With venues across the UK closed, here’s how to get your theatre fix online – and for free.
A number of productions and theatres have announced they’re making recordings of their shows available for free to watch online.
From YouTube to IGTV, social media has become the place to watch theatre during the shutdown…
National Theatre productions
The National Theatre has announced it will be streaming NT Live shows for free on YouTube from Thursday 2 April. They will be screened live from 7PM on Thursday and available to watch on demand for the next seven days via YouTube. The first production to be broadcast will be Richard Bean’s One Man Two Guvnors featuring a Tony Award-winning performance from James Corden.
Also confirmed are Sally Cookson’s stage adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre on the 9th April, Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island on 16th April, and Twelfth Night on the 23 April featuring Tamsin Greig as Malvolia in Shakespeare’s classic comedy, with further titles to be announced.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals
Andrew Lloyd Webber will stream his musicals online for free via YouTube over the coming weeks. Lloyd Webber has announced a new online series called The Shows Must Go On which will make a selection of his works available to watch online for free. These include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar You’ll be able to watch online via YouTube.com/TheShowsMustGoOn.
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Made at Curve and Birmingham Repertory Theatre co-production of The Importance of Being Earnest will be streamed online for free. An archival recording of the 2016 production of Oscar Wilde’s classic play will be made available for a week from Sunday, April 5 at 7PM. You can watch the film online here.
Dave Malloy’s Ghost Quartet has released an original recording of the show filmed live at the McKittrick Hotel in 2015. You can watch it for free on YouTube here.
The Wind in the Willows
Join Ratty, Badger, Mole and the impulsive Toad as they embark on a series of riotous adventures spiraling from Toad’s insatiable need for speed in The Wind in the Willows Musical. Filmed at the London Palladium, the cast features Rufus Hound, Gary Wilmot, Craig Mather, Simon Lipkin, Neil McDermott and Denise Welch. Stream via Facebook here.
The London production of Original musical Eugenius! has been made available online via its Facebook page here. With the West End and other UK theatres closed, the stream aims to raise money for stage charity Acting for Others which provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need.
Hampstead Theatre productions
Hampstead Theatre has announced it will be streaming a number of productions from its archive. The venue has teamed up with The Guardian to stream recordings of Mike Bartlett’s Wild, Beth Steel’s Wonderland and Howard Brenton’s Drawing the Line online for free. The three productions will be made available, on demand, over three consecutive weeks as part of the theatre’s #HampsteadTheatreAtHome series. You’ll be able to watch online via theguardian.com and hampsteadtheatre.com.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 21 Chump Street
Lin-Manuel Miranda turns a piece of reporting from 2012 into a 14-minute Broadway musical, created by people who normally work on Broadway starring Lindsay Mendez and Anthony Ramos. You can watch it for free on YouTube here. You can also find the original cast album of “21 Chump Street: The Musical” on, iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.
The Barn Theatre’s Henry V
The Barn Theatre’s 2019 production of Henry V was streamed online via its social media pages from 6PM GMT UK time on World Theatre Day – Friday March 27, 2020. You’ll be able to tune in and watch via The Barn Theatre’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts.
54 Below At Home
New York cabaret venue 54 Below is streaming a number of its concerts and shows for free via their YouTube channel. These include concerts with Liz Callaway and Legally Blonde In Concert. You can see the full show schedule online here.
The Guy Who Didn’t Like Musicals
The latest stage show by the always brilliant StarKid Productions, The Guy Who Didn’t Like Musicals is available to watch on YouTube in full completely for FREE here.