Where To Watch Theatre Online

Transform your sofa into one of the best seats in the house by screening your favourite musicals or a recent hit play, right from your own home. From classic Andrew Lloyd Webber to ballet from the Bolshoi, here are 11 of the best digital destinations to know.

National Theatre At Home

The National Theatre has launched ‘National Theatre At Home’. From close-ups that capture every flicker of emotion, to sweeping wide shots of the stage, these previously filmed broadcasts ensure that audiences at home feel like they’re watching live. Each Thursday evening, the NT screens one of its acclaimed shows, which is then available to watch online for a week. One Man, Two Guvnors, Jane Eyre and Treasure Island have all featured so far – and this week’s production of Twelfth Night starring Tamsin Grieg is sure to entertain further.

Visit NationalTheatre.org.uk

The Shows Must Go On!

Andrew Lloyd Webber has launched The Shows Must Go On!, a YouTube channel filled with showtunes, backstage access and full performances from some of the best-loved musicals in history. Streamed every Friday at 7pm – and available to view afterwards – previous musicals have included Cats, Joseph & The Technicolour Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Phantom of the Opera. Perfect for those with children – or anyone after a hit of nostalgia.

Visit YouTube.com

Shakespeare’s Globe – Globe Player

Shakespeare’s old theatre in Southwark is the latest to start streaming plays online. First up is Hamlet, the greatest revenge tragedy of them all. Free to view, it’s available for a couple of weeks until it’s replaced by Romeo & Juliet, then A Midsummer Night’s Dream. An ideal Sunday-afternoon treat.

Visit GlobePlayer.TV

Sadler’s Wells – Digital Stage

Sadler's Wells is presenting a programme of full-length dance performances and workshops online. Performances so far have included Deluxe by BalletBoyz, balletLORENT’s Rumpelstiltskin and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Rain, performed by Rosas. Upcoming performances include a new version of Wilkie Branson’s dance for camera installation, TOM. The theatre is also streaming free online activities for people to dance along to at home, with ‘Family Dance’ workshops created to connect with younger children, and ‘Company of Elders’ classes for older audiences.

Visit SadlersWells.com

Royal Opera House – Our House To Your House

The Royal Opera House is offering a free programme of online broadcasts as part of its #OurHousetoYourHouse series. Full-length productions, musical masterclasses and glimpses behind the scenes can be watched for free anytime, anywhere across the globe. Highlights include The Metamorphosis and The Winter’s Tale at the Royal Ballet and Gloriana at the Royal Opera House.

Visit YouTube.com 

Cirque du Soleil – Cirque Connect 

Cirque du Soleil has always aimed to offer an escape from everyday life through the delight and shock of its shows. To keep this spirit alive, the team has launched Cirque Connect, which welcomes guests into its world via show footage and fan-favourite videos. Sixty-minute specials include hit shows Zed, Volta and Kurios – plus there’s extra content such as fitness and face-painting videos available to view across the platform.

Visit CirqueDuSoleil.com

Hampstead Theatre At Home

Hampstead Theatre has announced an extension of its free digital streaming series in partnership with the Guardian. A live-stream recording of Howard Brenton’s politically charged #AIWW: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei is available to watch on demand as part of the theatre’s current #HampsteadTheatreAtHome series. The production tells the story of the controversial arrest and imprisonment of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in 2011 and is based on conversations between the artist and journalist Barnaby Martin, in which Ai Weiwei spoke about what happened during his disappearance.

Visit HampsteadTheatre.com

Digital Theatre

This streaming service brings live theatre, ballet and opera into your living room. Its library spans comedy to tragedy and Shakespeare to Kafka. Subscribe for £9.99 a month or rent individual shows for £7.99 a go. Highlights right now include The Crucible starring Richard Armitage and Much Ado About Nothing with David Tennant.

Visit DigitalTheatre.com

Marquee TV

Marquee TV is currently offering a free trial for 14 days, giving guests the chance to see acclaimed productions from the Royal Opera House, Bolshoi Ballet, Teatro Real, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Opera Zurich and more. Current highlights include Swan Lake, 1984, Giselle and The Barber of Seville. Following your trial, a yearly subscription costs £89, or it’s £8.99 monthly.

Visit Marquee.TV

Fleabag Live

Didn’t get tickets last year? Phoebe Waller-Bridge and National Theatre Live have joined together to make the critically acclaimed live production of Fleabag available to rent for a limited time. Money raised from the rentals will support several UK based charities of combatting the Covid-19 pandemic and supporting those affected by it: 35% will go to the National Emergency Trust, 35% to NHS Charities Together, 15% to Acting for Others and 15% to the Fleabag Support Fund.

Visit Amazon.co.uk

Unprecedented: Real Time Theatre from a State of Isolation

BBC Arts has joined award-winning theatre company Headlong and Bafta-winning Century Films as broadcast partner for Unprecedented: Real Time Theatre from a State of Isolation, a series of short, digital plays written and performed in isolation, which will be broadcast across the nation during lockdown as part of the BBC’s ‘Culture in Quarantine’. Written by celebrated playwrights and performed by a cast of over 50 UK actors, Unprecedented’s digital performances will explore our rapidly evolving world. The series will begin streaming in May.

Visit BBC.co.uk

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