as sharing the communal experience with others but beggars, as they say ….. There’s more material being added all the time (although by its very nature some stuff doesn’t hang around for long) but this should be enough to keep you going for a while. Despite the first few entries below, most of the material is free to view though it would be nice if you could donate a few coppers to the artists and theatres that bring us this bonanza of goodies

Theatre Online
Marquee TV A healthy selection of theatre, dance and opera performances including 14 recent Shakespeare productions from the RSC, a smaller selection of other Shakespeare plays from the Donmar and the Globe, all 4 Oscar Wilde plays (reviews here and here) from the 2018 Classic Spring season, nearly 50 operas (including the complete Wagner Ring Cycle) a similar number of ballets and contemporary dance performances and a range of backstage documentaries. A special “Watchalong” of the RSC’s Twelfth Night with Adrian Edmonson and Kara Tointon takes place on April 11th at 19:15. Marquee TV is a subscription service but is currently offering a 30 day free trial period
Broadway HD An American equivalent of Marquee TV and sharing some of the same content. Highlights include Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson in Look Back In Anger, the complete RSC version of Nicholas Nickleby, Ian McKellen’s recent King Lear and his legendary turn as Macbeth (with Judi Dench as Lady Macbeth), about 40 Broadway musicals (including Trevor Nunn’s version of Oklahoma (review here), 42nd Street and Jerry Springer The Opera), a family friendly section and an interesting world theatre selection. Broadway HD is a subscription service but is currently offering a 7 day free trial period
Globe Player There are about 75 productions available (so basically the entire Shakespeare canon plus), some of which are from worldwide visiting companies. Hunker down for the long haul and The Complete Works…. Globe Player is a subscription service. However, six plays will be released for free on a two week rotation starting April 6th (Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, The Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Merry Wives of Windsor)
Digital Theatre All sorts of goodies on here – David Tenant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing, Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl, Regent’s Park’s production of Into The Woods, Maxine Peake in Hamlet, Lesley Manville in Ibsen’s Ghosts and that’s just for starters. If you had booked tickets for the Old Vic’s Endgame then you will be able to stream this production for free in April. Digital Theatre is a subscription service
National Theatre Collection Thirty recordings of NT productions from the last ten years including Billie Piper in Yerma, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller in Frankenstein, Helen McCrory in The Deep Blue Sea, Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw in London Assurance and a whole raft of Shakespeare. The National Theatre Collection is a subscription service
Original Theatre Company Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art (Matthew Kelly and David Yelland) and Ali Milles’ The Croft (Gwen Taylor) available to stream until June. Minimum payment of £5 for both shows – other donations appreciated
Hampstead Theatre At Home Each week (starting Mondays) brings a new play from the theatre’s back catalogue. Currently scheduled: Wild by Mike Bartlett (last week – review here), Wonderland by Beth Steel (this week – review here) and Drawing the Line by Howard Brenton (starts April 13th)
Greenwich Theatre (Flashback Fridays) A rolling programme from the theatre’s back catalogue shown via their Facebook page at 19:30 on Fridays (NB: has to be watched live). The Duchess of Malfi was shown last Friday and The School For Scandal is due this Friday. This is part of Greenwich Theatre’s Connects programme which also features Monologue Mondays, Wednesday Wisdom and Short Play Submission Sundays
The Curve Theatre in Leicester has two archive productions avaible to please the tradionalists (The Importance Of Being Earnest) and the not so traditionalists (Memoirs Of An Asian Football Casual). Joe Orton’s What The Butler Saw is due to join the mix anytime soon

Chichester Festival Theatre CFT is to stream a selection of its archive productions online via its website, beginning with the musical Flowers for Mrs Harris from Thursday 9 April . This will be available for 30 days ; details of future broadcasts will be announced shortly.
Told By An Idiot The Idiot Archive will present a new show each week starting with My Perfect Mind from 2013 (Review here) This has now been succeeded by their random sketch show Get Happy
Pentabus Theatre The Shropshire Theatre is gradually releasing its back catalogue with a new entry every Friday. First up is the cabaret styled Here I Belong by Matt Hartley which is set across six decades
Eugenius This 2018 musical about the superhero inside all of us was nominated for lots of awards. Shown via Facebook (but this one is watch anytime) it is an “homage to the sounds and cinema of the Eighties”
Showstopper! The Improvised Musical A one off streamed performance on Facebook which does what it says on the tin
The Wind In The Willows Rufus Hound as Toad in a family friendly musical from Stiles and Drew, book by Julian Fellowes. There’s an accompanying downloadable activity pack too
Cyprus Avenue The Royal Court’s very hard hitting but also blackly funny play by David Ireland in which a Belfast loyalist (Stephen Rea) has a psychotic episode mistaking his granddaughter for Gerry Adams. Definitely an adults only drama (Review here)
Getting Better Slowly A play by Adam Pownall available from April 3rd which tells the story of the writer’s illness (Guillain Barré Syndrome) through a creative collision of new writing, verbatim accounts, sound and movement
Henry V This production of Shakespeare’s history play comes from The Barn in Cirencester and can be streamed on You Tube, Facebook or Twitter. There are some nice extras available – an interactive programme and a downloadable soundtrack – and the play has garnered good reviews
Fleabag Streamed by Soho Theatre, this is where the phenomenon began – onstage as a one woman show. Considering how many people applied for tickets and were disappointed there’s going to be big demand for this one. There is a rental charge (5 different levels) but all money raised is going to support those affected by the virus
Videos on VIMEO
I, Malvolio & I, Peaseblossom (Review here) The inimitable Tim Crouch takes a sideways look at two Shakespeare characters from Twelfth Night and The Dream. Highly unusual, highly entertaining and thought provoking. (Apparently I, Banquo is to come shortly and see also I, Cinna (The Poet) in the You Tube list below)
The Turning Point Short drama with Benedict Cumberbatch and Matthew Marsh in Michael Dobbs’s play about a meeting between Winston Churchill and Guy Burgess
What I Heard About The World A kaleidoscope of narratives from Third Angel which places humans in the world and examines the power of storytelling. Filmed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012
Five Encounters On A Site Called Craigslist Yes Yes No No’s exploration of intimacy with “extreme audience participation”. An Edinburgh fringe hit in 2017
Beckett By Brook Five short pieces appropriately about isolation from Samuel Beckett directed by the legendary Peter Brook. Filmed in Paris with an introduction from Brook in French; the performances are in English
Peeping Tom Trilogy Belgian masters of movement and the absurd, Peeping Tom, up the level of weird with a film of Le Jardin and live performances of Le Salon and Le Sous Sol
Snow Mouse Theatre for the very young. Egg In Bath’s short piece is aimed at 4 year olds and under
Boys Don’t A rhymed play for the 8+ age group from Half Moon Theatre about how young boys repress their emotions
Only The Brave Based on true events this musical is set in the run up to the D-Day landings about a group of soldiers and their families and loved ones. Written by Rachel Wagstaff, with music by Matthew Brind; recorded at the Wales Millennium Centre

Videos on YOU TUBE
National Theatre Live Every Thursday at 19:00 a classic from the NT repertoire. Starts with James Corden in Richard Bean’s joyous One Man, Two Governors on April 2nd (review here) Subsequently Jane Eyre (April 9th), Treasure Island (April 16th) and Twelfth Night with Tamsin Grieg (April 23rd) are scheduled. Each show is available for a week but join the live stream for the communal experience
*The Shows Must Go On Each Friday (19:00) a show from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s back catalogue will be released for 48 hours. First up Joseph, followed by Jesus Christ Superstar, appropriately on Good Friday (review here). By Jeeves (written with Alan Ayckbourn) is also probable
The Winter’s Tale Cheek by Jowl’s take on Shakespeare’s play performed at the Barbican in 2017 (available until the end of April)
All My Sons Arthur Miller’s classic about war time chicanery and its effects on a family. David Suchet and Zoe Wannamaker are on top form in Howard Davies’s production from 2010. Part of Digital Theatre (see above) but this one is free
It’s True, It’s True, It’s True Verbatim theatre with a difference. Taken from court transcripts of the 1612 trial of Agostino Tassi for the rape of the young painter Artemisia Gentileschi. The play examines whether anything has changed in the last four centuries
Clown Funeral The physical theatre troupe have three pieces available on their You Tube channel – Mr Poe’s Legendarium (2015), The Murderer (2016) and Things We Chose To Save (2017). Darkly comic shows rooted in physicality, incorporating clowning, mime and audaciously non-naturalistic staging
Daniel Bye Theatre maker Daniel Bye currently has three pieces on his You Tube Channel – How To Occupy An Oil Rig, Going Viral (review here) and The Price of Everything. “Bye juggles with comedy and tragedy, roughness and polish, truth and lies”
Key Change Open Clasp working with female prisoners at HM Prison Low Newton examine the theme of domestic abuse
I, Cinna (The Poet) Another of Tim Crouch’s pieces about Shakespearean characters. Cinna is played by Jude Owusu – who was playing the same character in an RSC production of Julius Caesar at the time (See I, Malvolio and I, Peaseblossom in the Vimeo list above)
Top Story This apocalyptic comedy by Sebastian Michael revolves round a couple of friends who spend their last seven days watching the news, reinventing chess and generally putting things into perspective. Eerily topical
Bubble Here’s something a bit different. This is a new play by Kieran Hurley specially written to be performed online. Theatre Uncut have made this recording but if you want to create your own then the royalty free script is downloadable
21 Chump Street This is short but sweet – a 14 minute musical from Lin Manuel Miranda, the creator of stage phenomenon Hamilton
Myth A modern full length musical which boldly retells the ancient myth of Orpheus and his quest to the underworld
Ghost Quartet A hit when it opened the new Boulevard Theatre in Soho last year, Dave Molloy has written an unusual and intoxicating song cycle of love, loss and spirits – of both the spectral and alcoholic kind
Timpsons, The Musical A musical (owing a big debt to Romeo and Juliet) about the formation of the key cutting High Street chain – no really! (Review here)
The Time Of Your Life International theatre troupe Gecko’s short dance and movement piece representing the milestones in a man’s life as he moves through different rooms in a house
5 Soldiers Choreographer Rosie Kay collaborates with the British army to give an insight into the psychology and welfare of front line soldiers
Cookies Emily Jenkins’ play was commissioned as part of the Cyberscene Project; an theatre initiative which supports the health and well-being of young people affected by cyber bullying and other online issues
Girls Like That Evan Placey’s play is also about cyberbullying. It follows a group of schoolgirls reacting as one of their peers has naked photos of themselves leaked online
Amsterdam Courtesy of The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond this “strikingly original, audacious thriller” by prize-winning Israeli playwright Maya Arad Yasur is available for a limited time
Macbeth This one’s really intriguing. The Folger Theatre in Washington (part of Folger Library who own the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works) mount a production which is co-directed by Teller – of Penn and Teller fame (Link is to first part of video)
Lights Over Tesco Car Park Poltergeist make puzzle-box theatre that collaborates with a live audience. They are streaming their show for 30 days from April 4th. It won the Samuel French New Play Award 2018.

Coming soon…..

Culture In Quarantine The BBC’s initiative will include Mike Bartlett’s Albion from The Almeida, Emma Rice’s Wise Children, Battersea Arts Centre’s Frankenstein and six recent titles from the Royal Shakespeare Company
Curtains The Kander and Ebb musical comedy starring Jason Manford is to be charity streamed from Tuesday April 14 with profits going to Funds for Freelancers

And now I’ve set myself the challenge of watching one of these pieces during every day in April

#30plays30days

Sore eyes

Happy viewing!

Please note this blog post is now out of date.

For the latest version of this information go to

https://bit.ly/2UZM10Q

This is updated at least weekly

Also follow on Twitter for daily updates (@johnchapman398)

New reviews are published daily on this blog (2nd from Bottom) which can also be followed

11 thoughts on “40+ reasons to stay in

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