Ok, so we’ve spent the last 3 months solidly binging Netflix and don’t get me wrong, it’s been great, but we all need something to stimulate our brains a bit more. Many of the top London theatres are streaming their shows online (some for a fee but most are completely free) and it’s time to make the most of them.
London’s theatre scene is among the most diverse in the world, from comedy to tragedy and pantomime to musicals, there are SO many options across London. The main theatre hub is the West End – which is the UK equivalent of Broadway (New York), but there are theatres all over the city, some small and others huge. Covid-19 has hit the theatre world hard but that hasn’t stopped them providing us with an array of wonderful productions.
Here’s some of our favourite plays, musicals and dance shows to watch from the comfort of your room. Whether you’re a seasoned theatre goer or new to the scene there’s something for everyone.
The National Theatre
The National Theatre has been streaming plays every Thursday evening for the entire lockdown! They have announced the schedule of plays is coming to an end in July, but there are 2 final plays for you to catch – The Deep Blue Sea and Amadeus. The final play, Amadeus, which is set to a live orchestral soundtrack has been described as ‘overwhelming’ and awarded 5 stars when it arrived on the London stage scene. Not to be missed. Find out more.
The Shows Must Go On!
The YouTube channel set up by Universal, streams all the best musicals on a weekly basis. Shows include Andrew Lloyd Webbers hit musical Cats, Hairspray and everyone’s favourite, The Phantom of the Opera. Each show goes live on the channel on Friday’s and remain viewable for 48 hours afterwards. They also have several shows available to rent or buy on demand. Watch here.
The Royal Opera House
The world-renowned London opera house is allowing you to stream some of their most well-known opera and ballet productions for free. As part of their #ourhousetoyourhouse initiative, they will be releasing a major production to stream every Friday evening at 7pm. Coming up in July: Krol Roger, Rusalka and La Boheme (to name a few). Find out more.
London’s most famous dance theatre has gone digital with a wealth of dance performances, films and workshops available online. Find out more.
For £4 you can stream Fleabag online and the proceeds will be split between Emergencies Trust (NET), NHS Charities Together and Acting for Others. Some money will also go to the Fleabag Support Fund, a new emergency charity distributing grants to UK-based freelancers in the theatre industry. The hit TV show turned stage production is hilarious and not to be missed! Watch now.
Shakespeare’s Globe’s digital platform is jam packed with over 130 professional filmed plays from the Globe’s vaults (mostly Shakespeare). From £3.99 to rent a play and £5.99 to own one there’s something for everyone. Stream now.
Mathew Bourne’s Ballet
Four of the best Matthew Bourne ballets are available to stream online including, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and The Car Man. The award-winning productions are available to rent or buy (£9.99 to buy and £5.99 to rent). Matthew Bourne spins classic dance tales on their head, like the all-male cast of Swan Lake – highlight recommend watching these! Watch now.
London theatres are not the only ones streaming productions, why not try something a little further afield?
The Metropolitan Opera
New York’s Metropolitan Opera is streaming a different production every night – available on their website and via their app. More info here.
Stream fringe theatre from around the world on Scenesaver. A host of small venues and companies have uploaded their videos and you can pay-what-you-wish to stream them. Productions are mostly from the UK but include shows from Ireland, the USA and Africa! Watch now.
We’d love to hear your reviews on any shows you’ve seen both online or in a theatre pre-Lockdown, leave a comment below.
Completed all this and want to head back over to Netflix? Here’s our favourite seasons to binge watch!