Theatre Online

Theatre Online

LATEST REVIEWS

Ode To Joyce (Online review)

One woman show about a one woman show specialist who helped influence a new generation of comedy writers/performers

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DAILY UPDATE: JUNE 18

Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me

Juno has spina bifida but isn’t going to let that slow her down. Online encore screenings following a successful live run at the Kiln Theatre

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Live theatre has made a return but many venues are hedging their bets by live streaming concurrently with socially distanced peformances. And, of course, there’s already the wealth of stuff which has built up over the last fifteen months. So 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 ….. And there are advantages – no tedious travel and you can have an interval whenever you want. 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. Increasingly its being realized that such material can be charged for but much of it is still free to view. It would be nice, though, if you could donate a few coppers to the artists, companies and theatres that bring us this bonanza of goodies; times have been rather hard for them at the moment
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Please scroll to the bottom of this page for a downloadable PDF of this list

This list was posted on 01/06/21 – Any updates since are marked *

Regular update alerts are posted on Twitter – @johnchapman398

For a separately curated list for Young People’s Online Theatre please click here 

 

Subscription/streaming services

Scenesaver  Devised long before lockdown, this is a site which curates shows from smaller venues and has an eclectic and expanding list of material. Nominations for and winners of OnComms (commendations for online productions) are particularly highlighted.  Shows seen and reviewed include: About 500 (here), The Delights Of Dogs and The Problems Of People (here),  Goodbye: The After Life Of Cook and Moore (here), John Hinton’s Scientrilogy (here and here), David Benson’s one man shows about Kenneth Williams (here), Samuel Johnson and Lockerbie (review here) and the Cato Street conspiracy (review here), Shakespeare’s Star Wars (here), An Idea Come To Me (review here), Breathe (review here), Night (review here), Frighteners (reviews here and here), This Evil Thing (review here), Cupid’s Corner (review here), SpaceXPat (review here) and several of the Finborough Theatre shows (see below). Other shows mentioned in this listing also appear on Scenesaver. 

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Online Fringe Festival (OFF) This website is dedicated to streaming shows from new and emerging theatre artists. The actual festival has ended (review of a trio of shows here and of another here). The site has now morphed into another guise with a permanent small collection

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Online@TheSpaceUK One of the mainstays of the Edinburgh Fringe Online in 2020 was this platform which now has three complete seasons of new work and over 80 shows available to view.  Surely, something for all tastes then (reviews of various shows here, here and here. See also Brighton Fringe below)

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Living Record  The festival provider’s latest season ties into the Brighton Fringe Festival (see below) with its usual mix of eclectic product including immersive VR hit Petrichor (review here) and a one man version of King Lear

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National Theatre At Home The National launched their highly anticipated new streaming service with a number of classy productions and more will be added each month. Currently available Amadeus (review here), Coriolanus (review here), Phèdre (review here), The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters, Yerma (review here), Medea (review here), Mosquitoes (review here), Dara, Othello, I Want My Hat Back (review here), Julie (review here), Angels In America (review here), Antigone, Behind The Beautiful Forevers (review here), Consent (review here), Julius Caesar and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (review here). Latest addition are The Deep Blue Sea (review here), The Comedy Of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (review here) and All My Sons (review here). There are various rental and subscription options available

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Marquee TV A healthy selection of theatre, dance and opera performances including many very recent Shakespeare productions from the RSC, a smaller selection of other Shakespeare plays from the Donmar and the Globe, 4 Oscar Wilde plays, 50 operas, a similar number of ballets and contemporary dance performances and a range of backstage documentaries. Reviews: Lady Windermere’s Fan (here), A Woman Of No Importance (here), An Ideal Husband (here), The Importance Of Being Earnest (here), Love’s Labour’s Lost (here), Love’s Labour’s Won (here), The Taming Of the Shrew (here), As You Like It (here), Measure For Measure (here), Henry IV Parts One and Two (here and here), Henry V (review here), Cymbeline (review here) and Timon Of Athens (here). Marquee TV is a subscription service but is offering a 14 day free trial period

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Broadway HD Good for musicals – there’s about 40 of them – including Trevor Nunn’s version of Oklahoma (review here), Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s Into The Woods (review here), Miss Saigon (review here), 42nd Street (review here), Kinky Boots (review here), Billy Elliot (review here), Porgy & Bess (review here), Show Boat (review here), First Date (review here) and Jerry Springer: The Opera (review here). Other highlights include recent award winner Rose with Maureen Lipman (review here), Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson in Look Back In Anger (review here), Simon Callow’s one man show The Mystery Of Charles Dickens (review here), the complete RSC version of Nicholas Nickleby (review here), Kevin Kline in Cyrano de Bergerac (review here), Ian McKellen’s RSC King Lear (review here) and his legendary turn as Macbeth (with Judi Dench as Lady Macbeth), Jez Butterworth’s Parlour Song (review here) and a pair of Sam Shephard plays, Buried Child (review here) and True West (review here). There is also a family friendly section. Broadway HD is a subscription service but is offering a 7 day free trial period

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Digital Theatre All sorts of goodies on here – David Tenant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing, a number of RSC Shakespeare productions, including the rarely performed Two Gentlemen Of Verona (review here), Cymbeline (review here) and Troilus And Cressida (review here), Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl (review here), Regent’s Park’s production of Into The Woods (review here), Maxine Peake in Hamlet, Lesley Manville in Ibsen’s Ghosts (review here), Kathryn Hunter in Kafka’s Monkey (review here), Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing (review here), Noel Coward’s Private Lives (review here), Jez Butterworth’s Parlour Song (review here) and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (review here) and All My Sons – and that’s just for starters. Digital Theatre offers individual rental or a monthly subscription

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Stage 2 View A new streaming service launched with limited but classy content such as musicals Kinky Boots (review here), 42nd Street (review here) and An American In Paris (review here). One piece of exclusive content is Alfred Molina in Red – a play about artist Mark Rothko (review here). 

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Broadway On Demand A streaming platform offering a mix of livestream events, a library of video on demand content and educational resources. Notable content includes musicals based on classic novels Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina and several titles from a collection of Shakespeare’s work premiered at Stratford in Canada

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stream.theatre Featuring a constantly evolving programme of both live streamed and recorded shows (NB The latter are shown at specific times and dates). Has featured shows such as Potted Panto (review here), the excellent Cruise (review here), the sensational The Poltergeist (review here), Little Wars (review here) and magical musical The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (review here). Current picks: Shane Richie in Scaramouche Jones, A Killer Party with Jason Manford (review here) and thriller Rocky Road (review here). Philp Ridley’s Tarantula goes ‘on demand’ in mid May (review here) and  Jonathan Harvey’s Hushabye Mountain starts in June. They are also hosting the amateur premiere of The Last Five Years (review here)

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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 do the “Complete Works”(reviews of Henry VI here, All’s Well That Ends Well here, The Comedy Of Errors here, Titus Andronicus here, Two Noble Kinsmen here & Henry VIII here) Globe Player is a subscription service, though there is some free material too. (See also Globe Theatre below)

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On The Boards TV A highly eclectic mix of international performance art is the mark of this website. On The Boards TV is a subscription service for buying or renting 

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Kanopy An international streaming service – all you need is a valid public library card. Among the theatre treats on offer there’s lots of Shakespeare, plenty of Chekov (Russian with subtitles), material from America’s avant garde Wooster Group and many more. Pick of the bunch is Patrick Stewart in Rupert Goold’s production of Macbeth and Monty Python doing Not The Messiah at The Royal Albert Hall (review here)

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Britbox Although the streaming site is mostly about television, you can have a “Bard fest” with 26 titles from the Royal Shakespeare Company and 3 more from the Donmar Warehouse. Subscription required after a week’s free trial

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LIVR The USP of this theatre streaming site is that everything comes recorded in 3600 virtual reality; they will send you a free VR headset when you subscribe. There are currently over sixty shows from which to choose

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Intelligence2 A whole posse of top drawer actors give dramatic readings as they appear in various debates, talks and discussions on the Arts. Review of Letters That Changed The World here

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All*Arts This American TV website contains a number of plays televised from stage productions including Uncle Vanya – Chekov, Incident At Vichy – Arthur Miller (review here), Buried Child – Sam Shephard (review here) and the extraordinary Until The Flood (review here)

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Starkid Productions  USA based youth focused musicals which have their own very dedicated following. Their latest are A VHS Christmas Carol, Black Friday and The Guy Who Didn’t Like Musicals…which IS a musical. Parodies are high on the agenda with three Harry Potter shows and others pastiching Disney, Star Wars and Batman. One of the shows is definitely not family friendly!

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The Shows Must Go On Andrew Lloyd Webber’s channel premiered a new show every Friday night for just 48 hours. Additionally a number of musicals can be purchased/rented at any time including Cats (review here), Joseph, Jesus Christ Superstar (review here), Hairspray, The Sound of Music, The Wiz, The Phantom Of the Opera (review here) and its sequel Love Never Dies (review here). The site has also periodically streamed plays for a week at a time on Mondays 

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Venues 

The Old Vic The venerable theatre periodically streams past shows and mounts onstage productions through its “In Camera”projct. The theatre is also hosting the monologue series about the NHS called The Greatest Wealth (review here) and the One Voice series of solo performances (reviews  here and here); the latter has two new strands in June, Queers and Home?

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Bristol Old Vic Their successful production of The Grinning Man has been rereleased (review here) as part of a Favourites Box Set package which includes Swallows and Amazons, A Christmas Carol, Messiah and The Night The Autumn Turned To Winter. In June they have a revival of the highly successful Touching The Void (review here) and new play Outlier

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Globe Theatre During the summer the venue will be live streaming its productions of Romeo And Juliet, Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (see also Globe Player above)

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The Traverse  The Edinburgh venue has an online space; with an ever evolving set of material – some free, some ticketed. Titles include(d) Declan by Kieran Hurley (review here), Shielders by Matilda Ibini (review here), Removed by Fionnuala Kennedy (review here) and a set of  audio Breakfast Plays (review here)Currently showing is Until The Flood featuring Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith (review here) Theatre Online

Stratford Shakespeare Festival  That’s Stratford in Ontario (not upon-Avon). They offer up 12 different Shakespeare plays. After playing for free, productions have now become rentable (review of King John here and Pericles here)

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Greenwich Theatre  Twelve shows from the theatre’s back catalogue originally shown on “Flashback Fridays” are now on You Tube.  Choose from classics The Duchess of MalfiThe School For Scandal (review here), Volpone (review here) and Dr Faustus (review here); contemporary pieces Anton’s Uncles (review here), SharkLeg’s play Fulfilment (review here), Tobacco Road (review here) and When The Eye Has Gone (review here). There’s also a selection of family shows (see listings here)

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Southwark Playhouse   The enterprising venue is concentrating on opening up for live performance but will be streaming Charles Dyer’s Staircase later in June

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Gate Theatre The small West London theatre is offering two critically acclaimed shows from its archive: The Unknown Island (review here) and Suzy Storck (review here).

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FinboroughThe pub theatre went great guns in 2020 releasing an archive production every month and now plan to move into creating original material. This starts with Late Night Staring At High Res Pixels which was first released as 28 daily episodes but is now available in its entirety (review here). Also currently available is: Continuity, in which an Irish freedom fighter begins to question his own beliefs (review here) and newest addition A Brief History Of Everyone Who Died (review here). Controversial (in its day) play Leather streams from late June. Subtitled versions appear on Scenesaver

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Soho Theatre On Demand The venue is showing a few plays such as The Special Relationship about the deportation of ex-prisoners from America, Groomed about the effects of abuse and Good Girl about growing up in the 90s.  A livestreamed hit last autumn, The Boss Of It All with Josie Lawrence is also available (review here). Lucinda Coxon’s Herding Cats becomes an on demand piece in June (review here)

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Jermyn Street Theatre  The Footprints Festival greets the reopening of theatres with an ambitious 11 week programme which is both live and streamed. Three headlining plays (Two Horsemen by Biyi Bandele (review here), Lone Flyer by Ade Morris and a revival of Keith Waterhouse’s Mr and Mrs Nobody) are joined by a plethora of other material including solo shows, cabaret performances and poetry readings. Highlights for each week will be posted on Mondays. (Review of Lone Flyer here, Eng-er-land here, Ode To Joyce here, Hole here and The Rape Of Lucrece here) 

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Almeida The Shifting Tides Digital Festival for young people covers the subject of climate change. As Waters Rise is a three part audio play and Writing The Festival consists of seven short video pieces written after a masterclass with dramatist Evan Placey (review here)

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Theatro Technis The community venue in Camden has several full length productions on its You Tube channel such as The True Apology Of Socrates, Oedipus Rex and The Persians (considered the world’s oldest extant play)

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The Curve Theatre in Leicester has archive productions available to please the traditionalists (The Importance Of Being Earnest) and the not so traditionalists (Memoirs Of An Asian Football Casual (review here). Joe Orton’s What The Butler Saw also joined the mix (review here) and there is a recorded dress rehearsal performance of My Beautiful Laundrette

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Homemakers  HOME in Manchester is challenging the whole notion of “live performance” with a series of commissions  which audiences can engage with from their sofas

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The Space The venue on London’s Isle of Dogs has an evolving programme. Looking interesting and coming up this month (among others):  Aaron And Julia, The Cloak Of Visibility (review here) and four new plays in their Foreword Festival

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Chickenshed The young people’s theatre’s 2020 spring show, Waiting For The Ship To Sail, was cut short mid run and is now available on their You Tube channel. It is about global migration and identity (review here). You can also see 2013’s Globaleyes dealing with the problems associated with globalisation (review here), 2017’s, Blowin’ In the Wind about civil rights, 2018’s Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow about climate change and 2019’s 100% Chance Of Rain about mental health. Recently added –  In The Absence Of Silence, a play about domestic abuse (review here) and Crime Of The Century on the subject of knife crime (review here). Their Xmas show was Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland (review here) and this year they have released Peter Pan, Rapunzel (review here) and Sleeping Beauty 

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Brighton Fringe The Festival  this year contains a healthy mix of in person and online events. Choosing “digital” will reveal the latter including the programming of online festival stalwarts Online@The Space and Living Record. (Reviews of The Final Approach here, Devil’s Food Cake here, Insomniac here, Always On My Mind here, Finney’s Ghost here, The Old House here, Breaking Up With Reality here, Hugs Tears And Replacement Bus Services here, Petrichor here, Nevergreen here, Am I A Terrible Person? here, Doody here, SpaceXPat here and Broken Link here)

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Playmakers 

The Show Must Go Online   A very special project which really took off worldwide. Zoom performances of every Shakespeare play – one per week – in the order in which they were written featuring an international cast. The series is now complete and all 36 plays (plus some bonus extras) remain available on You Tube. They are gradually releasing the entire Sonnet sequence accessible via their Patreon scheme. OnComm award finalist Richard III is reviewed here and you can find an account of appearing in Love’s Labour’s Lost  here. Several shows are also available on Scenesaver

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Spymonkey  The comedy genius of this group will really give you a lift. Eight shows were  freestreamed: Hysteria (review here), Oedipussy (review here), Moby Dick (review here), The Complete Deaths (review here), Stiff (review here), A Christmas Carol (review here), Every Last Trick (review here) and Love In (review here). Most of these shows are now available on demand for a small fee. Literally a laugh a minute – well several laughs per minute, actually. 

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Mischief Theatre Mischief will be back soon with their livestream improv evening Mischief Movie Night In (review here). Two of their previous shows Peter Pan Goes Wrong and A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong are available to rent on Amazon, Google and several other platforms (reviews here)

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Original Theatre CompanyThis constantly enterprising company has an evolving mix of rereleased plays and new material. Currently there is a new production,  Barnes’ People, a political play about spying A Splinter Of Ice and Being Mr Wickham, Adrian Lukis’s one man take on the events of Pride And Prejudice. A live stream of A Cold Supper Behind Harrods gets an all start cast reading in mid June

Theatre OnlineImitating The Dog The innovative company which works on drama pieces and “sited work” released a new production every two weeks during the first lockdown. This started with their projection piece Oh The Night! and their big hit Night Of The Living Dead-Remix (review here). Then followed stage plays: Heart of Darkness (review here), 6 Degrees Below The Horizon (review here) and The Zero Hour (review here) and sited projection pieces: Arrivals and Departures, Yorkshire Electric, HouseDown and Trespass. All are still available

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The Beast Will Rise Philip Ridley’s new play The Beast Of Blue Yonder was set to open last April. Instead a series of monologues – currently 15 of them – were gradually released, performed by his intended cast. They range in subject matter and length (from 3 minutes to an hour) but all have the writer’s individual stamp on them (reviews here, here and here)

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Showstopper! The Improvised Musical   A one off streamed performance on Facebook spontaneously recorded on the night theatres closed for the pandemic (review here). Meanwhile Showstopper! The Improvised Musical Live At The Edinburgh Festival consists of two separate shows (known as Tent! and Starving!) which are available to rent via Vimeo. Click here 

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Oh Hello This one man show about “Carry On…” actor Charles Hawtrey was released gradually in bite sized chunks on Facebook. Written by Dave Ainsworth and performed by Jamie Rees (NB This is not the full show)

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Getting Better Slowly A play by Adam Pownall tells the story of the writer’s illness (Guillain Barré Syndrome) through a creative collision of new writing, verbatim accounts, sound and modern movement

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Northern Comedy Theatre Their Doing… series, released through Scenesaver (see above), consists of Doing Shakespeare (review here), Doing The Book Club (review here),  Doing The Pub Quiz (review here), Doing Whodunit (review here) and Doing The Business (review here) along with their Halloween special Bump In The Night (review here). Over the festive season they were cheering us up with The Ministry Of Christmas (review here) and then moved into 2021 with their Valentine’s Sketch Show (review here) and Chatroom by Enda Walsh (review here). Perfect finished their year online (review here)

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Theater In Quarantine And now for something completely different  – a one person theatre space constructed out of a 4x8x2 closet. Shows include The Neighbor – adapted from Kafka (review here) and slapstick science fiction adventure, The 7th Voyage of Egon Tichy featuring an exponentially expanding cast….of one (review here), I Am Sending You The Sacred Face which is a lipsynched drag musical about Mother Teresa (review here) and Blood Meal about a lockdown situation and which expands the cast to two in a pair of closets (review here). The latest pieces are Tristan Tzara’s oddity The Gas Heart (review here) and The Little Hours

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User Not Found Dante or Die’s live show from 2018 has become an immersive video podcast about what happens to our online identities after we expire. It is best experienced on a mobile phone with headphones (review here)

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Daniel Bye Theatre maker Daniel Bye always pushes the boundaries and currently has three full length pieces on his website – How To Occupy An Oil Rig (review here), Going Viral (review here) and The Price of Everything (review here). You can also directly join in with his short piece Palm Reading in which you are one of the actors alongside (potentially) someone you have never met (review here). Also available on Scenesaver

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Druid Theatre Company  J.M Synge’s classic plays are presented by the renowned Irish Company: Playboy Of The Western World (review here), Riders To The Sea (review here), The Shadow Of The Glen (review here), The Well Of The Saints (review here) and Deirdre Of the Sorrows (review here)Theatre Online

Ensemble Theatre of Cleveland have two classic plays by Eugene O’Neill on offer – The Hairy Ape and Anna Christie as well as an adaptation of Antoine De Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince

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Steppenwolf Now Chicago’s legendary company offers half a dozen plays by contemporary writers, one of which Duchess! Duchess! Duchess! seems to be based on a certain person who has been in the news a bit this year

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Love In The Lockdown A nine part series about an online relationship starring Rachel Stirling and Alec Newman and featuring John Culshaw. Releases are scheduled between March and May on days that are exactly one year on from when the events are taking place; all episodes available from 23rd May (review here). Also available on Scenesaver

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Chronic Insanity The Nottingham group have set themselves a steep challenge with their project 12 Plays In 12 Months. So far there have been January’s  Means Of Production (review here), February’s 24, 23, 22 (review here), March’s Flavour Text and April’s There’s Something Among Us (also see the BBC section below)

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Gecko  The renowned international dance theatre troupe have several shows on You Tube: Time Of Your Life (review here), Taylor’s Dummies, The Race, The Arab & The Jew and The Overcoat

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Clown Funeral The physical theatre troupe have three pieces available on their You Tube channel – Mr Poe’s Legendarium (review here), The Murderer (review here) and Things We Chose To Save (review here). Darkly comic shows rooted in physicality, incorporating clowning and mime

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Threedumb Theatre create live streamed work and then put productions on You Tube. You can currently watch The Tell Tale Heart and Within (reviews here) as well as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (review here)and  Poe’s The Black Cat.  Also available on Scenesaver

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Creation Theatre This enterprising team have been pushing at the boundaries of what is possible online and this year have tackled Grimm Tales For Fragile Times And Broken People (review here), the John Webster classic The Duchess Of Malfi (review here)  and a unique take on Romeo and Juliet. Next up is interactive team theatre with A Moment Of Madness

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Romeo And Juliet A Covid-abandoned production by the National Theatre has now been filmed and can be found on NOW TVin the UK and PBS in the States. 

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Planet Of The Grapes This fruit based homage to a well known sci-fi film marries the digital age to that of the Victorian toy theatre movement. A glass of grape juice/wine might be a useful addition 

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The Sorrows Of Satan This devil of a musical updates the Faust legend to a 1920s London rife with corruption. This version was recorded in Brocket Hall, a real stately home (review here)

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House Mother Normal  B.S. Johnson’s experimental stream of consciousness novel becomes “a digital installation” devised and realised by Tim Crouch for New Perspectives as part of the Brighton Festival – it’s disturbingly mesmerising (review here)

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Severed Heads American playwright Justin McDevitt’s six monologues of mystery and terror where the protagonists lose their (metaphorical) heads. They may be enjoyed at any time and in any order (reviews here and here)

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In The Heights The film version of this show from Hamilton’s Lin Manuel Miranda was due in summer 2020 but has been delayed until sometime this year (probably). Meanwhile here’s a chance to catch up with a virtual production on limited dates/(USA) times

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Ad Libido Fran Bushe explores the topic of female sexual dysfunction – and there’s something about dolphins in there too. Presented by The Old Fire Station in Oxford

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Audio material 

Shipwreck This is a timely moment for this play about American politics to surface. Michael Billington described it as “a play that unpicks the messy demise of democracy”. One of the characters is a certain Donald J. Trump – now, who was he again? (review here)

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Five Day Play  Following a ten week competition run by Chichester Festival Theatre, four short plays have been professionally recorded as audio pieces (review here)

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Placeprints A cycle of ten short audio plays by David Rudkin on the theme of the British landscape featuring performers such as Juliet Stevenson, Toby Jones, Josie Lawrence, Stephen Rea and Michael Pennington (reviews of Parts 1 – 4 here, Parts 5 – 8 here and Parts 9 – 10 here)

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Smokescreen  Two audio plays based on seminal works from literature are available entitled Waiting For Hamlet and Watson: The Final Problem (review here). Also available on Scenesaver

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Digital Caravan Theatre This set of micro audio plays from Small Truth Theatre – Spirit Of Carnival, Enough and September Skies (review here) was recorded in their touring caravan. Series 2 consists of plays called Time, Water and Rage (review here). A Xmas special The Emperor’s New Clothes was also released (review here). All plays are available as BSL signed films. Also available on Scenesaver

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The Barren Author Six short plays from Spiteful Puppet inspired by the stories of Baron Munchausen but reimagined as an immersive audio experience. Stars Richard O’Brien and Sophie Aldred (review here). Series 2 is reportedly on its way

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Anno Domino An audio play written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn and performed by himself and his wife, Heather Stoney, playing eight different roles (review here)

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Not So Quiet On The Welsh Front  Slightly oddly, You Tube is the chosen platform for this audio drama set in World War 2. Oh, and the narrator is Humphrey – a teddy bear (review here)

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Written On The Waves 45 North’s series of audio dramas celebrates the power of storytelling and began with a trio called Loss & Hope (review here). They have attracted actors of the quality of Katherine Parkinson, Olivia Williams and Sharon D. Clarke. The latter is in Lem ‘n’ Ginge: The Princess Of Kakos (review here). The former pair front up the innovative You Plays (review here). Season 2 has just launched with a trio from new writers, Lifted (review here) and Darling by Tabby Lamb (review here)

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Earwig Tron Theatre have six audio drama podcasts by Scottish writers incorporating text, sound design and music. Wearing earphones places you at the centre of the experience (review here)

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*My Father Punished Me When I Talked To Ghosts Harpy Productions horror story about blindness and abuse leads to shocking revelations (review here)

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*Sound Stage Pitlochry Festival Theatre is premiering eight new audio plays by the likes of Timberlake Wertenbaker, Roy Williams and Mark Ravenhill. The latter’s Angela is also currently on BBC Sounds (review here)

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*Humane A new six-part audio drama from True Name Theatre based on a true story about an Essex town protesting about animal rights. All episodes are now available (review here)

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Immersive/Interactive theatre 

Swimming Home If you love both theatre and swimming you’re rather out of luck at the moment. Here’s a play which you perform for yourself (following instructions) in your bathroom. You will need your phone, headphones, a swimsuit, swimming goggles and a big towel

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Swamp Motel  This intriguingly named group specialises in online interactive theatrical experiences in which teams solve mysteries by following clues around the internet and breaking codes. There are currently three shows on offer. Plymouth Point centres around a mysterious disappearance. The Mermaid’s Tongue asks you to track down a long lost artefact before it gets into the wrong hands and The Kindling Hour takes you to the world of business based espionage

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Jury Games An online virtual experience. You and your fellow jurors must review the evidence, speak to the accused, and come to a conclusion. Two choices: Jury Duty and The Inquest

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Agent Venture  An actor led online adventure game set in the world of espionage. You’ll need a team of 4-5 players and a set of sharp minds. Three scenarios available. Ticket purchase required (review here)

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Zoo Motel Check in as one of  only 21 participants for what is described as “a live cinematic theatre play”. Sounds intriguing.

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Morpheus Five pieces of polished interactive theatre to choose from with this group are: Locked Down (which starts off with you blindfolded), Manor Of Lies and Undercover  for adults and for families Eggstraction and Spymaker

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Seeyour.city Interactive crime solving events are a speciality. Currently available are: 12 Angry Guests and The Custody Suite

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The Case Of The Hung Parliament Les Enfants Terrible present one of Sherlock Holmes’s lesser known cases where you can help solve the mysterious deaths of several MPs; I’m saying nothing

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CtrlAltRepeat  (winner of an OnComm for Best Immersive show) recently rebooted their interactive crime solving evening Viper Squad Remastered (review here). This has been followed by The Temporal Society which whisks the audience back to 1894 in a piece heavily influenced by H.G. Wells and Jules Verne (review here). There are also recordings of four previous online shows which can be accessed from their website

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Redemption Room Secret Theatre’s immersive experience set in six different countries in which the audience get to decide which “celebrities” are judged for crimes against society. As a participant you can contact them up to 24 hours before the show goes live

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Flight Paths Inspired by the blind female performers of medieval Japan, Extant’s digital show is a radical reworking of a stage piece in which you choose and navigate your own pathway (review here)

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Telling Tales Six brief playlets – plus a musical interlude – in a range of styles from muck + rumble. They are all inspired by the phrase “A little bit of magic…” (review here)

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The Secret Connection  Magic Circle award-winning magician, Dr Will Houstoun treats the audience to a selection of magic from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries over the internet. Participants will be sent a box of interactive magical surprises prior to the performance so booking ahead is essential (review here)

Theatre Online

 

Videos on VIMEO

I, Malvolio,  I Banquo  & I, Peaseblossom   The inimitable Tim Crouch takes a sideways look at Shakespeare characters from Twelfth Night (review here), Macbeth (review here) and The Dream (review here). Highly unusual, highly entertaining and thought provoking. (See also I, Cinna (The Poet) in the You Tube list below)

Theatre Online

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 (review here)

Theatre Online

What I Heard About The World A kaleidoscope of narratives from Third Angel/mala voadora which looks at some weird facts about we humans and examines the power of storytelling. Filmed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012 (review here)

Theatre Online

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 (review here). Warning! This is NOT a family friendly show!

Theatre Online

The Beanfield Breach Theatre creates a multi-media show based on the thirtieth anniversary of the Battle of The Beanfield when police clashed with protestors at Stonehenge (review here)

Theatre Online

The Tailor Of Inverness  A solo piece written and performed by Matthew Zajac about his own father and all victims of war and enforced migration

Theatre Online
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 (review here)

Theatre Online

Sea Wall This monologue from the pen of Simon Stephens is performed by Andrew Scott and is an extraordinary piece of work (review here)

Theatre Online

GH Boy Filmed at Charing Cross Theatre the last night before December lockdown, this debut play by Paul Harvard is a dark thriller which examines the gay subculture of East London

Theatre Online

 

 

Videos on YOU TUBE

The Winter’s Tale Cheek by Jowl’s unusual take on Shakespeare’s play performed at the Barbican in 2017 (review here)

Theatre Online

Richard II – Swinging The Lens The first all women of colour Shakespeare on a UK stage (2019) – in the Sam Wanamaker playhouse

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

Macbeth Or there is this legendary RSC version with Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, Bob Peck and John Woodvine in the cast. Directed by Trevor Nunn

Theatre Online

Henry V  This production of Shakespeare’s history play comes from The Barn in Cirencester and is given a modern slant. It received very positive reviews

Theatre Online

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, I, Banquo and I, Peaseblossom in the Vimeo list above) (There is a review of Tim Crouch playing the role, here)

Theatre Online

Top Story This apocalyptic comedy by Sebastian Michael revolves around a couple of friends who spend their last seven days before the world ends watching the news, reinventing chess and generally putting things into perspective. Eerily topical (review here). Also available on Scenesaver

Theatre Online
North Country First produced as a stage play in an abandoned food hall in 2016, this version was constructed solely on mobile phones in a burnt out building with no power or wifi. Highly appropriate as a plague has wiped out most of the world’s population. Sounds like it might have something to say to us today (review here)

Theatre Online

Heads Up Written and performed by Kieran Hurley this takes the end of the world as we know it as its starting point (review here)

Theatre Online

Lights Over Tesco Car Park Poltergeist make puzzle-box theatre that collaborates with a live audience. This play won the Samuel French New Play Award 2018 (review here)

Theatre Online

21 Chump Street This is short but sweet – a 14 minute musical from Lin Manuel Miranda, the creator of stage phenomenon Hamilton

Theatre Online

Myth A modern full length musical from Sam Cassidy which boldly retells the ancient myth of Orpheus and his quest to the underworld by putting it in a rock concert setting (review here)

Theatre Online

Ghost Quartet A hit when it opened the new Boulevard Theatre in Soho , Dave Molloy has written an unusual and intoxicating song cycle of love, loss and spirits – of both the spectral and alcoholic kind (review here)

Theatre Online

Timpson, 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). Also available on Scenesaver

Theatre Online
Avenue Q The one about the puppets which isn’t Sesame Street or The Muppets. Filmed at the Midvale theatre, Utah – no me neither! (review here)

Theatre Online

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 (review here)

Theatre Online

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 (review here)

Theatre Online

Bed Seven With the NHS currently front and centre here’s a feel good story from its early days by Simon de Cintra. First performed last autumn and now streamed in support of the Actor’s Centre (review here). Also available on Scenesaver

Theatre Online

National eTheatr New writing monologues (over 25 of them) written, directed and performed by participants from the UK; most of them are under 30 minutes long.  The season kicked off with an extract from the Offie award winning A Hundred Words For Snow

Theatre Online

The One Day Of The Year  An iconic play by Alan Seymour is given the Zoom treatment by a cast of Australian and New Zealand actors. It was produced to commemorate ANZAC day.

Theatre Online

Durham Revues  Here’s three full revues from the university team which all played at the Edinburgh Festival: Shenanigans – 2014, Laugh Actually – 2017 and Unnatural Disaster – 2019

Theatre Online

Beyond The Fringe The legendary 60s revue which spearheaded the satire boom and kicked off the careers of Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Jonathan Miller (review here)

Theatre Online

The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged) The Bard chopped up and reassembled in zany bite size chucks by The Reduced Shakespeare Company – a real find, this one (review here)

Theatre Online

The Tailor Made Man The true story of gay Hollywood silent film star William Haines. He refused to compromise and marry Pola Negri in order to quash the rumour mill and was then fired by Louis B. Mayer (review here)

Theatre Online

Great Apes The Arcola Theatre’s adaptation of Will Self’s satirical novel in which everyone except the hero has turned into a chimpanzee (review here). Go ape!

Theatre Online

Nine Lives Fleeing from homophobic persecution, Ishmael finds himself in Leeds where he hopes to get respite. A solo play streamed from the Arcola Theatre in 2016 (review here)

Theatre Online

No Milk For The Foxes  Performed at the Camden People’s Theatre by beatboxing duo Beats & Elements, this is a hard hitting show about two security guards without much to do (review here)

Theatre Online

The Chairs Ionesco’s absurdist masterpiece translated by Martin Crimp with two blind actors and an audio described soundscape incorporated into the performance from Extant Theatre (review here). Also available on Scenesaver

Theatre Online

Jigsy A one man play by Tony Staveacre about a journeyman comedian well past his sell by date. Performed by Les Dennis at the Liverpool Royal Court (review here)

Theatre Online

Come To Where I Am: Rural (Parts 1 & 2) Pentabus and Paines Plough have commissioned eight writers to construct short plays about their experience of the rural environment (review here)

Theatre Online

Stan’s Internet Café  An adaptation of Robert Burton’s Anatomy Of Melancholy in 35 episodes (2 – 5 minutes each) plus a short play For Quality Purposes (review here)

Theatre Online

Tiny Dancers The National Youth Theatre’s Playing Up Company have collaborated remotely during lockdown. Their online show consists of a series of sketches by Isley Lynn about struggling to connect

Theatre Online

Pint Sized Plays Does what it says on the tin, being short and sweet plays of all genres. The 10 winners from the 2020 (online) competition can be found separately here

Theatre Online

549: Scots Of The Spanish Civil War Wonder Fools present an archive recording set in 1936 when 549 people joined the International Brigade and become embroiled in a fight against fascism in Spain

Theatre Online

The Ockenden Witch A play by Richard Margrave about the real life 16th century trial of Agnes Byllinge accused of witchcraft and incest in an Essex village (review here). Also available on Scenesaver

Theatre Online

A Marvellous Party  The Noel Coward Foundation presents a tribute from the stars to the work of The Master (review here)

Theatre Online

Bubble Here’s something a bit different. This is a play by Kieran Hurley specially written to be performed online before it became an actual necessity (review here)

Theatre Online

In A Nutshell  This short piece imagines a time when theatres have never reopened and someone has to explain what they were for. Funny and melancholic at the same time (review here)

Theatre Online

Artemisia: Light and Shadow  The life story of Artemisia Gentileschi in a one-woman multi-media show written by Nahma Sandrow (review here)

Theatre Online

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 (review here)

Theatre Online

In Camera (Huis Clos) One from the deepest vaults as Jean-Paul Sartre reminds us that hell is other people. The point of particular interest is that it stars Harold Pinter (review here)

Theatre Online

The Rocky Horror Show   The 40th anniversary show (2015) of the camp horror musical which took the world by storm…All together now, “Let’s do the Time Warp again!” (review here)

Theatre Online

Shrek: The Musical The stage version of the hit film for those who like their fairy tales with attitude

Theatre Online

Gutenberg! The Musical! Bud and Doug have come up with a novel concept – a musical about the inventor of the printing press. In a preview performance for potential backers they get to perform all the roles and sing all the songs (review here)

Theatre Online

Company  John Doyle’s 2006 revival production of Sondheim where the actors also play all the music – many of them are multi instrumentalists – amazing (review here)

Theatre Online

Suddenly Short Australian musical about a mother/daughter relationship in which both women have to confront personal issues; contains some full ensemble dance numbers (review here)

Theatre Online

Cells  Metta Theatre’s little gem of a short musical features Clive Rowe and Lem Knights searching for connection. Available as seven (very) short episodes or as a full half hour treat (review here)

Theatre Online

Letters Live: From The Archive There’s more star names than you can shake several sticks at in these two special “best of” shows from The Freemason’s Hall and The Union Chapel. Let’s not spoil the surprise with a list here but prepare to be dazzled and thoroughly entertained (review here). There’s a separate programme which was released for International Women’s Day on March 8th (review here)

Theatre Online

Zara It’s probably best to quote Mind The Gap’s own description of this outdoor show: “A cast of over 100 disabled and non-disabled performers, cherry pickers, tanks, 3D projections and a mechanical, moving ‘baby’ that’s bigger than a double decker bus; a truly unique experience” (review here)

Theatre Online

Metamorphosis (In Lockdown) Kafka updated as a metaphor for all our lives. After a full year of blowing everybody else’s trumpet, I hope nobody minds if, for once,  I blow my own

Theatre Online

Really Want To Hurt Me Flaming Theatre presents a comedy by Ben SantaMaria about teenage heartache set in 1984. Performed by Ryan Price (review here)

Theatre Online

Home, Part One  Dublin’s Abbey Theatre responds through survivor testimony to a report focusing on the discrimination experienced by vulnerable women and children in mother and baby institutions in Ireland

Theatre Online

Hysterical! A Hilarious History Of Hysteria Stratford East plays host to Rebecca Buckle’s comedy lecture about a particular label placed on women 2.5 millennia ago (review here)

Theatre Online

The Line A verbatim play taken from the words and testimony of public health workers in New York who worked through the Covid-19 pandemic (review here)

Theatre Online

 

 

BBC iPlayer/Sounds

Lights Up BBC TV, radio, iPlayer and Sounds combine forces with theatres across the country to produce a total of 18 shows across a range of genres. Includes A Winter’s Tale from the RSC, J’Ouvert, the debut play of Yasmin Joseph (review here), Giles Terera and Samuel West in The Meaning Of Zong (review here), Welcome To Iran written/directed by Nadia Fall (review here), Simon Russell Beale as folk song collector Cecil Sharp in Folk (review here) and six brand new one-off plays premiering on BBC4. Review of Phoebe Eclair-Powell’s Harm here, Natasha Marshall’s Half Breed here, Dorcas Sebuyange’s Buttercup here, Nick Dear’s Dedication here, Testament’s Orpheus In The Record Shop here, Adam Kashmiri’s Adam here, Katherine Parkinson’s Sitting here, Colm Toibin’s Pale Sister here and David Ireland’s Sadie here

Theatre Online*Angela Mark Ravenhill’s play about his mother premiered online last year and now returns as a BBC audio drama with Pam Ferris and Toby Jones (review here)

Theatre Online

Hairy Hands FM  Chronic Insanity has joined up with the BBC to produce a short interactive audio experience based on a Dartmoor legend. It requires a mobile device and headphones for full effect (review here)

Theatre Online

Unprecedented A series of 14 short dramas in various styles developed since lockdown began. Written by celebrated playwrights, performed by a cast of over fifty UK actors and curated by Headlong Theatre, Century Films and BBC Arts (review here)

Theatre Online

Staged A bit of a cheat this one, but it is online, it is about theatre and stars two of the best actors of this generation: Michael Sheen and David Tennant … or David Tennant and Michael Sheen as they wrestle with rehearsing via Zoom (review here). A second series is now available (review here)

Theatre Online

Talking Heads Also not, strictly speaking, theatre but as near as makes no difference. Alan Bennett’s 12 rerecorded monologues with a starry cast masterminded by Nicholas Hytner are sure to appeal to those interested in modern drama (review of 1-4 here , 5-8 here and 9 – 12 here)

Theatre Online

Crip Tales Six short dramatic monologues which are written, performed and directed by disabled people (review here)

Theatre Online

Uncle Vanya Toby Jones takes the title role in Chekov’s play which was in London’s West End as lockdown struck. By all accounts it’s a great production from Ian Rickson (review here)

Theatre Online

Rush A play by Willi Richards, bound for the West End last year, is now given a reading in a virtual rehearsal room by three actors including Rupert Everett (review here)

Theatre Online

Sugar Open Clasp have developed this trilogy of theatre pieces with women who are homeless, on probation or in prison (review here)

Theatre Online

Cinderella – A Comic Relief Pantomime For Christmas Written by The Dawson Brothers and produced by Richard Curtis this “stay at home panto” has some big names (Olivia Coleman, Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Hollander) working from home without any rehearsal (review here)

Theatre Online

 

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