How to Enjoy Theatre From the Comfort of Your Own Home.
As we all know theatres across the UK have been closed in order to combat the spread of Covid-19. However many of us clearly can’t go for a week without a theatre fix let alone several so I have pulled together lots of resources for theatre at home so we can continue to fuel our fan girl (or boy) obsession.
Some of these on the list are paid for. I have tried to include the price but please, if you can afford it, access these options. It is initiatives like these that will help the industry, performers and creators we love so much stay afloat during these hard times.
This list is also aimed at adults but I have a whole page dedicated to children’s theatre so do check that out if you are looking for something to do with the little ones.
Now onto the theatre at home list:
Firstly Turning To Musical Theatre:
1) Broadway HD is a theatre streaming service. It normally costs $8.99 a month but the company have introduced a 7 day free trial. The shows include Kinky Boots, Memphis, The Toxic Avenger as well as the likes of Sutton Foster in concert and more. Visit their website here.
2) The Musical Theatre Appreciation Society Page on Facebook are announcing a variety of live performances and talks from a range of performers and creators. These include vocal warm up techniques, Katy Richardson, the MD for Six giving an interactive industry talk and Jodie Steele performing live. It is called MTAS ACCESS. Visit their Facebook page for more information
3) Check out the Showstoppers Facebook page – when the theatres all went dark they still performed their show at the Lyric and live streamed it to Facebook for everyone to see. The live video is up on their Facebook page so go have a watch and enjoy!
4) Wind in the Willows the Musical is available online to stream for £4.99. It was filmed live at the London Palladium in 2017 and can be accessed on their website.
5) Andrew Lloyd Webber at the start of lockdown started with streaming his musicals on the channel – ‘The Show Must Go On.’ His musicals have finished so now they are working their way through other musicals. Recently this has included Hairspray Live and The Sound of Music Live. Up next is Peter Pan Live.
6) The Barn Theatres YouTube has been streaming virtual concerts but lesser known (not to take away from their talents) musical theatre composers. Check out their YouTube page for the likes of Elliot Davies who wrote Looserville and who was joined by the likes of Lucie Jones, Aaron Sidwell, Aime Atkinson, Jamie Muscato and so many more. It is also worth checking out their past concerts which are all on their youtube channel.
7) Myth Musical was filmed when it was on at The Other Palace in March 2018. It stars the likes of Jodie Steele and is a modern telling of the Greek story of Orpheus and the Underworld. It can be found online here.
8) Fan of Hamilton will like this one. Lin Manuel Miranda wrote a s14 minute musical named ’21 Chump Street.’ He has made this available on You Tube and it stars him and Anthony Ramos.
9) Chichester Festival Theatre have made available some of their archive footage. So far they have screen Flowers for Mrs Harris and The Midnight Gang. Currently screening is their unique production of Beauty and The Beast.
10) Timpson the Musical was one of the musicals I really wanted to see at the Edinburgh Fringe last year and with a running time of under 1hour and 20 minutes it is an easy short show to watch. They have now released the full show on YouTube. Watch it here for free.
11) Ghost Quartet is a musical song cycle by Dave Molloy with 4 interwoven stories. It had rave reviews in London last year so this is a great chance to catch it. He has released a filmed version from 2015 on YouTube and can be found here.
12) Notflix is a group of female comedians who are performing on Facebook. They take audiences suggestions and create a brand new musical show.
13) Southwark Playhouse have launched Southwark Stayhouse! All of the shows are free and the first one is Wasted. Wasted is a rock musical that was on at Southwark Playhouse in 2018. Also announced in Twelfth Night and Bound. You can watch it here.
14) Les Miserables have released their concert from last year to download. It stars Alfie Boe, Michael Ball, Matt Lucas and Carrie Hope Fletcher. The concert is £10 to download.
15) Sondheim’s 90th Birthday celebration! Featuring the likes of Lin Manuel Miranda, Ben Platt, Meryl Streep and so many singing some of Sondheim’s iconic songs. This is available on YouTube.
16) Reasons To Be Cheerful is due to be released from the 3rd June to 3rd August. It features the music of Ian Dury and the Blockheads and can be watched here.
17) Opera North have released Bernstein’s ‘Trouble In Tahiti’ on their YouTube channel for a month until 1st June. It is a one act satire on the American Dream.
18) This one really excites me….Bristol Old Vic have announced that they will be streaming ‘The Grinning Man’ and ‘Messiah.’ Messiah is being streamed from the 29th June and The Grinning Man from the 26th June for a week.
19) Miscast 20 is going to be streamed online for free! I am beyond excited about this one. I’m expecting Broadway stars singing songs they wouldn’t normally perform. It will be on the MCC YouTube channel from the 20th June.
20) The Old Vic have confirmed that they are streaming shows. They are kicked it off with A Monster Calls from the 5th – 11th June and next up is Mood Music which was on in 2018. It is about the music industries dark side. This is on from 8th – 14th July with more info here.
21) Emma Rice’s ‘Wise Children’ is available on BBC IPlayer for 3 months. It was co-produced with The Old Vic and was filmed at the York Theatre Royal.
22) Paines Plough has an app which allows you to listen to 160 short plays for free. The app is called Come To Where I’m From app and started with a project when they asked a group of writers to return to their home town and write about the places that shaped them. The app can be downloaded from their website.
23) National Theatre Live is going to stream plays via YouTube live to our living room. They will take place on Thursday nights at 7pm, although you can watch them for up to a week afterwards. The first one was One Man Two Guvnors and currently available is Small Island with Midsummers Night Dream due to be shown in the future weeks.
24) Filmed on Stage is also listing shows you can stream for free. On here is The Metropolitan Opera Live with a huge variety of performances as well as plays such as Uncle Vanya for US residents.
25) Digital Theatre has a huge amount of variety from Hamlet to Love Song on there as well as Funny Girl with Sheridan Smith. It is £10 a month but that is a fraction of the cost of a theatre ticket!! Some performing arts teachers may already have access so do double check!
26) The BBC is screening 6 RSC shows including Frankenstein. They are now available on Iplayer.
27) Gate theatre has put online 2 of it’s plays. They are Suzy Storch which looks at what happens if you don’t what children but already have then and The Unknown Island which is about dreaming the impossible. Both have running times of under 75 minutes.
Shakespeare: All of the Shakespeare fans out there are spoilt for choice. Offerings include:
28) ‘The Show Must Go Online-‘ This is an online group that will read the complete works of William Shakespeare in the order they were written. Shakespeare wrote King Lear whilst he was quarantined for the plague so this seems rather fitting. This is all hosted on YouTube by Robert Myles.
29) More Shakespeare can also be found at Globe Player which has paid for recordings of many of the theatre’s Shakespeare productions. These shows include Stephen Fry in Twelfth Night and Jonathan Pryce in the Merchant of Venice. Even if you don’t want to pay for it there is some free content on there so worth checking out!
30) Barn Theatre have also released their production of Henry V from 2019. This was released on 27th March and can still be found on their Facebook page.
31) For something a bit different Patrick Stewart is reading a Sonnet a day over on his twitter page – @SirPatStew.
There is also a variety of dance options popping up. These include:
32) Cirque Du Soleil has also jumped on the streaming trend with Cirque Connect. This not only has shows on there but workout programmes and a sneak behind the curtain.
33) Northern Ballet have stated that they want to continue to bring world class ballet to our doorstep. They have therefore released many of their shows on their website and just ask for a donation in return with their ‘Pay As You Feel Digital Season.’ Ego is on their website, Dracula is on BBC Four and 1984 will be online from 3rd April. As well as the shows there is also content such as dancer Q&A’s and a look behind the scenes.
34) Sadlers Wells have released a programme of full length dance performances and workshops online. Currently on their Facebook page is Deluxe by BalletBoys.
35) Talking of Sadlers Wells, the amazing New Adventures is screening 3 of their Matthew Bourne shows on Sky Arts. They are The Car Man, Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake. They will be available on Sky Arts.
36) The Paris Opera began screening it’s ballets and operas from the archives online and free of charge. Current shows include La Traviata. All performances are on their website.
This list will be updated so if you want information included on it email me at email@example.com