Get your theatre fix in isolation: The best places to stream theatre online
With the world shut down for the foreseeable future, some companies and theatres are offering ways to bring a bit of drama into your living room. This isn’t an exhaustive list – new online events are popping up all the time – but hopefully it’s a start for those searching for a bit of self-isolation staginess.
Offering a free 30-day trial period, Marquee.tv is the online home to a rich selection of RSC productions, including Paapa Essiedue’s Hamlet, David Tennant’s Richard II, and Simon Russell Beale’s The Tempest. There’s also the much-acclaimed Shakespeare Trilogy (The Tempest, Julius Caesar and Henry IV) from the Donmar Warehouse, The Importance of Being Earnest starring Sophie Thompson, and the Globe’s Romeo and Juliet, plus a host of opera, ballet and contemporary dance productions.
There is some overlap between Marquee.tv and Digital Theatre. Like the former, the latter – which costs £9.99 a month – has the Donmar’s Shakespeare Trilogy alongside some choice RSC productions.
On top of that there’s the Old Vic’s smash hit, Richard Armitage-starring The Crucible, All My Sons with David Suchet and Zoe Wanamaker, Funny Girl with Sheridan Smith and the Royal Exchange’s Hamlet with Maxine Peake.
The BBC is preparing a nice little slate of televised theatre productions. The Royal Court production of David Ireland’s Cyprus Avenue returns to iPlayer on March 27th – World Theatre Day – while also planned are as yet unscheduled showings of Emma Rice’s Wise Children and Mike Barlett’s Albion as part of the Beeb’s “Culture in Quarantine” initiative.
The Berlin Schaubühne is showing a changing program of past productions each night, free of charge, between 6.30pm and midnight.
I And You
The Hampstead Theatre are bringing their production of I And You, starring Maisie Williams, to Instagram from 10am on Monday 23rd to 10pm on Sunday 29th March.
The Wind in the Willows
With Rufus Hound as Mr Toad, a book by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and music and lyrics from George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, The Wind in Willows is streaming for free (though you can also donate to theatre charities via the same link).
Since U Been Gone
Teddy Lamb has uploaded their show Since U Been Gone – “a moving and powerful autobiographical account about growing up queer in the mid-noughties, finding yourself, and losing a friend” – to YouTube. One of the hits of last year’s Edinburgh Fringe festival, it’s not to be missed.
The Habit of Art and The Croft
The Original Theatre Company have announced that digital versions of Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art, starring Matthew Kelly and David Yelland, and Ali Milles’s The Croft, starring Gwen Taylor, will be appearing online soon.
Leave a Light On concerts
The Theatre Café, working with Lambert Jackson Productions, are presenting a series of “intimate, piano vocal concerts” streamed lived from the café itself. Week one, from 23rd to 27th March, includes Layton Williams, Lucie Jones and Emma Kingston.
Showstoppers! The Improvised Musical
The cast of Showstoppers! The Improvised Musical live-streamed an improvised show on Facebook, which is still available to watch.
National Theatre Live
Bombarded with requests to put their catalogue online, the National Theatre hasn’t actually announced what they are doing with their Live recordings just yet. However, it does seem like something is in the works, so keep an eye on this space.
Keep up to date by following the National Theatre on Twitter here.
Not a theatre production, exactly, but a way for the theatre community to watch and share something together. Created by critic David Jays, the first work viewed for #LockdownTheatreClub was Birdman.
Photo: Maisie Williams and Zach Wyatt in I and You / Photo by Manuel Harlan