Theatre Online

Theatre Online

LATEST REVIEWS

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DAILY UPDATE: MARCH 5

Girl On An Altar

A livestreamed rehearsed reading from the Kiln Theatre of Marina Carr’s play which retells the myth of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon

Theatre Online

Another month and lockdown continues so theatre remains online for the forseeable future.  Fortunately, there’s a wealth of stuff and quality is improving out of all recognition, 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 are rather hard for them at the moment

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

This list was posted on 01/03/21 – 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) 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 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 2019 was this platform which now returns with a second season of new work – over 50 shows available to view. There’s about the same number in season one which is repeated. Surely, something for all tastes then (reviews of various shows here, here and here)

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Living Record Festival An online festival of digital media from 40 artists and theatre companies from across the globe. There is a good mix of video and audio material in a range of styles – audio play The 39 Steps reviewed here

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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, YermaMedea, Mosquitoes, Dara, Othello, I Want My Hat Back, panto Dick Whittington (review here) and Julie. Latest additions are Angels In America, Antigone and Behind The Beautiful Forevers. 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) 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) 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), 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) 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) 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) 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), an all male Pirates Of Penzance, the sensational The Poltergeist (review here), Little Wars (review here) and magical musical The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (review here). Coming soon: Shane Richie in Scaramouche Jones, Jack Holden in Cruise, the musical Daddy Longlegs and the annual What’s On Stage Awards

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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 & Henry VIII here) Globe Player is a subscription service, though there is some free material too

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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

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Shedinburgh Replay  14 shows deemed the “Greatest Huts” from last year’s online shed based festival are streaming for a month until 22nd March

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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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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 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). Recently the site also introduced streaming plays for a week at a time on Mondays 

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Venues 

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). 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 (review here)

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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. Sharp Teeth/The Wardrobe Theatre have two Zoom murder mysteries Sherlock In Homes Murder At The Circus on now until the end of March (review here) and the new Murder On Ice (review here). They also have a number of special events planned throughout March

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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  Shakespeare’s King John 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 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  Philip Ridley’s magnificent play with 2020’s breakout performance of the year The Poltergeist was livestreamed in late November (review here) and has now returned for a longer season.  Magical musical The Sorcerer’s Apprentice has just started (review here) and will be followed by other planned productions

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

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Finborough The 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). 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). The latest addition is Richard Blackwood in Typical 

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Almeida The Shifting Tides Digital Festival for young people covers 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). Hymn a new play by Lolita Chakrabarti which features Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani is currently available on demand (review here)

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The Royal Court The London theatre is currently running a project called Living Newspaper. They also have an audio version of A History Of Water In The Middle East which ranges across 12 countries to share the stories of women (review here).

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Stratford East No Masks was created from a project about the pandemic’s key workers and available on NOW TV  – on demand (review here). There are a number of productions about to be confirmed

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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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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 Actors Centre The centre usually has a number of on demand shows available. Currently there is Moment Of Grace about Princess Diana’s visit to an AIDS ward (review here), The Old House about mothers, daughters and Alzheimers (review here), Shaken set in 1985 Mexico and Character Solos, two programmes of monologues

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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): Gabrielle McPherson’s Outside, Threedumb Theatre’s The Black Cat,  A Game Not Lost about mah jong and A Blue Something about a whole raft of issues

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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 first up in the new year is Peter Pan

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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 return on February 10th with Pericles and are gradually releasing the entire Sonnet sequence; both of these are 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 have recently been entertaining with a 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

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Original Theatre Company has a mix of rereleased plays and new material. Currently there is Alan Bennett’s The Habit Of Art (review here) and The Haunting Of Alice Bowles with Tamzin Outhwaite (review here). A new production,  Barnes’ People, started in mid-February. They are also playing host to visitors Platform Presents and the play Good Grief  which examines love and loss (review here)

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

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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 – 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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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 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). Most recently they were cheering us up with The Ministry Of Christmas (review here) and their Valentine’s Sketch Show (review here). Next up is Chatroom by Enda Walsh

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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). The latest piece is Blood Meal about a lockdown situation and which expands the cast to two in a pair of closets (review here)

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The Lord Chamberlain’s Men Open air theatres may be a bit chilly at this time of year but you can still enjoy two al fresco Shakespeares: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest (review here)

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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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Blackeyed Theatre has two on demand shows based on classic texts – The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Jane Eyre

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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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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, 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) as well as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (review here). They are currently working on Poe’s The Black Cat which will be online later in March. Also available on Scenesaver

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Shook Writer Samuel Bailey’s debut play, set in a young offender’s institution, was all set to take the West End by storm when Covid intervened. Papatango has now released a video version using the original cast (review here)

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Grimm Tales For Fragile Times And Broken People Creation Theatre’s latest is a collection of dark fairy tales for adults. It will build on their previous online successes with the new technology (review here)

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Emilia Returning for an online rerun during March is Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s award winning comedy from 2018. The Elizabethan theatre as seen from a very female viewpoint, it explores the life of the all but forgotten Emilia Bassano (review here)

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*The Great Gatsby Wardrobe Ensemble/Wardrobe Theatre’s two person retelling of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic of money and lost love

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*The Great Gatsby Wardrobe Ensemble/Wardrobe Theatre’s two person retelling of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic of money and lost love

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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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The Whip A  reminder of one of 2020’s big issues is highlighted in Juliet Gilkes Romero’s play about the slave trade. It’s an audio recording with production photos from The Royal Shakespeare Company (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)

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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 specialises 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 lockdown then. A third piece called Eternal – for a solo listener while in bed – has been added (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 the Second World War. Oh, and the narrator is Humphrey – a teddy bear (review here)

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Blackbox Theatre Company Two audio plays, the classic thriller The 39 Steps (review here) and a play about the First World War Bully Beef & Whizzbangs

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Written On The Waves 45 North’s series of audio dramas (currently 8 plays) celebrates the power of storytelling. 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)

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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

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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 two shows on offer. Plymouth Point centres around a mysterious disappearance and The Mermaid’s Tongue asks you to track down a long lost artefact before it gets into the wrong hands

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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 Four pieces of polished interactive theatre to choose from with this group are: Locked Down (which starts off with you blindfolded) and Undercover both for adults and for families Winter Rescue and Spymaker

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Seeyour.city Interactive crime solving events are a speciality. Currently available are: Twilight Zoom, 12 Angry Guests, The Big Cat Murder Mystery 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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Viper Squad: Remastered CtrlAltRepeat are back with a rebooted interactive crime solving evening which is an homage to 80s cop shows (review here). There are also recordings of four previous online shows which can be accessed from their website

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Broken Link Harpy Productions have been awarded the first OnComm of 2021. This is an immersive interactive play about grief, growing up and ghosts as four friends meet up to remember ….

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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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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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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)

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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

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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)

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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

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!

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 (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

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

Behind The Fridge  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)

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

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

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 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 OnlineIn 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

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

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 being released for International Women’s Day on March 8th.

Theatre Online

Crips Without Constraints (2) A new set of five plays from Graeae with a gradual release every Tuesday. They will be captioned and audio described. The first set of plays is still available on their You Tube Channel

Theatre Online

The Censor or how to put on a political play without being fined or arrested MA students at Central School of Speech and Drama combine a drama about repressive politics with French farce to demonstrate their talents (review here)

Theatre Online

 

 

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). 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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Theatre Online download March 1

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