Theatre Online

Theatre Online

DAILY UPDATE: NOVEMBER 28

Jack and The Beanstalk

It’s almost panto time and Panto Online is presenting a traditional show filmed outside in Peter Duncan’s garden during the interval between the two lockdowns. Streams from December 4 to January 10. Ticket purchase required

 

Theatre Online

Another month – another lockdown! 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 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. Despite the first section below, most of the material is free to view though it would be nice if you could donate a few coppers to the artists, companies and theatres that bring us this bonanza of goodies; times are rather hard for them at the moment

Please scroll to the bottom of this page for a downloadable PDF

This list was posted on 16/11/20 – 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 services

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), Hnery V (review here) and Timon Of Athens (here). Marquee TV is a subscription service but is offering a 14 day free trial period

Theatre Online

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), 42nd Street, Billy Elliot (review here) Porgy & Bess (review here) and Jerry Springer: The Opera (review here). Other highlights include 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), Ian McKellen’s RSC King Lear (review here) and his legendary turn as Macbeth (with Judi Dench as Lady Macbeth) 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

Theatre Online
Digital Theatre All sorts of goodies on here – David Tenant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing, 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) and that’s just for starters.  Digital Theatre is a subscription service 

Theatre Online

Stage 2 View The latest streaming service launches with limited but classy content such as musicals Kinky Boots and An American In Paris. One piece of exclusive content is Alfred Molina in Red – a play about artist Mark Rothko

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

stream.theatre The latest streaming service featuring both live streamed and recorded shows. Features musicals such as The Last Five Years and Falling Stars

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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”. Globe Player is a subscription service, though there is some free material too

Theatre Online

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 an educational subscription service but free to UK state schools. The National Theatre At Home season ran for 16 weeks earlier this year but has now finished

Theatre Online
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

Theatre Online

 

Theatre and company websites

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), Shakespeare’s Star Wars (here), An Idea Come To Me (review here), Doing The Book Club (review here), Night (review here), Frighteners (reviews here and here) and several of the Finborough Theatre shows (see below). Other shows mentioned in this listing also appear on Scenesaver

Theatre Online

Online Fringe Festival (OFF) This website is dedicated to streaming shows from new and emerging theatre artists across the UK and the world. The actual festival ended on May 31st (review of a trio of shows here and of another here). The site has now morphed into another guise with a permanent small collection

Theatre Online

The Old Vic The venerable theatre periodically streams past productions which started with its critically acclaimed A Monster Calls  (review here); Joe Penhall’s Mood Music was next (review here). A new project “In Camera” began with  socially distanced live streamed performances of another hit, Lungs, starring Matt Smith and Claire Foy (review here) followed by Andrew Scott in Three Kings (review here) and Michael Sheen in Brian Friel’s Faith Healer (review here); a second run for each of these is on the horizon and Jack Thorne’s version of A Christmas Carol will be next. The theatre is also hosting the monologue series about the NHS called The Greatest Wealth (review here)

Theatre Online

Bristol Old Vic They live streamed the production of Romantics Anonymous (director Emma Rice) in late September (review here). At weekends they have a Zoom murder mystery Sherlock In Homes (review here). *Hedda, Lucy Kirkwood’s adaptation of Ibsen, has four live streamed performances from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School  starting November 18. *Their production of The Grinning Man has just been rereleased. It is based on a Victor Hugo novel (well, it worked for Les Mis) and features puppetry work from Gyre and Gimble (review here)

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Edinburgh Festival The Festival itself may be finished but Ghost Light by Hope Dickson Leach, the National Theatre of Scotland’s tribute to playmaking, remains online as a beacon (review here)

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The Traverse  The Edinburgh venue has an online space; some offerings have carried on past festival closing. 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 Breakfast Plays (review here). The Shedinburgh Festival presented the best of the Fringe stalwarts such as Tim Crouch (review here)

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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  Shakespeare’s King John here)

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The Lord Chamberlain’s Men Open air theatres can now give performances but, as most will probably not be ready, you can still enjoy two al fresco Shakespeare productions on video: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest (review here)

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Greenwich Theatre  Twelve shows from the theatre’s back catalogue which were  originally shown via their Facebook page on “Flashback Fridays” have now all been transferred to You Tube.  Choose from classics The Duchess of MalfiThe School For Scandal (review here), Volpone and Dr Faustus (review here); contemporary pieces Anton’s Uncles, SharkLeg’s play Fulfilment (review here), Tobacco Road and When The Eye Has Gone (review here); or family shows My Love Lies Frozen In the Ice, Where’s My Igloo Gone?, Earth Makes No Sound and Guess How Much I Love You?  Theatre Online
Southwark Playhouse  Currently available are Wasted (rock musical about the Brontës – review here), Bound (Devon trawlermen on last voyage) and Twelfth Night (set at a music festival). Before After a romantic musical comedy with real life partners Rosalie Craig and Hadley Fraser (review here) was given three rehearsed readings in late September. *Philip Ridley’s new play The Poltergeist is livestreamed in late November (review here) followed by intimate musical The Last Five Years

Theatre Online

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). Pairs of performers are meeting up online to perform Letters  during September & October (review here)

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Finborough The pub theatre intends to release an archive production every month.  It Is Easy To Be Dead (review here), Death Of A Hunter, (review here) and Jane Clegg (review here) have now finished. Currently available are:  Continuity, in which an Irish freedom fighter begins to question his own beliefs (review here); Blueprint Medea, a contemporary take on the Euripides classic; Adding Machine: A Musical (review here); I Wish To Die Singing, a docudrama about the Armenian genocide. Subtitled versions have also been appearing on Scenesaver

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Soho Theatre On Demand In among the stand up comedy there are a few plays such as The Special Relationship about the deportation of ex prisoners from America, Groomed about the after effects of abuse and Good Girl about growing up in the 90s. Ticket purchase required . 

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Almeida Shifting Tides Festival A digital festival for young people on the subject of climate change. Two drama outcomes: 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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The Space The venue on London’s Isle of Dogs is carrying on with live performance but also putting things online in an evolving programme. Coming up this month: Charles Dickens’ ghost tale The Signalman (November 19)

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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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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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No Masks Created from a project about the pandemic’s key workers devised by Theatre Royal, Stratford East and available on Sky Arts (Freeview 11 – see schedules) or NOW TV (on demand) (review here)

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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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Original Theatre Company has a mix of rereleased plays and new material. Currently there is Torben Betts’ play Apollo13: The Dark Side Of the Moon (review here), Gwen Taylor in The Croft (review here) and two short plays – Miriam Margolyes in Watching Rosie (review here) and Mrs Goldie v. The World (review here)

Theatre Online

What A Carve Up One of the best comic novels ever, written by Jonathan Coe, is turned into a star-studded online play adapted by Henry Filloux-Bennett and directed by Tamara Harvey. Absolutely unmissable! Ticket purchase required (review here)

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Imitating The Dog The innovative company who work on drama pieces and on what they term “sited work” is releasing a new production every two weeks. 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 and The Zero Hour (review here) and sited projection pieces: Arrivals and Departures, Yorkshire Electric, HouseDown and Trespass

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The Beast Will Rise Philip Ridley’s new play The Beast Of Blue Yonder was set to open in April. Instead a series of monologues – currently 15 of them – have gradually been 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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*Death Of England: Delroy A brief but welcome return to the National Theatre At Home with a play recorded on the night it both opened and closed before the second lockdown came into being (review 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. More live streamed shows are planned

Theatre Online

Oh Hello This one man show about “Carry On…” actor Charles Hawtrey is being 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 movement

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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 English 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 Micro audio plays from Small Truth Theatre (Spirit Of Carnival, Enough and September Skies). All three are also available as BSL signed films. September Skies is especially suited to young people (review here). Series 2 consists of plays called Time, Water and Rage (review here). Also available on Scenesaver

Theatre Online

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)

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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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Darkfield Radio The company specialise in home based immersive experiences and are offering two plays called Double and Visitors both for two people sharing a mutual space – so ideal for the #Lockdown2 situation then

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

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*Invisible Summer  This multimedia play from The Royal Court is about getting through the pandemic. Sign up for free before 29 November and it will be delivered to you in instalments nightly

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Plymouth Point  You will need a team for this one as you try and solve the mysterious disappearance of Ivy Isklander by following clues around the internet and breaking codes. Ticket purchase required – per team

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Jury Duty An online virtual experience. You and your fellow jurors must review the evidence, speak to the accused, and come to a conclusion. Ticket purchase required

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Viper Squad If you want to be in your own action movie, here’s your chance! An interactive show from CtrlAlt_Repeat plunges you into foiling a bank robbery in 1980’s New York (plays on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays). Ticket purchase required (review here)

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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 sharp mind. Three scenarios available. Ticket purchase required (review here)

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Beckett Double Bill Two Samuel Beckett plays Krapp’s Last Tape and The Old Tune directed by Trevor Nunn and featuring David Threlfall, Niall Buggy and James Hayes (review here). From the Jermyn Street Theatre. Ticket purchase required 

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15 Heroines 15 short plays by 15 top writers with 15 great actors from the Jermyn Street Theatre. There are three programmes (each of 5 pieces) called The War, The Desert and The Labyrinth telling the tales of the women of the Greek legends. Ticket purchase required – numbers are strictly limited

Theatre Online

Emilia Originally at The Globe in 2018, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s play was one of the hits of the season winning three Oliviers including Best Comedy. Elizabethan drama as seen from a very female viewpoint, it explores the life of the all but forgotten Emilia Bassano (review here). Ticket purchase required – pay what you can

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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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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) and Buried Child (Sam Shephard) (review here)

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Starkid Productions  USA based youth focused musicals which have their own very dedicated following. Their latest are Black Friday (for Halloween) 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 A second season from the Andrew Lloyd Webber channel premieres a new show every Friday night for just 48 hours: this week it’s From Here To Eternity. In addition there are a number of musicals which 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)

Theatre Online

The Shows Must Go On – Shakespeare Season In addition to the regular musicals, in November the site is hosting a short Shakespeare season of Being Shakespeare (Simon Callow) (review here), Richard II (Fiona Shaw) (review here), Macbeth (Patrick Stewart) and The Sonnets

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Little Wars Which six people from history would you invite to dinner? Steven Carl McCasland’s play looks at what happens when (among others) Agatha Christie, Lilian Hellman and Dorothy Parker get together. Ticket purchase required (review here)

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*Blackeyed Theatre Two on demand shows based on classic texts. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is already available and, from November 27, this will be joined by Jane Eyre. Ticket purchase required

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*Rent Hope Mill Theatre’s production of this musical opened in early November and, because of the second lockdown, closed the following day. A filmed version of that performance is now being made available online for three weeks. Ticket purchase required

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Broadway’s Best Shows The title may be overselling it a bit. Each show will be available for 72 hours after initial release on date shown. The programme is: Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (Oct 14), Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth (Oct 20), David Mamet’s Race (Oct 29 ) and Boston Marriage (Nov 12), Neil LaBute’s adaptation of Uncle Vanya (Nov 19), Donald Margulies’s Time Stands Still (Dec 3) and Robert O’Hara’s Barbecue (Dec 10). And there’s some big names lined up: Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Patti Lupone, Alan Cumming, Laura Linney and Alicia Silverstone among others. Pay what you can

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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!

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Fragments  Five short pieces appropriately about isolation from Samuel Beckett directed by the legendary Peter Brook and contained within a French documentary. Filmed in Paris with an introduction from Brook in French ; the performances are in English (review here)

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Druid Theatre Company  Five of 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), Deidre Of the Sorrows and The Well Of The Saints.  (The sixth play in this series, The Tinker’s Wedding, does not seem to be available) 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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The Beanfield Breach Theatre create a multi-media show based on the thirtieth anniversary of the Battle of The Beanfield when police clashed with protestors at Stonehenge (review here)

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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. Ticket purchase required

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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)

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Sea Wall This monologue from the pen of Simon Stephens is performed by Andrew Scott and is an extraordinary piece of work (review here). Currently available to purchase/download

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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)

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

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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

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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

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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

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The House Of Bernarda Alba Kathryn Hunter leads the Graeae Company in a production of Lorca’s acclaimed play (review here)

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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, mime and non-naturalistic staging

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Threedumb Theatre creates live streamed work via Facebook and then puts productions on You Tube. You can currently watch The Tell Tale Heart and Within (reviews here). *Three livestreamed shows of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are on November 26/27 (review here). Also available on Scenesaver

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

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)

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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

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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 in 2020 (review here)

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

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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)

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

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Myth A modern full length musical which boldly retells the ancient myth of Orpheus and his quest to the underworld

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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 (review here)

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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

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

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Gecko  The renowned international dance theatre troupe have several shows on their You Tube channel: Time Of Your Life (review here), Taylor’s Dummies, The Race, The Arab & The Jew and The Overcoat. Their latest release Institute is currently on BBC iPlayer – see below

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5 Soldiers Choreographer Rosie Kay collaborates with the British army to give an insight into the psychology and welfare of front line soldiers

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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)

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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)

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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

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National eTheatr New writing monologues (currently 30 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

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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 this year’s ANZAC day.

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Durham Revues  With Durham being much in the news recently, 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

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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)

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Behind The Fridge   No, nothing to do with Boris Johnson…In the 1970s, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore toured a revue and this is an Australian TV recording of the material (Part One: https://bit.ly/3giZ5ps and Part Two: https://bit.ly/3l2oOpU) (review here)

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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)

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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)

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

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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!

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Nine Lives Fleeing from homophobic persecution, Ishmael finds himself in Leeds where he hopes to find respite. A solo play streamed from the Arcola Theatre in 2016 (review here). A live version of the play is currently playing at the Bridge Theatre in London

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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)

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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

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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)

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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

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

Moments Of Connection Nine monologues created by Manchester’s Royal Exchange Young Company Writers Group and performed by professional actors on the theme of human connection

Theatre Online

Amsterdam Courtesy of The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond this is a “strikingly original, audacious thriller” by prize-winning Israeli playwright Maya Arad Yasur  (review here)

Theatre Online

Crongton Knights  Pilot Theatre’s production of young people on a crusade to retrieve a mobile phone mixes music and beatboxing with storytelling (review here)

Theatre Online

Midnight Your Time by Adam Brace is a monologue about motherhood which is performed by Diana Quick in support of London’s Donmar (review 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 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 until June 30th (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 Coinciding with an exhibition currently at the National Gallery here’s the life story of Artemisia Gentileschi in a one-woman multi-media show written by Nahma Sandrow (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

Theatre Online

Shrek: The Musical The stage version of the hit film is just right for Halloween – well, it has got an ogre in it!

Theatre Online

 

On BBC iPlayer/Sounds

Theatre Online

The Way Out   A contemporary/cabaret performance piece set in the rooms of Battersea Arts Centre (review  here)

Theatre Online

Revisor Gogol’s The Government Inspector in a production that blends contemporary theatre with dance and recorded just days before lockdown (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)

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 OnlineInstitute  Gecko Theatre presents a filmed version of Amit Lahav’s dance drama on the subject of care of ourselves and others in the modern world (review here). Further Gecko shows are on their You Tube channel – see above

Theatre Online

Play For Today  The BBC is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its long running single drama strand by reshowing a number of classic episodes. First up are Country by Trevor Griffiths, directed by Richard Eyre, Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party (review here), A Hole In Babylon, Just A Boy’s Game, Leeds – United! and Black Stuff

Theatre Online

Frankenstein: How To Make a Monster BAC Beatbox Academy’s hit show is reimagined for TV and uses Mary Shelly’s famous creation to explore how monsters are still with us in everyday life (review here)

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

Lockdown Theatre Festival Four plays which had their runs cancelled because of coronavirus are given an audio makeover. Day One: Shoe Lady by E.V. Crowe, Rockets and Blue Lights by Winsome Pinnock (reviews here) Day Two: The Mikvah Project by Josh Azouz and Love, Love, Love by Mike Bartlett (reviews here)

Theatre Online

And finally…

The Show Must Go Online   A special mention for a very special project. 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.– you can find me in Love’s Labour’s Lost (click here). Several shows are also available on Scenesaver

Theatre Online

 

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To download a PDF of the Theatre Online list, click link below

Theatre Online Download November 16

For an index of all  Theatre Online reviews (including those which are no longer streaming) please click here

 

To keep up with the latest shows being reviewed, follow the blog 2nd From Bottom

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245 thoughts on “Theatre Online

  1. “Red” was streamed free online last spring – I believe PBS released it as one of 4 including The King and I. it was wonderful.

    Like

    1. Thanks Susan, We don’t get PBS here in the UK so this will be a chance for us to see it too. I missed the play when it was on in London so looking forward to catching up with it

      Like

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