Theatre Online

Theatre Online

LATEST REVIEWS

Antigone (Online review)

Lean and muscular version of the Greek tragedy which is strong on story telling

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LATEST UPDATE: September 20

Pod Plays

The BBC have come up with five site specific audio mini plays in common locations which can be listened to with the benefit of 3D sound

Theatre Online

Live theatre has made a return but many venues are hedging their bets by live streaming concurrently with socially distanced performances. And, of course, there’s already the wealth of stuff which has built up over the last sixteen months. So here’s a handy list of current opportunities. OK, so it’s not quite the same as sharing the communal experience with others but beggars, as they say ….. And there are advantages – no tedious travel and you can have an interval whenever you want. There’s more material being added all the time (although by its very nature some stuff doesn’t hang around for long) but this should be enough to keep you going for a while. Increasingly its being realized that such material can be charged for but much of it is still free to view. It would be nice, though, if you could donate a few coppers to the artists, companies and theatres that bring us this bonanza of goodies; times have been rather hard for them at the moment


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

This list was posted on 01/09/21 – Any updates since are marked *

For updates to this list – follow @johnchapman398 on Twitter or @2ndFromBottom on Facebook. With decreased activity online, from September 1st updates will be regular but not necessarily daily

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 (here) and the Cato Street conspiracy (here), Shakespeare’s Star Wars (here), An Idea Come To Me (here), Breathe (here), Night (here), Frighteners (here and here), This Evil Thing  (here), Cupid’s Corner (here), SpaceXPat (here), Mrs Noah Fights Back (here), Bored Of Knives (here), Denial (here), The Covid-19 Trilogy (here), A Theatrical Life (here), Radio 69 (here), Ram Of God (here) and several of the Finborough Theatre shows (see below). Other shows mentioned in this listing also appear on Scenesaver. 

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

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Online@TheSpaceUK One of the mainstays of the Edinburgh Fringe Online last year and this is this platform which now has four complete seasons of new work and over 100 shows available to view.  Surely, something for all tastes then (reviews of various shows here, here,  here , here, here and here)

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

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National Theatre At Home The National’s streaming service has a number of classy productions and more added each month. Currently available Amadeus (review here), Coriolanus (review here), Phèdre (review here), The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters, Yerma (review here), Medea (review here), Mosquitoes (review here), Dara (review here), Othello, I Want My Hat Back (review here), Julie (review here), Angels In America (review here), Antigone (review here), Behind The Beautiful Forevers (review here), Consent (review here), Julius Caesar and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (review here). Latest additions are The Deep Blue Sea (review here), The Comedy Of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (review here), All My Sons (review here), A View From The Bridge (review here), Chewing Gum Dreams (review here), Everyman (review here), Treasure Island (review here), Under Milk Wood (review here) and Hansard (review here). Various rental and subscription options available

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Marquee TV A healthy selection of theatre, dance and opera performances including many very recent Shakespeare productions from the RSC, a smaller selection of other Shakespeare plays from the Donmar and the Globe, 4 Oscar Wilde plays, 50 operas, a similar number of ballets and contemporary dance performances and a range of backstage documentaries. Reviews: Lady Windermere’s Fan (here), A Woman Of No Importance (here), An Ideal Husband (here), The Importance Of Being Earnest (here), Love’s Labour’s Lost (here), Love’s Labour’s Won (here), The Taming Of the Shrew (here), As You Like It (here), Measure For Measure (here), Henry IV Parts One and Two (here and here), Henry V (review here), Cymbeline (review here) and Timon Of Athens (here). Most recently they have added the OTC’s productions of Apollo 13 (review here)and The Haunting Of Alice Bowles (review here). A subscription service but offers a free trial

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Broadway HD Good for musicals – there’s about 40 of them – including Trevor Nunn’s version of Oklahoma (review here), Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s Into The Woods (review here), Miss Saigon (review here), 42nd Street (review here), Kinky Boots (review here), Billy Elliot (review here), Porgy & Bess (review here), Show Boat (review here), First Date (review here) and Jerry Springer: The Opera (review here). Other highlights include recent award winner Rose with Maureen Lipman (review here), Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson in Look Back In Anger (review here), Simon Callow’s one man show The Mystery Of Charles Dickens (review here), the complete RSC version of Nicholas Nickleby (review here), Kevin Kline in Cyrano de Bergerac (review here), Ian McKellen’s RSC King Lear (review here) and his legendary turn as Macbeth (with Judi Dench as Lady Macbeth), Jez Butterworth’s Parlour Song (review here) and a pair of Sam Shephard plays, Buried Child (review here) and True West (review here). There is also a family friendly section. A subscription service but offers a free trialTheatre Online
Digital Theatre  A new improved website has recently been launched retaining all sorts of goodies as ongoing content. There is David Tenant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing, a number of RSC Shakespeare productions, including the rarely performed Two Gentlemen Of Verona (review here), Cymbeline (review here) and Troilus And Cressida (review here), Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl (review here), Regent’s Park’s production of Into The Woods (review here), Soho Theatre’s Lift (review here), Maxine Peake in Hamlet, Lesley Manville in Ibsen’s Ghosts (review here), Kathryn Hunter in Kafka’s Monkey (review here), the Treadaway twins in Over There (review here), The Container which takes place in… a container (review here), Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing (review here), Noel Coward’s Private Lives (review here), Jez Butterworth’s Parlour Song (review here), Steven Berkoff’s East (review here), Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (review here) and All My Sons and a pair from Frantic Assembly Lovesong (review here) and Things I Know To Be True (review here) – and that’s just for starters. Recently added are two pieces by Philip Ridley, Tarantula (review here) and The Poltergeist (review here); the second of these is insanely good. Offers individual rental or a monthly subscription

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Stage 2 View A limited streaming service with musicals such as 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. Currently premiering the new musical Burning Man

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stream.theatre Featuring a constantly evolving programme of both live streamed and recorded shows (NB The latter are shown at specific times and dates). Has featured shows such as Potted Panto (review here), the excellent Cruise (review here), the sensational The Poltergeist (review here), Little Wars (review here) and magical musical The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (review here). Current picks are the revival production of My Night With Reg, musical Ride and the song cycle The Distance You have Come

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Stellar Primarily a ticketing website but has a rolling programme of livestreamed and on demand events some of which are theatre based

Theatre OnlineGlobe Player There are about 75 productions available (so, basically the entire Shakespeare canon plus), some of which are from worldwide visiting companies. Hunker down for the long haul and do the “Complete Works”(reviews of Henry VI here, All’s Well That Ends Well here, The Comedy Of Errors here, Titus Andronicus here, Two Noble Kinsmen here & Henry VIII here) Globe Player is a subscription service, though there is some free material too. (See also Globe Theatre under “Venues” below)

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

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

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

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Great British Theatre Amazon Prime’s short series of recent big productions has two lots of Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet and Frankenstein (review here), Phoebe Waller Bridge in the stage version of Fleabag (review here) all rounded off with Ian McKellen On Stage (review here)

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

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

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

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Blackeyed Theatre Their Online For Schools scheme includes half a dozen shows based on popular texts Jane Eyre, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Sherlock Holmes as well as John Godber’s Teechers, musical Oh What A Lovely War and latest addition Not About Heroes (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 During lockdowns Andrew Lloyd Webber’s channel premiered a new show every Friday night for just 48 hours and periodically streamed plays too. A number of musicals can still be purchased/rented at any time including Cats (review here), Joseph, Jesus Christ Superstar (review here), Hairspray, The Sound of Music, The Wiz, The Phantom Of the Opera (review here) and its sequel Love Never Dies (review here). The site has also periodically streamed plays for a week at a time on Mondays 

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Venues 

The Old Vic The venerable theatre periodically streams past shows and mounts onstage productions through its “In Camera” project. The theatre also hosts the monologue series about the NHS called The Greatest Wealth (review here) and the One Voice series of solo performances (reviews  here and here); the latter’s two latest strands are Home? (review here) and Queers (review here)

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Young Vic Digital The venue has a dedicated digital section with some interesting though unconnected short pieces with Juliet Stevenson, Gillian Anderson and Jude Law (reviews here and here). There is also a series of 14 even shorter films called My England on what it means to be English 

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

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Stratford Shakespeare Festival That’s Stratford in Ontario (not upon-Avon). They offer up 12 different Shakespeare plays. Productions are rentable (review of  King John here and Pericles here)

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Chichester Festival Theatre is live streaming a performance of the classic musical South Pacific on September 3rd

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

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

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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 Typical about long standing injustice

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

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

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

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The Space The venue on London’s Isle of Dogs has an evolving programme. Looking interesting and coming up this month (among others):  Labyrinth Diet, Hello Georgie Goodbye Best and Toothache (review here)

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Stephen Joseph Theatre Alan Ayckbourn’s 85th and charmingly delightful play The Girl Next Door returns to the in the round venue for a second run this month (review here)

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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, In The Absence Of Silence, a play about domestic abuse (review here) and Crime Of The Century on the subject of knife crime (review here). Their Xmas show was Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland (review here) and this year they have released Peter Pan, Rapunzel (review here) and Sleeping Beauty Dream On (review here)

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Scenes For Survival 55 vignettes in 12 bundles from The National Theatre of Scotland about life during the pandemic. Over 200 artists contributed to this eclectic offering; review of Alone and Out Of The Woods here. Much briefer format reviews of other pieces followed on a daily basis; consult the online index of reviews – click here for information

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*Philadelphia Fringe The month long event has a healthy dose of digital material including some shows seen at other festivals this summer, e.g., Tree Confessions (review here) and Saving Wonderland (review here). Go to the events page and via “filters” click on Digital Fringe for a full listing

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Playmakers 

The Show Must Go Online   A very special project which really took off worldwide. Zoom performances of every Shakespeare play – one per week – in the order in which they were written featuring an international cast. The series is now complete and all 36 plays (plus some bonus extras) remain available on You Tube. They are gradually releasing the entire Sonnet sequence accessible via their Patreon scheme and Two Noble Kinsmen is playing on September 8th before they take a sabbatical. 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 and remains as a fitting tribute to Stephan Kreiss who died recently. Many of their shows are available on demand for a small fee: 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). Literally a laugh a minute – well several laughs per minute, actually

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Mischief Theatre Mischief’s shows Peter Pan Goes Wrong and A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong are available to rent on Amazon, Google and several other platforms (reviews here)

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Original Theatre Company This constantly enterprising company has an evolving mix of rereleased plays and new material. Currently there is A Cold Supper Behind Harrods with an all star cast reading (review here) and new psychological thriller The System is due later in September

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

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*Complicité are on a virtual tour with latest piece Can I Live? which links the looming environmental crisis to the worldwide struggle for social justice (review here)

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The Beast Will Rise Philip Ridley’s play The Beast Of Blue Yonder was set to open in April 2020. Instead a series of 15 monologues was gradually released, performed by his intended cast. They range in subject matter and length (from 3 minutes to an hour) but all have the writer’s individual stamp on them (reviews here, here and here)

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

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

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

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

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Theater In Quarantine And now for something completely different  – a one person theatre space constructed out of a 4x8x2 closet. Shows include The Neighbor – adapted from Kafka (review here), slapstick science fiction adventure, The 7th Voyage of Egon Tichy featuring an exponentially expanding cast….of one (review here), I Am Sending You The Sacred Face which is a lipsynched drag musical about Mother Teresa (review here) and Blood Meal about a lockdown situation and which expands the cast to two in a pair of closets (review here). The latest pieces are Tristan Tzara’s oddity The Gas Heart (review here), The Little Hours (review here), All The Different Ways Commodore Matthew Perry Could Have Died Before Opening Japan But Didn’t (review here), Honestly Sincere (review here) and The Nine O’Clock Problem (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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Druid Theatre Company  J.M Synge’s classic plays are presented by the renowned Irish Company: Playboy Of The Western World (review here), Riders To The Sea (review here), The Shadow Of The Glen (review here), The Well Of The Saints (review here) and Deirdre Of the Sorrows (review here)Theatre Online

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

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Steppenwolf  Chicago’s legendary company is streaming three new short plays by company member Tracy Letts from late September

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Love In The Lockdown A nine part series about an online relationship starring Rachel Stirling and Alec Newman. Releases were scheduled between March and May 2021 on days that were exactly one year on from when the events in the play are taking place; all episodes now available (review here). Also available on Scenesaver

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Chronic Insanity The Nottingham group have set themselves a steep challenge with their project 12 Plays In 12 Months. So far there have been Means Of Production (review here), F 24, 23, 22 (review here),  Hairy Hands (review here), Flavour Text (review here), There’s Something Among Us (review here), PNCO.io (review here) and Red Breast (review here); they have also hosted a two day festival Puncture The Screen (obviously they didn’t have enough to do)

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

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

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

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Creation Theatre This enterprising team push at the boundaries of what is possible online and this year have tackled Grimm Tales For Fragile Times And Broken People (review here), classics The Duchess Of Malfi (review here)  and Romeo and Juliet. Currently playing is is audio drama Homeward Bound

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

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Severed Heads American playwright Justin McDevitt’s six monologues of mystery and terror where the protagonists lose their (metaphorical) heads – reviews here and here

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Pippin Stephen Schwartz’s musical was videoed in the 1980s in a production with choreography by the legendary Bob Fosse. It is available via Amazon

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Rent Also available via Amazon, the musical ran for 12 years on Broadway closing in September 2008. This is a recording of that final show featuring an appearance by the original cast

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Around The World In 80 Days The Regency era Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds stages the Jules Verne classic with just three actors and a lot of affection for the source material (review here)

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The Cancellation Of Crispin Cox Here’s a timely look at the subject of cancel culture in the theatrical profession with a waspish Michael Conley in full cry (review here)

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Golden Age Theatre presents Tales From The Golden Age, an eclectic series of 18 monologues written in lockdown and performed/filmed at various stages of the pandemic. Review of Denial here

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Scroll A series of short interventions to counteract the modern habit of doom scrolling is part of Northern Stage’s Can We Come In? project

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What The Constitution Means To Me Heidi Schreck’s solo show looks at what the constitution has meant to generations of women. Available on Amazon (free with Prime)

 

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Audio material 

Shipwreck Michael Billington described this as “a play that unpicks the messy demise of democracy”. One of the characters is a certain Donald J. Trump – now, who was he again? (review here)

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

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

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

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

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Anno Domino An full length audio play written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn and performed by himself and his wife, Heather Stoney. They play eight different roles of a variety of ages (review here)

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

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Written On The Waves 45 North’s series of audio dramas celebrates the power of storytelling and began with a trio called Loss & Hope (review here). Sharon D. Clarke, Katherine Parkinson, Olivia Williams and Adjoa Andoh feature in Lem ‘n’ Ginge: The Princess Of Kakos (review here), the innovative You Plays (review here) and The Great Pacific Octopus Maritime School (review here). There is also Margaret Perry’s A Passion Play (review here), Cunch concerning drug running in Chichester (review here) and Recognition about a neglected composer (review here). Season 2 has launched with a trio from new writers, Lifted (review here) followed with Darling by Tabby Lamb (review here), On The Line by Dessa (review here), plus Mooncake – an aural soundscape (review here), an interactive play for younger audiences, The Rime Of The Second Sister (review here) and Abi Zakarian’s daring take on the form with Found (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 is advised as this places you at the centre of the experience (review here)

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Harpy Productions have two horror stories: My Father Punished Me When I Talked To Ghosts (review here) and Smile, It’ll Be Over Soon (funding for the second is currently being sought)

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Sound Stage Pitlochry Festival Theatre is premiering eight new audio plays by the likes of Timberlake Wertenbaker, Roy Williams and Mark Ravenhill

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

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Knot The tricksy people at Darkfield Radio have come up with another three part play with a difference and invite you to participate while sitting in specific locations (review here)

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Gigglemug Sounds The titles in this audio trilogy probably tell you all you need to know. Coming soon are And Then There Were Some and The Spousetrap but the trio starts with Murder On the 12:32 To Bristol (review here)

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Write Hear The Theatre Royal Plymouth has five short audio plays on offer from playwrights based in Devon and Cornwall (review here)

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The York Mystery Plays A six part broadcast series from York Theatre Royal via BBC Sounds of the famous medieval cycle (review here)

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Walk This Play Physical theatre company ThickSkin is creating a series of location based audio plays to be experienced while walking. Locations currently available in Edinburgh, Manchester and Huddersfield

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The Scarlet Cross A short audio play about the Great Plague (no not this one) performed by Anton Lesser (review here)

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Fully Amplified A seven part drama/documentary podcast from Futures Theatre giving a voice to marginalised groups of women and people from the non-binary community

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*Alfie James Productions There’s half a dozen audio plays on this site including My Boy Danny (recently at the Camden Fringe), Two  by Jim Cartwright and adaptations of Stephen King’s Misery and Charles Dickens’ The Signalman. There’s also a family selection too

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Immersive/Interactive theatre 

Swimming Home If you love both theatre and swimming then here’s a play which you can perform for yourself (following instructions) in your bathroom. You will need your phone, headphones, a swimsuit, swimming goggles and a big towel

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

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

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

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Zoo Motel Check in as one of  only 21 participants for what is described as “a live cinematic theatre play”. Reopened in August 2021

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

Theatre Online

CtrlAltRepeat  (winner of an OnComm for Best Immersive show)rebooted their interactive crime solving evening Viper Squad Remastered (review here) and followed this with The Temporal Society which whisked the audience back to 1894 (review here). These are not currently available but there are recordings of four previous online shows (obviously NOT interactive)

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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)

Theatre Online

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)

Theatre Online

 

Videos on VIMEO

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

Theatre Online

The Turning Point Short drama with Benedict Cumberbatch and Matthew Marsh in Michael Dobbs’s play about a meeting between Winston Churchill and Guy Burgess (review here)

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

Five Encounters On A Site Called Craigslist Yes Yes No No’s exploration of intimacy with “extreme audience participation”. An Edinburgh fringe hit in 2017 (review here). Warning! This is NOT a family friendly show!

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online
Only The Brave Based on true events this musical is set in the run up to the D-Day landings about a group of soldiers and their families and loved ones. Written by Rachel Wagstaff, with music by Matthew Brind; recorded at the Wales Millennium Centre (review here)

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

Flux – Digital Smoking Apples presents a puppetry piece about female scientists back in the 1980s. There is also an audio described version (review here)

Theatre Online

 

 

Videos on YOU TUBE

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

Macbeth This one’s really intriguing. The Folger Theatre in Washington (part of Folger Library who own the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works) mount a production which is co-directed by Teller – of Penn and Teller fame

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

I, Cinna (The Poet) Another of Tim Crouch’s pieces about Shakespearean characters. Cinna is played by Jude Owusu – who was playing the same character in an RSC production of Julius Caesar at the time (See I, Malvolio, I, Banquo and I, Peaseblossom in the Vimeo list above) (There is a review of Tim Crouch playing the role, here)

Theatre Online

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

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

Theatre Online

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 (review here)

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  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) from Gigglemug about the formation of the key cutting High Street chain – no really! (review here). Also available on Scenesaver

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

Theatre Online

Cookies Emily Jenkins’ play was commissioned as part of the Cyberscene Project; an theatre initiative which supports the health and well-being of young people affected by cyber bullying and other online issues (review here)

Theatre Online

Girls Like That Evan Placey’s play is also about cyberbullying. It follows a group of schoolgirls reacting as one of their peers has naked photos of themselves leaked online (review here)

Theatre Online

Bed Seven With the NHS currently front and centre here’s a feel good story from its early days by Simon de Cintra.  Streamed to support the Actor’s Centre (review here). Also available on Scenesaver

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

It’s True. It’s True. It’s True Verbatim theatre with a difference. Taken from court transcripts of the 1612 trial of Agostino Tassi for the rape of the young painter Artemisia Gentileschi. The play examines whether anything has changed in the last four centuries (review here)

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

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

Theatre Online

Touchy Five short pieces focusing on young adults negotiating their way through life. Presented by 20 Stories High as a mash up of theatre and music video (review here)

Theatre Online

Meet Me At The Edge Wildworks hails from Cornwall where they specialise in site specific productions they call landscape theatre. This piece is no exception but has had to be released as a film (review here)

Theatre Online

Couples  Sean Grennan’s quarantine comedy has three couples meeting with their marriage guidance counsellor online. The link above is to a production by Centre Stage of Greenville, South Carolina or, if you prefer click here for a version by LAMB Theatre of Sioux City, Iowa  – choices, choices! (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

WeRNotVirus A two day event hosted by the Omnibus Theatre, Clapham which aimed to shine a light on abuse directed towards people with an eastern or south eastern Asian heritage as a result of the pandemic

Theatre Online

Orpheus Streatham Space Project’s retelling of the famous myth using the spoken word and soul music

Theatre Online

The Neon Shadow Choreographer Tom Jackson Greaves collaborated with Kneehigh to produce this short piece about isolation and technology inspired by a Hans Christian Andersen tale

Theatre Online

 

 

BBC iPlayer/Sounds

Lights Up BBC TV, radio, iPlayer and Sounds combine forces with theatres across the country to produce a total of 18 shows across a range of genres. Includes A Winter’s Tale from the RSC, J’Ouvert, the debut play of Yasmin Joseph (review here), Giles Terera and Samuel West in The Meaning Of Zong (review here), Welcome To Iran written/directed by Nadia Fall (review here), Simon Russell Beale as folk song collector Cecil Sharp in Folk (review here) and six brand new one-off plays premiering on BBC4. Review of Phoebe Eclair-Powell’s Harm here, Natasha Marshall’s Half Breed here, Dorcas Sebuyange’s Buttercup here, Nick Dear’s Dedication here, Testament’s Orpheus In The Record Shop here, Adam Kashmiri’s Adam here, Katherine Parkinson’s Sitting here, Colm Toibin’s Pale Sister here and David Ireland’s Sadie here (NB- Not all elements have remained available)

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

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

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

*Pod Plays Five site specific mini audio plays in common locations which can be experienced with the benefit of 3D sound

Theatre Online

 

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

Theatre Online download September 2021

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

 

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