Stage Door News

London, UK: A selection of British theatre to stream

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

It’s been a long time since we’ve felt the excitement of spending a night at the theatre. From the orchestra tuning their instruments, stars singing in the spotlight and the final curtain call, there’s nothing quite like watching a mesmerising performance on stage. But, even with theatres shut for the foreseeable future, there’s still plenty of opportunity to satisfy your craving for plays, musicals and even more entertainment.

We’ll be keeping this page updated with the latest ways to stay in touch with the best of British theatre, podcasts and series. There’s guaranteed to be at least something that you’ve never seen before, so make it an occasion to grab front-row seats to the opening and closing night of a production in your living room.

We hope this is a quick fix, and a temporary solution before we can all experience the rush of seeing a live performance. But for now, here’s the ways we’ll be watching all the newest shows.

National Theatre at Home

On 26th March, the National Theatre announced the launch of a new initiative. Titled 'National Theatre at Home', audiences around the world can stream NT Live productions for free via YouTube, and students and teachers have access to the National Theatre Collection at home, delivered in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing. Every Thursday, a different production previously screened as part of National Theatre Live will be available to watch online for one week via the NT's Youtube channel.

Upcoming shows include: 

8th May: Antony and Cleopatra (2018), starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo

14th May: Barber Shop Chronicles
21st May: A Streetcar Named Desire (2014), starring Gillian Anderson
28th May: This House (2013)
4th June: Coriolanus (2013), starring Tom Hiddleston

Find out more here.

Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House is offering a free programme of curated online broadcasts as part of the #OurHousetoYourHouse series. There'll be musical masterclasses, full-length productions as well as behind the scenes access to prestigious shows that can be accessed free for any time, anywhere across the globe. Their broadcasts include the following, which will be available on demand via their Facebook and YouTube channels for one month from release.

La traviata (2009), The Royal Opera – 8 May 2020, 7pm BST
Anastasia (2016), The Royal Ballet – 15 May 2020, 7pm BST

Find out more here.

Royal Shakespeare Company

There's lots of fantastic RSC shows for free with BBC iPlayer and Marquee TV. From 23rd April (Shakespeare's birthday), you can also watch acclaimed productions on BBC iPlayer. They are:

Macbeth (2018), directed by Polly Findlay with Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack.
Hamlet (2016), directed by Simon Godwin with Paapa Essiedu
Romeo and Juliet (2018), directed by Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman.
Much Ado About Nothing (2014), directed by Christopher Luscombe.
Othello (2015), directed by Iqbal Khan with Hugh Quarshie and Lucian Msamati.
The Merchant of Venice (2015), directed by Polly Findlay.
The Tempest (2013), with Roger Allam and Colin Morgan.
A Midsummer's Night Dream (2016), directed by Emma Rice with Lucy Thackeray and Ewan Wardrop.

You can access 18 productions if you sign up for a 14-day free trial on Marquee TV. It's a erforming arts streaming service with a catalogue of more than 400 dance, opera and theatre productions.

Find out more here.

Harry Potter Online Reading by Daniel Radcliffe, Noma Dumezweni, Eddie Redmayne and more

The Harry Potter novels have captured the imagination, with people young and old spellbound by the Hogwarts magic. Now, famous faces will be contributing to an online reading of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the first book in the series, over the coming weeks.

The series has kicked off with Daniel Radcliffe reading the first chapter of the book, with guest readers taking on parts of the original novel from the seven-part Harry Potter series. Other readers involved include Noma Dumezweni (who originated the role of Hermione in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Eddie Redmayne (who led the cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Stephen Fry (who read the audiobooks for all seven Harry Potters), Claudia Kim (who played Nagini in The Crimes of Grindelwald), Dakota Fanning, David Beckham and even more to be revealed.

Find out more here.

Complicité's The Encounter starring Simon McBurney

Complicité's award-winning show The Encounter is being streamed for one week in May. Inspired by Petru Popescu's novel Amazon Beaming, the piece is co-directed by Simon McBurney and Kirsty Housley, and performed by McBurney. The piece, which had its world premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2015, is co-produced with the Barbican, Edinburgh International Festival, Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens, Schaubühne Berlin, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne and Warwick Arts Centre.

When watching the performance, audiences will need to wear headphones to experience the piece's binaural sound design. Ahead of the streaming, McBurney said: "We are, as a consequence of this pandemic, bodily cut off from one another. Disconnected. Isolated. But perhaps this sense of our separation one from another, is simply a heightening of what we felt before this all began. We are thinking now, not only about how long this will last, but also what happens on the other side. To reconnect we need, perhaps, to learn to listen more closely."

Stream here from 15 - 22 May 2020.

The Two Noble Kinsmen at the Globe

Performed at Shakespeare's Globe in 2018, Matt Henry stars in The Two Noble Kinsmen, now available to watch online. The Bard's rarely-performed play follows a troupe of morris dancers and two knights as they battle it out to impress the same lady.

Stream here until 17 May 2020.

West End stars to perform free online concert for composers Daniel and Laura Curtis

Set up by the Barn Theatre, the event is the first in a new series celebrating the work of British composers. Next week's event will feature the work of Finn Anderson.

Those performing in the concert include Come From Away's Alice Fearn, Miss Saigon's Jon Jon Briones, as well as Sabrina Aloueche, Nadim Naaman and Oliver Saville.

Stream here from 9 May 2020 at 7:30pm BST.

By Sophie Thomas for

Photo: Daniel Radcliffe reading Harry Potter and the Philophers Stone. © 2020 Wizarding World.