During the lockdown, while our theatres are dark, so many venues, companies, individuals and organisations have made their shows available to the public to watch online.
Some of these are free, others have small fees to support the industry and some can only be accessed via digital platforms with subscriptions – the biggest of which can be accessed via the University of Warwick’s Library.
What follows has been organised into general lists, digital resources and then time-limited shows, general availability and pay-for-view. Enjoy!
|Whats on Stage:||https://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/stage-shows-musicals-opera-free-stream-online_51198.html|
|They also have a list of European Theatre to watch online:||https://www.thestage.co.uk/features/2020/the-best-european-theatre-to-watch-online/?login_to=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thestage.co.uk%2Faccounts%2Fusers%2Fsign_up.popup|
|Drama Online. Students can access this via the University of Warwick’s Library. The site includes the National Theatre Collection, the RSC Live Collection, the Donmar’s Shakespeare Trilogy, the Oscar Wilde Collection, The Globe online and so on:||https://www.dramaonlinelibrary.com|
Digital Theatre+. Students can access this via the University of Warwick’s Library. The site includes Complicite’s A Disappearing Number, work by Frantic Assembly and so on:
Box of Broadcasts. This can also be accessed via the University of Warwick’s Library. Richard Perkins recommends Akram Khan’s Giselle on here. Within Box Of Broadcasts there is a Theatre and Acting section here:
|Theatre and Acting section here:||https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/playlists/252633|
|Marquee TV. There's quite a bit of theatre on here and you can get a 14-day free trial. Although a lot of what is on this site is also on Drama Online, which students can access for free via the Library:||https://www.marquee.tv/|
|There's a thread on Polish theatre online, discussed on Twitter:||https://twitter.com/NastazjaSomers/status/1245726185037987840|
AVAILABLE from MAY into JUNE (various dates)
Our very own Natalie Diddams appears in a commission from HOME Manchester:
A Series of Metaphors About A Plague
by Javaad Alipoor and Natalie Diddams
Artists have always been fascinated by plague, interpreting what it means to society and art in today’s world.
In this recorded online session Javaad Alipoor (Rich Kids, The Believers Are But Brothers) and Natalie Diddams present their findings in response to the lockdown.
Bertolt Brechts and Erich Engels' staging of "Mother Courage and Her Children" with Helene Weigel from May 15, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. in collaboration with the Bertolt Brecht Archive of the Academy of the Arts 1957 show (German audio only!). The stream is available free of charge until midnight on May 21, 2020.
The Encounter by Complicite.
Inspired by the book Amazon Beaming by Petru Popescu.
In 1969 Loren McIntyre, a National Geographic photographer, found himself lost among the people of the remote Javari Valley in Brazil. It was an encounter that was to change his life, bringing the limits of human consciousness into startling focus.
Simon McBurney traces McIntyre's journey into the depths of the Amazon rainforest, incorporating innovative technology into his solo performance to build a shifting world of sound.
A Complicité co-production with Edinburgh International Festival, the Barbican, London, Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens, Schaubühne Berlin, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne and Warwick Arts Centre. Live stream supported by The Space.
The House Never Wins by Kill the Cat is an interactive game theatre piece about climate crisis, money and gambling for the planet, which is being virtually 'toured' around the country during lockdown. It was commissioned by Upstart Theatre for DARE Festival in 2019. Not letting a lock down stop their process, Kill The Cat continued to develop their piece and have purposely made it to be an online interactive experience - allowing them to continue to employ all of their creative team. This has been a really exciting challenge making this theatre piece work online. You can view the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/412471541
Gob Squad have a new online production which will premiere on 18 June 2020. Keep an eye on their website and social media for more details.
|Wild Rice are regularly releasing past productions.|
|Fun Home at the Victory Gardens Theatre, Chicago. Hailed as one of Broadway’s most original musicals and the winner of 5 Tony Awards, Fun Home is a groundbreaking story inspired by Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir. you’ll be able to view the Fun Home stream once any time between May 12 and May 24, 2020.|
Theatre Uncut’s Bubble a play set entirely on Facebook, uses a cast
of European actors who have never met in person, rehearsed over Skype and filmed on their cameras. Theatre Uncuts production, written by Beats playwright Kieran Hurley, is online until 30 June.
Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of David Walliams's The Midnight Gang is available until 29 May.
Hampstead Theatre is streaming weekly shows. This week:
#AIWW: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei, directed by James Macdonald. Howard Brenton’s play is based on a book by Barnaby Martin about the 81-day detention and interrogation of Ai Weiwei by the Chinese authorities in 2011.
|This years Be Festival has gone online, running fom 7 – 16 May 2020||http://befestival.org/festival/|
|Gate Theatre's The Unknown Island (available until June 30th)
|National Theatre at Home - We've had Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of Treasure Island, Twelfth Night directed by Simon Godwin and starring Tamsin Greig, and now Frankensein. What's next?||https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt...|
The Schaubühne – the Berlin theatre run by Thomas Ostermeier is streaming free productions weekly.
|Southwark Playhouse have released Southwark Stayhouse. They’re streaming several pieces including Wasted – a rock musical about the Bronte sisters. Take a look at their listings here:
PRODUCTIONS WITH A LONGER SHELF-LIFE
BBC’s ‘Culture in Quarantine’ - Emma Rice’s Wise Children Filmed at York Theatre Royal, it’s available to stream on BBC iPlayer for three months as part of the BBC’s Culture in Quarantine programme, which will also soon include a number of recent RSC and Globe productions and much more
The Almeida’s production of Mike Bartlett’s Albion will soon be available as part of the Culture in Quarantine programme
|Bristol Old Vic Streams (from May 2020):|
|Leicester Curve has three shows available: Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw, Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual and Oscar Wilde’s Importance of Being Earnest:||https://www.curveonline.co.uk/news/category/watch/|
|Rifco theatre company and Watford Palace theatre’s musical Mushy: Lyrically Speaking about Musharaf Asghar who became a reality TV star in 2013 when the schoolboy appeared on Educating Yorkshire, which documented how a teacher helped him with his lifelong speech impediment.||https://www.rifcotheatre.com/shows/mushy-lyrically-speaking|
BBC’s Performance Live strand on iPlayer, which includes Clowns by Hofesh Shechter; Winged Bull in the Elephant Case, in which dancers take over the National Gallery; Alexander Zeldin’s Love; a poetry night hosted by Kate Tempest; Eggs Collective’s raucous Get a Round; and I Told My Mum I Was Going on an RE Trip, based on real stories about abortion, Emma Rice’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
BBC’s LOVE by Alexander Zeldin is a TV adaptation of his play at the NT a couple of years ago; My Left Nut on BBC Three is also a theatre to small screen adaptation from Ireland.
|Belarus Free Theatre have long rehearsed and created new productions over Skype. Now, the company is streaming 24 of its shows throughout April, May and June. English subtitles are available for those productions in Russian and Belarusian and each show will be available online for 24 hours.||https://www.youtube.com/c/BelarusFreeTheatre|
|Breach Theatre The Beanfield||(on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/400348232), revisits the clash between police and new age travellers near Stonehenge in what was dubbed the “battle of the beanfield”. Breach’s It’s True, It’s True, It’s True is now online from the Space https://www.thespace.org/resource/culture-your-couch-arts-you-can-experience-home|
|Cheek by Jowl’s A Winter’s Tale:||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zULvQbgJy8&feature=youtu.be|
|Cirque du Soleil:||https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/cirqueconnect|
|Daniel Bye’s How to Occupy an Oil Rig||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owrN1H9UmAs&feature=youtu.be|
|Deafinitely Theatre have launched a season of their work, performed in British Sign Language and spoken English. The first show available in April is their version of Love’s Labour’s Lost, staged at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2012. In May, the company’s production of George Brant’s Grounded from 2015 features signer Nadia Nadarajah playing a drone pilot and Charmaine Wombwell as the voice of the pilot. A version of Mike Bartlett’s Contractions, about workplace fear, is available in June. Each play will be available for free for one month on YouTube.||https://www.youtube.com/user/markdeafinitely|
|Emily Jenkins's play Cookies (for young people)||https://youtu.be/WMH77gzqd88|
|Fierce Festival have some links to free theatre, including Robert Wilson and Philip Glass's Einstein on the Beach and The Wooster group’s Hamlet:||https://wearefierce.org/fierces-lockdown-viewing/|
|Five Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist - Sam is going to tell you about five hook-ups he had through the casual encounters section of online classified-ads board Craigslist. Filmed at the Push festival in Home, Manchester, YESYESNONO’s production is an open, affecting and troubling look at searching for intimacy and connection||https://www.yesyesnono.org/new-page|
|The Folger is streaming Macbeth (co-directed by the magician Teller from Penn and Teller) until the end of June||https://www.folger.edu/video-macbeth-folger-theatre|
|Fragments (Beckett by Brook) filmed at the Bouffes du Nord in Paris in 2015, Peter Brook directs five Beckett shorts with a cast of three (Jos Houben, Marcello Magni and Kathryn Hunter). The production comprises Rough for Theatre I, Rockaby, Neither, Come and Go and Act Without Words II.||https://vimeo.com/398851333|
|Gecko has a number of shows available at:||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PQpxi7h_rc&feature=youtu.be&list=PLMqUl-4Vvxqq0sxMaAfyWQTupL9es_K1r|
|Key Change by Open Clasp who work with women who are on the margins of society; in this case, prisoners at HM Prison Low Newton, who devised the 2015 show with the theatre group over several months||https://www.openclasp.org.uk/productions/key-change/#watch-online|
|Mind the Gap, Walk the Plank and Emergency Exit Arts' epic 2019 show Zara featuring 100 performers and a giant baby bigger than a double-decker bus||https://www.youtube.com/mtgstudios|
|Motionhouse’s Earth Trilogy (Scattered, Broken, Charge):||https://www.youtube.com/user/MotionhouseDT/featured|
|Peeping Tom trilogy - Belgian dance-theatre company best known in the UK for performing at London international mime festival and for their trilogy comprising Mother, Father and Child. Watch their first trilogy (Le Jardin, Le Salon and Le Sous Sol) online|
|Pina Bausch’s Palermo Palermo|
|Rosie Kay’s 5 Soldiers: The Body Is the Frontline. Performing in close quarters to a score that mixes punk and opera, Kay’s company bring home the horror of combat||https://rosiekay.co.uk/project/5-soldiers/|
|Royal Court’s production of David Ireland’s Cyprus Avenue The film mixes the drama shot at the Royal Court with location scenes of Belfast.||https://royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/cyprus-avenue-film/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=CyprusAvenueFilmct=5|
|Shakespeare’s Globe has a series of free streams, each available for a fortnight||https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwN-jwNNNQN-8sfKG-qg8uA|
|Since U Been Gone - Teddy Lamb was due to present a Trans Take Over at London’s Bunker theatre as part of its now suspended Power Share season. So they have uploaded a version of their musical fringe hit about losing loved ones and finding your own voice.||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcxZ7XYgQUg&feature=youtu.be|
|Stage Russia is showing a number of productions with English sub-titles||https://www.stagerussia.com/streaming|
|Tim Crouch’s work:||https://vimeo.com/user12385883|
|Told By An Idiot are releasing a weekly archive show||https://www.toldbyanidiot.org/idiot-show-archive|
|Unicorn theatre’s production of Evan Placey’s Girls Like That offers a raw account of adolescent anxiety, slut-shaming and self-belief.||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx2KDNusk9E|
|The Show Must Go Online The actor Robert Myles has set up a live-streamed reading group for professional and amateur actors to perform Shakespeare’s complete plays in the order they’re believed to have been written.||https://robmyles.co.uk/theshowmustgoonline/|
PAY WHAT YOU CAN/RENTALS AND SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES (SOME WITH INITIAL FREE TRIAL)
|Spymonkey are releasing a physical show every week and then adding it to their account where you can pay to watch them at a small fee:
|There are two pieces of contemporary circus works available here from 59p per show – The Barely Methodical Troupe and Nikki and JD:
|Imitating the Dog’s Night of the Living Dead – Remix (and other performances from their archive will be released every fortnight)||http://www.imitatingthedog.co.uk/watch/|
|Mark Thomas’s The NHS at 70:||https://www.gofasterstripe.com/cgi-bin/website.cgi?page=videofull&id=37735|
|Matthew Bourne Productions will be broadcast on Sky Arts including Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake and The Car Man. Details here:||https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2020/coronavirus-matthew-bourne-productions-to-be-broadcast-on-tv/|
|Royal Shakespeare Company The Tempest, with Simon Russell Beale as Prospero, with a subscription (or 14-day free trial) to the online service Marquee TV. Hamlet starring Paapa Essiedu, Antony and Cleopatra with Josette Simon and Richard II with David Tennant are also available||https://www.marquee.tv|
|Shakespeare’s Globe Globe Player has a number of full productions to rent, including international productions from the 2012 Globe to Globe festival such as a Lithuanian Hamlet, a Turkish Antony and Cleopatra, a Japanese Coriolanus and an Armenian King John.||https://globeplayer.tv/all|
|The Wind in the Willows - staged at the London Palladium in 2017 is available to rent online, with the option to donate to help support theatre workers.||https://www.willowsmusical.com|
|Woke - LIVR is a subscription service that enables you to catch up on theatre in 360-degree virtual reality. Pop your smartphone into the headset they send you and experience a range of shows including Apphia Campbell’s Fringe First award-winning show Woke, which interweaves the stories of Black Panther Assata Shakur and the 2014 Ferguson riots.||https://livr.co.uk/shows|
|LIVR - Paid online platform for 360 films of small-scale shows. You have to pay £5.99 per month to see x1 show per month, and additional shows are £5.99. And you can only watch on a VR headset (which they send you free). They’ve got some great small-scale work on here: Louise Orwin’s A Girl And A Gun, Vespertilio, Nathaniel Hall’s First Time, Koko Brown’s WHITE, Apphia Campbell’s woke, Little Miss Burden, Electrolyte, Medea Electronica, BOYS, One Jewish Boy etc – lots of these have been in Edinburgh and VAULT Festival so the more keen will have seen them, but there’s many I haven’t been able to catch until now.||https://livr.co.uk|
WORKS FOR CHILDREN
|Catherine Wheels award-winning production White:|
|Dan Rebellato has been doing interviews with playwrights. The first ‘season’ of Fourth Wall: Playwrights in Lockdown is now up and it contains:|
|Frank Hentschker of the Segal Center in New York is chairing/curating online discussions with artists from around the world, hosted on the Howlround theatre commons platform:||https://howlround.com|
|The African Women Playwrights Network is hosting a series of events - see Facebook and Instagram pages.|
|The National Theatre site has the links to lots of discussions and post-show talks e.g Interview with Dame Judi Dench, Roundtable discussion on working with Laurence Olivier etc:||https://www.youtube.com/user/ntdiscovertheatre|
Nick Hern books. Each week during the coronavirus shutdown, Nick Hern Books is running an initiative The NHB Playgroup. Every Wednesday they make one great play that they publish available to read completely for free for 7 days, and ask readers to submit a question for a recorded Q&A with the writer.
So far they've shared plays by Anna Jordan, James Fritz, Winsome Pinnock and Enda Walsh, and thousands of people have taken the opportunity to read them.
All the information about about The NHB Playgroup can be found here: https://www.nickhernbooks.co.uk/playgroup. If you'd like to be notified of future plays and Q&As, you can register for updates here: https://forms.gle/tgfVYdfZ3WvE56ER8
|Online museum and gallery exhibition tours. Check out some examples here:|
|@isolatednurse on Twitter: an online daily performance co-directed by Jamie Browne and Ben Spiller (Warwick alumnus)||
|Ben Kulvichit is keeping an entertaining diary of the online performance he’s watching at the moment, offering mini reviews and recommendations: