Theatre Online

Theatre Online

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 and theatres that bring us this bonanza of goodies

Theatre Online

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

This list was posted on 31/05/20 – Any updates since are marked *

Daily update alerts are posted on Twitter – @johnchapman398

Subscription services

Marquee TV A healthy selection of theatre, dance and opera performances including 18 recent Shakespeare productions from the RSC (review of two plays here), a smaller selection of other Shakespeare plays from the Donmar and the Globe, all 4 Oscar Wilde plays (reviews here, here, here and here) from the 2018 Classic Spring season, nearly 50 operas (including the complete Wagner Ring Cycle) a similar number of ballets and contemporary dance performances and a range of backstage documentaries Marquee TV is a subscription service but is currently offering a 14 day free trial period

Theatre Online

Broadway HD An American equivalent of Marquee TV and sharing some of the same content. Highlights include Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson in Look Back In Anger, the complete RSC version of Nicholas Nickleby (review here), Ian McKellen’s recent King Lear and his legendary turn as Macbeth (with Judi Dench as Lady Macbeth), about 40 Broadway musicals (including Trevor Nunn’s version of Oklahoma (review here), 42nd Street and Jerry Springer The Opera), a family friendly section and an interesting world theatre selection. Broadway HD is a subscription service but is currently offering a 7 day free trial period

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, Regent’s Park’s production of Into The Woods, Maxine Peake in Hamlet, Lesley Manville in Ibsen’s Ghosts and that’s just for starters.  Digital Theatre is a subscription service 

Theatre Online
Globe Player There are about 75 productions available (so basically the entire Shakespeare canon plus), some of which are from worldwide visiting companies. Hunker down for the long haul and The Complete Works…. Globe Player is a subscription service. However, six plays will be released for free on a two weekly rotation (Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, The Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Merry Wives of Windsor)

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 a subscription service but free to UK schools. Also see National Theatre At Home, below

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 

Theatre Online

*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 off West End and around the world. There is an eclectic list of material in all genres which is expanding rapidly after recently launching. Nominations for and winners of OnComms (commendations for online productions) are particularly highlighted e.g. first winner About 500 (review here)

Theatre Online

Online Fringe Festival (OFF) The Vaults Festival had to close early and this year’s Edinburgh Festival won’t be happening. But never fear, this website dedicated to streaming shows from new and emerging theatre artists across the UK and the world will help to fill the gap. The Festival ends on May 31st but will morph into another guise at this point (eview of a trio of shows here and a further show here).

Theatre Online
Original Theatre Company Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art (Matthew Kelly and David Yelland) and Ali Milles’ The Croft (Gwen Taylor) available to stream until June. Minimum payment of £2.50 per show – other donations appreciated

Theatre Online

National Theatre At Home    Every Thursday at 19:00 a classic from the NT Live repertoire. Each show is available for a week but join the live stream for the communal experience. So far they have shown One Man, Two Governors (review here), Jane Eyre (review here), Treasure Island (review here), Twelfth Night (review here), Frankenstein (review here), Antony and Cleopatra (review here), Barbershop Chronicles (review here) and A Streetcar Named Desire (review here). Current show is This House (review here) and next week Tom Hiddlestone is in Coriolanus

Theatre Online

Stratford Shakespeare Festival That’s Stratford in Ontario (not upon-Avon). Their Watch@Home Festival offers up no less than 12 Shakespeare plays between now and the end of July. A new production premieres every Thursday and is then available for 3 weeks

Theatre Online
Greenwich Theatre (Flashback Fridays) A rolling programme from the theatre’s back catalogue shown via their Facebook page at 19:30 on Fridays (and often remain after that). Shows so far: The Duchess of MalfiThe School For Scandal, family shows My Love Lies Frozen In the Ice and Where’s My Igloo Gone?, Volpone, Dr Faustus, SharkLeg’s play Fulfilment (review here), Tobacco Road and Earth Makes No Sound. Current show for half term is Guess How Much I Love You?

Theatre Online
Southwark Playhouse A variety of material is being released fortnightly and will stay online for lockdown duration. Currently available are Wasted (rock musical about the Brontës), Bound (Devon trawlermen on last voyage) and Twelfth Night (set at a music festival). Also home to Philip Ridley’s monologue project The Beast Will Rise

Theatre Online

Gate Theatre The small West London theatre is offering two critically acclaimed shows from its archive: The Unknown Island and Suzy Storck. Both are available until June 30th

Theatre Online

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). Joe Orton’s What The Butler Saw has now joined the mix (review here)

Theatre Online
Chichester Festival Theatre  CFT is streaming a selection of its archive productions online via its website and began with the musical Flowers for Mrs Harris (review here). This has been succeeded by their production of The Midnight Gang by David Walliams (review here) and Beauty And The Beast (not the Disney show!)

Theatre Online

Hull Truck Their Theatre at Home initiative is  offering Paragon Dreams by Hester Ullyart and Jack Lear (based on King Lear) by Ben Benison

Theatre Online

Told By An Idiot     The Idiot Archive presented a different show each week starting with My Perfect Mind from 2013 (review here) . This was succeeded by Get Happy, Napoleon Disrobed, Heads Will Roll and I’m A Fool To Want You. Currently on hold

Theatre Online

Spymonkey  The comedy genius of this group will really give you a lift. Seven shows being freestreamed – new show each Sunday (Hysteria (review here), Oedipussy, Moby Dick (review here), The Complete Deaths (review here), Stiff, A Christmas Carol and Every Last Trick) Also available via Vimeo OnDemand. Literally a laugh a minute – well several laughs per minute, actually

Theatre Online

Pentabus Theatre The Shropshire Theatre is gradually releasing its back catalogue with a new entry every Friday afternoon. First up was the cabaret styled Here I Belong by Matt Hartley, followed by Crossings by Deidre Kinahan, As The Crow Flies by Hattie Naylor, The Tale Of Little Bevan by Robert Alan Evans, Wolves Are Coming For You by Joel Horwood, Each Slow Dusk by Rory Mullarkey, Milked by Simon Longman and This Land by Sian Owen. All are still available

Theatre Online
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) This was followed by  Arrivals and Departures. A further six pieces are planned, starting with Heart of Darkness and Yorkshire Electric

Theatre Online
Deafinitely Theatre Award-winning bilingual theatre for deaf and hearing audiences using British Sign Language in its productions. Currently available is George Brant’s Grounded and then in June Mike Bartlett’s Contractions

Theatre Online
Half Moon Theatre   The young people’s theatre has a range of material for all age groups which is being added to each week. Currently available: What Once Was Ours, Off the Grid (reviews here) and her for 13+ years ; Boys Don’t for 8 – 12 years; Butterflies,  Need A little Help, Oh No George, When Spring Comes, The Goose Who Flew and Once Upon A Snowflake for younger years. Some shows are also available on Scenesaver

Theatre Online

Little Angel Theatre Fancy some puppet action? The theatre is streaming its celebrated “Hat” trilogy (I Want My Hat Back/This Is Not My Hat/We Found A Hat – all for 3-6 year olds and available until June 30) and What Does An Anteater Eat? for 2-5 year olds and available until September

Theatre Online

Eugenius This 2018 musical about the superhero inside all of us was nominated for lots of awards. Shown via Facebook, it is an “homage to the sounds and cinema of the Eighties”

Theatre Online

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical A one off streamed performance on Facebook which does what it says on the tin

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)

Theatre Online

The Wind In The Willows Rufus Hound as Toad in a family friendly musical from Stiles and Drew, book by Julian Fellowes. There’s an accompanying downloadable activity pack too Rental is £4.99

Theatre Online

Cyprus Avenue The Royal Court’s very hard hitting but also blackly funny play by David Ireland in which a Belfast loyalist (Stephen Rea) has a psychotic episode mistaking his granddaughter for Gerry Adams. Definitely an adults only drama. Availability has been extended until May 31st (review here) Also available on Scenesaver

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

Henry V This production of Shakespeare’s history play comes from The Barn in Cirencester and can be streamed on You Tube, Facebook or Twitter. There are some nice extras available – an interactive programme and a downloadable soundtrack

Theatre Online

Under Milk Wood Michael Sheen leads an all Welsh cast and directs a reading of Dylan Thomas’s “play for voices” from the poetry centre in New York where the play first premiered in 1953. Ticket purchase required

Theatre Online

Anno Domino  A brand new audio play for the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough. Written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn and performed by himself and his wife, Heather Stoney, playing eight different roles. Available for one month from May 25 (review here)Theatre Online

The Understudy A new online audio play written by Henry Filloux-Bennett based on the comic novel by David Nicholls about a struggling actor’s life with Stephen Fry, Russell Tovey and Sarah Hadland Requires ticket purchase to support UK Theatre industry charities (review here) Theatre Online

Love Letters At Home  Univited Guests requests the pleasure of your company at an online version of their show Love Letters Straight From Your Heart. Playing on selected dates until June 26th you need to register for the limited availability tickets online

Theatre Online

Fleabag  Streamed by Soho Theatre, this is where the phenomenon began – onstage as a one woman show. Considering how many people applied for tickets and were disappointed there’s going to be big demand for this one (review here). There is a rental charge (5 different levels); all money raised is going to support those affected by the virus

Theatre Online

The Shows Must Go On  The first tranche of shows on this site were all from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s back catalogue (Joseph, Jesus Christ Superstar (review here), Phantom Of The Opera, Love Never Dies, By Jeeves, written with Alan Ayckbourn (review here) and Cats. They now continue with other musical offerings but still for just 48 hours from release (Fridays at 7pm). First up was The Sound Of Music and currently it is Hairspray

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 which places humans in the world and examines the power of storytelling. Filmed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012

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. Warning! This is NOT a family friendly show!

Theatre Online

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)

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
Peeping Tom Trilogy Belgian masters of movement and the absurd, Peeping Tom, up the level of weird with a film of Le Jardin and live performances of Le Salon and Le Sous Sol

Theatre Online

Snow Mouse Theatre for the very young. Egg In Bath’s short piece is aimed at 4 year olds and under

Theatre Online

I Wish I Was A Mountain Also from Egg In Bath, poet Toby Thompson reimagines a fairy tale by Herman Hesse using rhyme and live music. For ages 7+

Theatre Online
Mushy: Lyrically Speaking The heart warming tale of Musharaf Asghar and his teacher Mr Burton from the TV documentary “Educating Yorkshire” who together overcame the student’s debilitating stammer (review here)

Theatre Online
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)

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

Videos on YOU TUBE

The Winter’s Tale Cheek by Jowl’s take on Shakespeare’s play performed at the Barbican in 2017 (available until May 25th)

Theatre Online

Clown Funeral The physical theatre troupe have three pieces available on their You Tube channel – Mr Poe’s Legendarium (2015), The Murderer (2016) and Things We Chose To Save (2017). Darkly comic shows rooted in physicality, incorporating clowning, mime and audaciously non-naturalistic staging (review of The Murderer here)

Theatre Online

Daniel Bye Theatre maker Daniel Bye currently has three pieces on his You Tube Channel – How To Occupy An Oil Rig, Going Viral (review here) and The Price of Everything. “Bye juggles with comedy and tragedy, roughness and polish, truth and lies”

Theatre Online

Key Change Open Clasp working with female prisoners at HM Prison Low Newton examine the themes of prison life and domestic abuse (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 spring show, Waiting For The Sip To Sail, was cut short mid run and is now available on their You Tube channel

Theatre Online

Viking The Intrepid Fools bring their story telling skills to a family show (children aged 8+) full of adventure based on Norse mythsTheatre Online

The Hunting Of The Snark  A musical adventure based on the nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll for 4 to 94 year olds (review here)

Theatre Online

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

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 in 2020 (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

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 which boldly retells the ancient myth of Orpheus and his quest to the underworld

Theatre Online

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

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!

Theatre Online

The Time Of Your Life International theatre troupe Gecko’s short dance and movement piece representing the milestones in a man’s life as he moves through different rooms in a house

Theatre Online

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

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

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

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 (Link is to first part of video)

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 (currently 26 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 this year’s ANZAC day. Available until May 31st

Theatre Online

It Is Easy To Be Dead  This play by Neil McPherson is based on the poetry, letters and brief life of Charles Hamilton Sorley. He is a lesser known War Poet but is thought to have provided inspiration to his near contemporaries Owen, Graves and Sassoon (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

Everything Is Possible: The York Suffragettes  This 2017 Community Project from York Theatre Royal is performed with a cast of over 150 and a choir of 80. It is available until May 31st

Theatre Online

 

On the BBC iPlayer

Culture In Quarantine The BBC’s initiative runs across many of their TV and radio channels as well as online and via the iPlayer. Kicking things off is Emma Rice’s adaptation of Angela Carter’s fantastical Wise Children (review here) followed by six recent titles from the Royal Shakespeare Company (Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing and Othello). Still to come – Mike Bartlett’s Albion from The Almeida and Battersea Arts Centre’s Frankenstein

Theatre Online

Performance Live   A BBC strand of 12 programmes showcasing contemporary plays, poetry, comedy, dance and music all available for a couple of months (review of two pieces 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

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. Live streamed on Wednesdays at 7.00pm and then available on You Tube. Current play – Romeo and Juliet; next play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Several past 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 May 31

 

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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