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The show must go online – rolling coverage of theatre’s response to coronavirus

Rufus Hound in The Wind In The Willows at the London Palladium. Photo: Tristram Kenton

Following the closure of UK theatres to prevent the spread of coronavirus many producers and companies are making their work available to watch online. The Stage will be updating this list on a daily basis. Please contact us with information about upcoming projects at natasha@thestage.co.uk


April 3

Curve to show The Importance of Being Earnest for free online

Curve’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest will be live streamed for free this weekend. An archive recording of the production, made during final tech rehearsals for its run in 2016, will go live at 7pm on April 5 on Curve’s website [1] and will then be available for a week.

The Leicester theatre said the screening had been timed as a warm up to ITV’s Olivier Awards – Greatest Moments show [2], which is airing at 10:15pm on ITV1 in lieu of the cancelled 2020 ceremony.

The Importance of Being Earnest is directed by Curve artistic director Nikolai Foster and was a co-production with Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Starring Cathy Tyson as Lady Bracknell, the production is a contemporary take on Oscar Wilde’s classic play.

Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals to be streamed on YouTube

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals are to be screened on a new YouTube channel called The Shows Must Go On.

The concept is to bring audiences to musicals that have made it to the screen. The series will kick off with the filmed version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, starring Donny Osmond and Maria Friedman [3].

Coronavirus: Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals to be streamed on YouTube [4]

Cirque Du Soleil to share work in weekly online programme

Cirque Du Soleil is to present weekly 60-minute programmes of its work online.

These will be presented on a new digital hub called CirqueConnect [5].

The first programme, which features performances from Cirque du Soleil Amaluna, Volta and Bazzar, will take place at 8pm today (April 3).

 

Mercury Theatre Colchester unveils online programme

The Mercury Theatre in Colchester has launched an online programme of work, featuring online content, live streaming and video conferencing platforms to bring theatre to audiences for free.

It includes Monday Mercury Masterclasses, which will run for five weeks and include a virtual learning session via a video conferencing platform, and Mercury Monologues in association with Josef Weinberger Ltd. This will invite creatives to submit a short monologue each week, which will be judged by a panel of industry professionals.

Each week a new winner will be announced, and will receive a £100 prize, as well as having their monologue read and streamed on the theatre’s social media channels and website.

Crazy Coqs announces online channel

Crazy Coqs has announced Stay at Home with Crazy Coqs, which will be updated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and feature “a single song or sketch, a series of songs, a nearly full show or even a live-stream” via a YouTube channel.

The organisation said: “In these difficult times, we need a space to share stories and songs, and we at Crazy Coqs are very keen to keep our artists in the minds and hearts of our audience, and equally our audience connected to Crazy Coqs.”

Participants include Branden and James, Bounder and Cad, Marcel Lucont, Morgan James, Sandy Walsh, Melinda Hughes, Westdal and Hayward, Jessica Martin and Ryan Molloy.

April 1

Treehouse to stream The Ultimatum Game online

Theatre company Treehouse is to stream Jon Gracey’s The Ultimatum Game on live streaming platform Twitch. It will star Chazz Redhead and Chloe Mashiter, who are now in isolation together, directed by Charlotte Peters. Rehearsals took place online.

The play is described as “a high-tension dramedy exploring the consequences of two very different personality types trapped in a room together”. It will be live streamed on April 5, at 5pm.

Sadler’s Wells announces new production and workshops for digital service

Sadler’s Wells has unveiled the second production that will be available online as part of its Digital Stage programme. BalletLORENT’s Rumpelstiltskin – a collaboration between director Liv Lorent and poet Carol Ann Duffy – will be streamed on Facebook [6] on April 3 at 3pm, in order to families to watch the show together. It will remain free to watch online for a week.

The first of Sadler’s Wells’ new online workshop series is also available from this week, featuring five workshops created for younger children [7] and one for older people [8]. More will be added in the coming weeks.

March 31

Old Vic and Digital Theatre link up to offer Endgame streaming

The Old Vic has announced a partnership with Digital Theatre, which will enable audiences with tickets to see its production of Endgame to access a recording of the show.

Endgame, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Cumming, closed two weeks early this month when theatres shut due to coronavirus, and the Old Vic said it would explore ways for ticket holders to watch a filmed version of the performance if they donated the cost of their ticket rather than ask for a refund.

Coronavirus: Old Vic and Digital Theatre link up to offer Endgame streaming [9]

White

Children’s theatre company Catherine Wheels is releasing its well-loved show for young children, White by Andy Manley, online for the Easter weekend. It will be available from April 10-13 on YouTube [10].

March 30

Shakespeare’s Globe productions including Michelle Terry and Globe to Globe Festival

Shakespeare’s Globe has added six new free productions to Globe Player, its video-on-demand platform, including a 2018 production of Hamlet starring artistic director Michelle Terry [11] and last year’s production of The Merry Wives of Windsor [12].

The 37 films from the Complete Walks series and the whole of 2012 Globe to Globe Festival are now available to watch for free.

Coronavirus: Shakespeare’s Globe announces digital programme for isolation [13]

Hampstead Theatre productions including Mike Bartlett’s Wild

Hampstead Theatre has announced that, in collaboration with the Guardian, it will re-release the live-stream recordings of three past productions, including Mike Bartlett’s Wild [14] and Beth Steel’s Wonderland [15], for free. A new production will be released each week, starting with Wild at 10am on March 30. The re-released recordings will be available to watch on both the Guardian and Hampstead Theatre [16] websites.

Coronavirus: Hampstead Theatre to share past productions online [17]

Operation Mincemeat

While SpitLip’s The Stage Debut Award-winning musical is not available online in its entirety, you can now listen to one of its best songs. The company has released Dear Bill, wonderfully sung by Jak Malone, on SoundCloud [18]. Be prepared to sob.

March 27

The Winter’s Tale

Cheek by Jowl’s exhilarating and irreverent 2016 production of The Winter’s Tale, directed by Declan Donnellan and previously seen at the Barbican Centre in the UK, is now available to stream for free on YouTube [19].

The Winter’s Tale review at Barbican Silk Street Theatre, London – ’emotional clarity’ [20]

Pentabus Theatre shows including Here I Belong

Pentabus Theatre has announced it will release recordings of past shows on its website and social media channels for free.

The first production to be released in this way will be Here I Belong [21] by Matt Hartley. Other shows will follow including Crossings by Deirdre Kinahan and Each Slow Dusk by Rory Mullarkey.

The first show will be made available on March 27 and a new show will be released weekly on Fridays at 2pm. The shows will remain live for the next three months.

Coronavirus: Pentabus Theatre to make its shows available online [22]

Amsterdam

Matthew Xia’s production of Maya Arad Yasur’s play Amsterdam, which had just commenced a national tour before it had to be cancelled, will be made available to watch online. Filmed at the Orange Tree, the co-production with Actors Touring Company and Theatre Royal Plymouth will released at 7.30pm on March 27 on OT on Screen [23] and available to watch online for a limited time.

Amsterdam review at Orange Tree Theatre, London – ‘fascinating, multilayered play’ [24]

Styx

Second Body has made its moving Orpheus-inspired song cycle about coming to terms with dementia and loss available on YouTube [25]. You’ll need a good supply of tissues for this one and possibly a tot of whisky.

Styx review at Zoo Southside, Edinburgh – ‘gorgeous, Orpheus-inspired song cycle’ [26]

Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual

On World Theatre Day, Leicester’s Curve will make available an archive recording of Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual online for free. Dougal Irvine’s adaptation of Riaz Khan’s autobiography will be available from 7pm on March 27 and will be available on Curve’s website for a week. Visit curveonline.co.uk [27]

Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual review at Leicester Curve – ‘energetic, if uneven’ [28]

March 26

National Theatre productions including One Man, Two Guvnors and Jane Eyre

National Theatre Live productions will soon be available to watch for free on YouTube under plans for a new digital service from the National Theatre.

National Theatre at Home will stream productions into audience’s homes, in addition to making the theatre’s education collection available remotely while schools are closed.

National Theatre launches free streaming service [29]

Productions by the Schaubühne, Münchner Kammerspiele and Odéon Theatres

While people remain isolated during the coronavirus crisis, European theatres have been mining their archives and making them available online. Here’s a round-up of some of the best European theatre available to watch from your home [30].

The best European theatre to watch online [30]

Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company

The Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company [31] will be offering its Pop Up Space dance classes for free online for one month via Zoom alongside free digital screenings of the company’s most popular productions beginning at 7pm on March 29.

Slung Low

Slung Low, who run the Leeds cultural community college the Holbeck, is doing a daily sharing from its archive on its Twitter account (@SlungLow [32]). So far this has included a behind-the-scenes look at its epic show The Flood and It Happened Here, an audio tour of the Holbeck.

March 25

Henry V

The Barn Theatre will live stream its production of Henry V. Originally presented at the Cirencester venue in May and June 2019, Hal Chambers’ production starred Aaron Sidwell and Lauren Samuels. It will be available on YouTube and the Barn Theatre’s Facebook page from 6pm on March 27.

Henry V review at Barn Theatre, Cirencester – ‘fresh, intelligent, high-energy production’ [33]

The Beanfield

Breach Theatre, creators of the acclaimed show It’s True, It’s True, It’s True, due to be performed at the Barbican Centre later this month, has released its 2015 debut show, The Beanfield, a reenactment of the 1985 “Battle of the Beanfield” on Vimeo [34]. The music from the company’s recent show, Joan of Leeds [35], will also be available to stream from March 27.

The Beanfield [36]

Smashed

The Gandini juggling troupe’s skilful, witty and playful homage to the work of the choreographer Pina Bausch, with its abundance of airborne apples, is available to watch on Vimeo [37].

Smashed: Special Edition review at Peacock Theatre, London – ‘stunningly skilful’ [38]

March 24

The Show Must Go Online

Following The Two Gentlemen of Verona last week, the next in the series of live streamed readings of Shakespeare’s plays will be The Taming of the Shrew, [39] to be streamed at 7pm on March 26.

Deluxe

The dance piece by BalletBoyz will be the first in a series of new additions to Sadler’s Wells’ free digital platform, Digital Stage [40].

Other performances to be made available in this way include a new version of Wilkie Branson’s dance for camera installation TOM, and BalletLorent’s Rumpelstiltskin [41]. There will also be a series of dance workshops.

Deluxe will be made available at 7.30pm on March 27, the same time the work was due to be performed live at Sadler’s Wells. It will also feature as part of the BBC’s Culture in Quarantine series.

Coronavirus: Sadler’s Wells announces new digital dance content [42]

Mass Bolero

Nottingham Playhouse is releasing a series of videos that will help keep communities in the East Midlands engaged with the arts. These include dance and choir tutorials and 2014’s Mass Bolero [43], in which Torvill and Dean’s iconic ice skating routine was recreated by 700 people in locations across the city Nottingham.

The Croft

The Original Theatre Company production of Ali Milles’ play The Croft, which was touring the UK until the closure of theatres due to the coronavirus outbreak, will be available to view on the company’s website from 7.30pm on March 27.

The Croft review at Perth Theatre – ‘family drama meets supernatural thriller’ [44]

March 23

Ego

Northern Ballet’s new production of Kenneth Tindall’s Geisha [45] premiered on March 14. Following the cancellation of the tour, Tindall’s film Ego, co-directed with Dan Lowenstein, and starring Northern Ballet leading dancers Antoinette Brooks-Daw and Kevin Poeung, breakdancer Sam Amos and krump dancer Jonadette Carpio is available to watch on the company’s digital platform from March 27 [46].

Geisha review at Grand Theatre, Leeds – ‘ambitious, coherent and compelling’ [45]

Check Up: Our NHS at 70

Comedian, writer and performer Mark Thomas has made his show Check Up: Our NHS at 70 [47] available to watch online. All proceeds will go to the Trussell Trust.

Directed by Nicolas Kent, the show is based on interviews with experts in the health service, and visits to hospitals and surgeries. It explores the reasons for the NHS’s foundation in 1948 and the challenges it faces now.

The show is available to download until March 26 [48] with a donation of any amount to the Trussell Trust.

Mark Thomas – Check Up: Our NHS at 70 review at Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh – ‘impassioned mixture of reportage and storytelling’ [47]

Royal Shakespeare Company productions including Richard II starring David Tennant

The Royal Shakespeare Company together with Marquee TV are offering a free 30 day trial allowing people to watch 18 productions for free. This will include Gregory Doran’s 2013 production of Richard II starring David Tennant, his 2016 production of The Tempest starring Simon Russell Beale and Christopher Luscombe’s 2017 production of Twelfth Night starring Adrian Edmondson and Kara Tointon.

Shows are available to stream on marquee.tv.

Twelfth Night review at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford – ‘lavish and uplifting’ [49]

Where Do We Go Next?

London’s Bunker Theatre, which was already due to close at the end of the month because of the redevelopment of its Southwark home, has announced that it will make its final week of programming available online.

Where Do We Go Next?, the final week in the Bunker’s Takeover season, is a film project featuring six new short plays from underrepresented writers intended to explore the role of political theatre in a hostile environment. The films will be made available online on Vimeo on Demand from March 24-29.

Coronavirus: Bunker Theatre’s final week of programming to be made available online [50]

March 21

It’s True, It’s True, It’s True

Breach’s acclaimed, award-winning show about the life of the 17th century artist Artemisia Gentileschi, the first woman to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence, was due to play at the Barbican Centre at the end of March. The company will now stream it online via YouTube from March 31 for 30 days.

It’s True, It’s True, It’s True review at Underbelly, Edinburgh – ‘fascinating, layered portrayal of 17th-century rape trial’ [51]

The Team Makes a Play

American theatre company the Team has made a documentary about its show Mission Drift – which played the National Theatre’s Shed in 2013 [52] and was directed by Rachel Chavkin, who would go on to direct Hadestown [53]available to view on Vimeo [54].

March 20

Royal Opera and Royal Ballet productions including Acis and Galatea, Peter and the Wolf, and Così Fan Tutte

The Royal Opera House is offering selected productions on-demand free of charge as part of a wider package of online content available for audiences.

While its Covent Garden home remains closed, and all performances are suspended, the ROH has launched a programme of broadcasts and live content, from productions to masterclasses, via its Facebook [55] and YouTube [56] channels

Coronavirus: Royal Opera House to release archive productions on demand free of charge [57]

I and You

Hampstead Theatre will make its 2018 production of I and You [58] available to watch on Instagram. The play by US playwright Lauren Gunderson was directed by Edward Hall and starred Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams and Zach Wyatt. It was original filmed for IGTV in 2018 and will be released at 10am on March 23 and be available until March 29.

Coronavirus: Hampstead Theatre to stream I and You on Instagram [59]

Luke Wright

The poet, performer and playwright – winner of The Stage Edinburgh Award for his performance in  his 2015 play What I Learned From Johnny Bevan [60] – will be performing a poetry set every night live on Twitter at 8pm.

The Show Must Go Online

This new digital project, led by actor and director Robert Myles, invites professional actors and experienced amateurs to perform readings of the works of Shakespeare, that will be made available to the public on YouTube. The first of these, The Two Gentlemen of Verona [61], was performed yesterday.

What I Heard About the World

Following the cancellation of the tour of its show, The Department of Distractions,  Sheffield-based theatre company Third Angel has gathered together a collection of free-to-watch videos in the Film Room section of its website [62], including its 2013 show made in collaboration with Mala Voadora.

Metropolitan Opera

New York’s Metropolitan Opera is streaming past productions from its Live in HD series of cinema broadcasts. Every day for the duration of the building’s closure, a different encore presentation will be made available for free streaming. More details on @MetOpera.

March 19

The Wind in the Willows

The producers of the Stiles and Drewe musical version of The Wind in the Willows, which played at the London Palladium and starred Rufus Hound, have announced [63] that it will be made available for free as a digital production, via willowsmusical.com [64].

The Habit of Art

The Original Theatre Company touring production of Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art starring Matthew Kelly was due to open at Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne on March 18. It will now be filmed in a closed performance and available for download.

Eugenius! review at the Other Palace, London – ‘a fantastic score’ [65]

Eugenius!

The producers of Eugenius!, the new British musical by Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins about a boy who dreams of being a superhero, which first played at London’s Other Palace in 2018, will release archive footage of the show online [66] on Facebook on March 20 at 7pm.

Cyprus Avenue

First staged at the Royal Court, David Ireland’s play Cyprus Avenue was adapted for BBC Four in 2019, where it mixed stage performance with on-location footage in Belfast.

It will be available for free for a month from March 27 via the Royal Court’s and the Space’s website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.

Cyprus Avenue review at Royal Court, London – ‘Stephen Rea is outstanding’ [67]

Bubble

Kieran Hurley’s new play Bubble will premiere online on March 23 at 8pm on the Theatre Uncut [68] website and be released as a play text to download with performance rights for free until April 23.

Bubble will be set entirely on Facebook and be performed by actors from six universities who have never met before. Theatre Uncut describes it as “a simultaneous global theatrical debate, connecting live and online audiences across borders to discuss freedom of speech in the university community and the nature of online debate”.

Coronavirus: Theatre Uncut to premiere new Kieran Hurley play online [69]

YV:IDemystify

London’s Young Vic has announced the next event in its YV:IDemystify [70] series. What’s Blocking You? was live-streamed from the Young Vic on March 18, 4pm–6pm, in partnership with ArtsMinds.

Key Change

Open Clasp Theatre Company will be making its award-winning prison drama, created with women at HMP Low Newton in County Durham and performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015, available to watch online for free.

You can watch it on the company’s website from 1pm on March 20 via openclasp.org.uk. [71]

The Accident Did Not Take Place

YesYesNoNo will be filming a version of its latest show The Accident Did Not Take Place at the Bunker Theatre in London starring Sophie Steer. The company’s earlier show, Five Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist [72], is able to view online for free.

The Accident Did Not Take Place will be available for streaming live online on March 21 at 7.25pm.

I, Cinna (The Poet) review at Unicorn Theatre, London – ‘a fascinating feat of storytelling’ [73]

I, Cinna/I, Malvolio

Tim Crouch’s solo shows are both available online. I, Cinna is being hosted by the Royal Shakespeare Company and his production of I, Malvolio [74], filmed in Brighton in 2015, is no longer password protected on Vimeo.

The Time of Your Life

Physical theatre company Gecko has made The Time of Your Life [75], a piece originally broadcast as part of the BBC’s Live at Television Centre initiative is available on YouTube.

Ghost Quartet

A production of Dave Malloy’s song cycle opened Soho’s new Boulevard Theatre last year. Malloy has posted the full musical on YouTube [76] in a version from 2015 in which he also performs.

Ghost Quartet review at Boulevard Theatre, London – ‘wonderfully dark and weird musical’ [77]

We’re Gonna Die

American playwright and theatremaker Young Jean Lee’s show, performed at the Lincoln Centre with her band Future Wife, is currently available on her website [78].

Going Viral [79]

Going Viral

Daniel Bye’s aptly titled 2015 show [79] is now available to watch on YouTube along with the writer and performer’s other work The Price of Everything and How to Occupy an Oil Rig. [80]

Lippy

Acclaimed Irish theatre company DeadCentre’s 2014 show Lippy [81], co-written by Ben Kidd and Bush Moukarzel, is available to view on Vimeo. You’ll need a password for this one: context.

Timpson: The Musical review at C Venues, Edinburgh – ‘zany musical comedy’ [82]

Timpson: The Musical

We could all use a laugh at the moment. The Stage Edinburgh Award-winning company Gigglemug has made Timpson: The Musical available on YouTube. [83] The Stage called it a “zany musical comedy that hits all the right notes.”

Since U Been Gone review at Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh – ‘nostalgic, vivid and raw’ [84]

Since U Been Gone

Performer Teddy Lamb has made their hit fringe show of Since U Been Gone [85], seen at Edinburgh Festival Fringe at this year’s Vault Festival, on Youtube.

Five Soldiers

British choreographer Rosie Kay’s collaborative dance piece with the British army was created to give an insight into the psychology of soldiers on the front lines. It’s available to watch on YouTube. [86]

Mother (Moeder) review at Barbican Theatre, London – ‘uncanny dance theatre’ [87]

Peeping Tom

Peeping Tom, the Belgian dance-theatre company behind the mind-bending Mother, Father and Son trilogy, performed in the UK at the Barbican Centre has made its earlier trilogy available on Vimeo [88].