Isolation theatre roundup: The best places to stream theatre online in April
In the current climate, theatres, cinemas and other entertainment venues are closed for the foreseeable future. However, luckily for avid theatre fans, theatre companies, brands and even charities are partnering up to ensure audiences can get their fix of theatrical magic via online forums. If this is you, check out the latest and greatest isolation entertainment below.
An online programme of weekly interactive theatre events, for anyone and everyone to enjoy and expand their creativity. These include “Monologue Mondays”: inviting performers to send in a self-taped monologue matching the week;s theme or style; “Wednesday Wisdom”, where a theatre expert will take over the Greenwich Theatre Instagram account, for a Q&A session; “Flashback Fridays”, giving audiences a chance to watch the Greenwich Theatre’s greatest past performances; and “Short Play Submission Sundays”. If a budding writer is successful, their play could be performed once the theatre is back open.
Find out more about Greenwich Connects here.
National Theatre Home
The National has opened its doors to audiences via YouTube, streaming world-class productions free every Thursday evening. Thursday 9th April saw the bold and innovative reimagining of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and before that the infamous James Corden in One Man Two Guvnors. This is a great opportunity to replicate an evening out at the theatre, with the familiar start time of 7pm for every stream.
Find out more about National Theatre Home here.
Online Fringe Festival
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival has gathered some of their finest theatre shows across the UK and created a weekly theatre programme, available for audiences to stream via YouTube, from the likes of Uncle Vanya to the aptly selected Blood Orange, about a junior doctor working in Swansea.
Find out more about the Online Fringe Festival here.
The Beast Will Rise
Playwright, storyteller, artist and film-maker Philip Ridley was due to premiere his latest new play The Beast of Blue Yonder at the Southwark Playhouse in April. However due to the current situation, Ridley and his team are instead offering fourteen monologues, to be performed by the cast of The Beast of Blue Yonder. From the 2nd April, audiences can watch one a week, at 7:30pm, in the comfort of their own home.
Find out more about The Beast Will Rise here.
Shakespeare’s Globe: YouTube
Like the National Theatre, the Globe’s doors are temporarily closed. They too have created ways their audiences can virtually attend theatre productions online. Audiences can enjoy free YouTube Premieres, or support the Globe by renting and purchasing other films on Globe Player. As part of the YouTube Premieres, six plays will be shown on YouTube, one at a time, on rotation every two weeks, including the wonderful 2018 production of Hamlet.
Find out more about Shakespeare’s Globe Online here.
The Shows Must Go On!: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals
Universal have partnered with Andrew Lloyd Webber and his team to take his musicals from stage to screen via YouTube every Friday, to ensure that during the current climate the show will go on. The Shows Must Go On premiered with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, followed by Jesus Christ Superstar on the 9th April.
Find out more about The Shows Must Go On! here.
HighTide is a theatre company and charity based in East Anglia. Their productions are challenging, contemporary and political, keeping up with their unparalleled history of launching the careers of British playwrights. They have launched the Lighthouse Programme, consisting of brand new projects and programmes for anyone who is interested. Each project and programme is offered for free, but donations are welcome to help HighTide produce the works they present.
Find out more about Lighthouse Programme here.
Cirque Connect Content Hub
The unique Cirque du Soleil, who offer escapism from daily life through their unique and delightful circus style, are keen to continue to spread the joy even during this time, so are showing awe-inspiring show footage and fan favourite videos via YouTube.
Find out more about Cirque Connect here.
Stay at Home with Crazy Coqs
The hybrid entertainment company the Crazy Coqs, who bring together cabaret, music, theatre, comedy and literary events, are keen to keep up the fusion of entertainment in our current situation. This week, they launched the event #CrazyCoqsStayAtHome on YouTube, whereby videos will be released for audiences to enjoy every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7pm.
Find out more about Crazy Coqs Stay at Homehere.
Soho Theatre on Demand
The Soho Theatre has curated the best of the best content from London’s most vibrant producer of new theatre, comedy and cabaret. The latest, impressive addition is the theatre production of Fleabag, and for every rental of the play money goes to charities dedicated to supporting those affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Find out more about Soho Theatre on Demand here.
The Southbank Centre, with their breadth of content and offerings, have created a digital forum through which to continue sharing new comedy, theatre, and the latest shows. You can access this amazing content via blogs, videos, playlists and the latest insights on their website in order to keep connected.
Find out more about Southbank Centre’s online offering here.
The Coronet Theatre
The Coronet Theatre are making a series of new presentations over the coming weeks which will reflect the multi-art form, international nature of the theatre. Their creative output ranges from dance, poetry, music and theatre to visual art. All this content is available for free on their website.
Find out more about the Coronet Theatre’s online offering here.
Photo: Jane Eyre at National Theatre Online, by Manuel Harlan