Lockdown 100: Theatre to enjoy from your sofa, part two

Welcome to part two of my picks of theatre and arts to watch at home. Again, there is no ranking implied and I have tried to cast the net as widely as possible to find something for everyone.

If you have heard of a show or project which I could consider for inclusion in a future post or update, please let me know on social media or by commenting below.

1. Amazon Prime

Check out my fifty picks in Lockdown 100: part one.

For £5.99 per month you can subscribe to Prime Video, which will give you access to a wide variety of film and TV, including a selection of theatre shows. A month’s free trial is available.

2. Amici Dance Theatre Company

Amici are streaming one show a day on their You Tube channel: so far you can watch Rückblick, 20/20, Timestep and a 40th anniversary special for the company, Stars Are Out Tonight.

Donate to support Amici

3. The Big Share

An initiative from the theatre company Mrs C’s Collective, this is a week long festival of new writing, five rehearsed readings in all. Between the 25-30 May these will be made available and you can find more details and book in at the company’s Facebook page.

4. Blackheath Halls

The East London venue’s first Virtual Opera Gala Night streamed on their YouTube channel on 10 May. This enjoyable concert is raising money for the venue’s future plans.

Donate to support Blackheath Halls

5. Bristol Old Vic

As part of Bristol Old Vic at Home, the theatre will stream a number of productions on their YouTube channel: starting on 29 May with the cinema capture of Handel’s Messiah and continuing with The Old Vic’s production of A Monster Calls, and the original version of the musical The Grinning Man (from 26 June).

Donate to support Bristol Old Vic

6. Caretaker – Royal Court

A real-time installation by Hester Chillingworth from within the empty Royal Court Theatre, this has been streaming on YouTube since the 6 May.

Donate to support the Royal Court

7. Chickenshed

Launching on 22 May at 7pm, 100% Chance of Rain is the first of six Chickenshed shows to be streamed on their YouTube channel. The show gives a young person’s response to mental health challenges.

Donate to support Chickenshed

8. Clean Break

Clean Break is a theatre company working with women in the criminal justice system. Their project 2 Metres Apart launches socially distanced collaborations between playwriters/artists and member artists of the company.

Find out more about the project

9. Creation Theatre

Following the run of The Tempest via Zoom, Creation Theatre’s next show is The Time Machine, which runs from 27 May-21 June. Experienced live, tickets are available for £20 and are selling fast – for more details see the company website.

10. The Customs House

The Customs House, in South Shields, has made available a recording of the show Dolly Mixtures from 2019 on their YouTube channel.

Donate to support The Customs House

11. Disney Plus

Available on subscription, Disney Plus includes the libraries of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and the Muppets. As well as the animated and live action classic musicals, you can find the Disney Channel originals and related films like The Little Mermaid Live.

12. Edalia Day

Musician, comic and artist Edalia Day has made two of their shows available for purchase download: Too Pretty to Punch and Super Hamlet 64.

13. European Theatre Club

If your taste is purely continental, an alternative Twitter viewing club is led by director Alex Istudor and has brought work from Poland, Belarus and Italy to our attention so far.

Follow the tag #EuropeanTheatreClub to join in each Saturday at 7.30pm  – this week’s film is Macbeth, directed by Grzegorz Jarzyna.

14. 55 Shades of Gay

HowlRound TV has made the 2019 production 55 Shades of Gay, from La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, New York, available on their YouTube channel, which also includes some full-length shows from Vortex in Austin, Texas.

15. Folger Theatre

The 2008 production of Macbeth, directed by Teller, has been made available until 1 July on the Folger Library’s YouTube channel.

16. House of Macabre

Released for Mental Health Awareness Week and to raise money for MIND UK, Ron the Gnome is a comedy about anxiety and a magical gnome. Follow the episodes on Nic Lamont’s YouTube channel.

Donate to MIND UK

17. The Hunting of the Snark

Made available on the Official London Theatre’s YouTube channel, this recording of Gareth Cooper’s musical was filmed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, in 2017.

This show has no connection with Mike Batt’s musical of the same name, which is available on his YouTube channel in a recording from the Royal Albert Hall of a 1987 concert version.

18. Imitating The Dog

This innovative theatre company have made several shows available to view on their website, including Night of the Living Dead Remix, Oh The Night, and Heart of Darkness, with more planned over the next few weeks.

Donate to support Imitating The Dog

19. KHT Online

The King’s Head in Islington has been running a programme of short videos each week including company takeovers, Q&As, skills sessions and a book club. Catch up with everything on their YouTube channel.

Donate to support the King’s Head

20. Kings of Broadway

Taking place on 31 May, and raising funds for both Acting for Others and NHS Charities Together, Kings of Broadway will showcase the music of Jule Styne, Jerry Herman and Stephen Sondheim. It will stream on Quick Fantastic’s YouTube channel.

21. Lincoln Center At Home

While the USA theatre scene is in lockdown,the renowned Lincoln Center has pened the door to some archive material on its YouTube channel along with pop-ups and workshops.

22. Little Angel Theatre

The puppet theatre for children and families has streamed two adaptations from the works of Jon Klassen (I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat), and the third premieres on the 24 May. Catch upon their YouTube channel, where you can also watch a performance of What Does An Anteater Eat?

Donate to support the Little Angel

23. Lockdown Plays Podcast

Raising money for homeless charity St Mungo’s, the Lockdown Plays has been set up by Tom Mothersdale, Wilf Scolding and Anoushka Warden to share “work from really good writers, read by really good actors”.  A new play is released each week.

Donate to St Mungo’s here

24. Lockdown Theatre Club

Led by arts journalist David Jays, this is a theatre-related viewing group on Twitter in which a film is chosen and watched/discussed; currently running at 8pm on Tuesdays. Follow the tag #LockdownTheatreClub to join in – this week’s film is Les Enfants du Paradis.

25. Locked Down, Looking Up – The Space

The Space, over in Limehouse, has launched a few initiatives during lockdown. Just starting is a series of readings called Scriptspace, and coming at the end of July is 2.0 Fest: both are collections of new writing, created and performed in lockdown via Zoom.

For more details visit The Space website.

26. Love Letters At Home

Currently running until 26 June, Fuel Theatre’s virtual tour of Love Letters Straight From Your Heart. You can join one of the shows, which will feature the theatre company Uninvited Guests collating requests and dedications from the audience to create a unique show at each performance, for a £20 donation.

Book for Love Letters at the Fuel Theatre website

27. Miracle Theatre / Minack

The open-air Minack Theatre in Cornwall has staged many productions under the night sky, and Miracle Theatre have made their 2014 production of The Case of the Frightened Lady on their YouTube channel.

Further productions will be made available as part of Miracle Mondays and remain on YouTube for a month.

Donate to support Miracle Theatre

28. National Theatre of Scotland

A selection of extracts and short pieces are being made available in National Theatre of Scotland on Screen.

Also, from 27 May, a set of new pieces filmed in lockdown called Scenes for Survival will be made available on the Theatre’s social media and on BBCiPlayer. These have been developed in collaboration with BBC Scotland, Headlong Films, Screen Scotland and theatre companies around the country.

29. Northern Ballet

Based in Leeds, Northern Ballet have opened up their archive to share productions of EGO, For An Instant, and highlights of their 50th Anniversary Celebration Gala. Find these and more on the company’s website.

In addition their Red Riding Hood (CBeebies) is on BBCiPlayer and will be joined by Dracula from 31 May.

Donate to support Northern Ballet

30. The Old Vic

Each week a new monologue from The Greatest Wealth is being released in celebration of the NHS, on the theatre’s YouTube channel.

Donate to support The Old Vic

31. On hope: a digital song cycle

Developed in collaboration with The Other Palace and produced by MP Theatricals, this cycle of three streams mixes live performances with recordings to create a unique fusion of new music. You can find all three collections on the theatre’s YouTube channel.

Donate to support the project and artists

32. Online Fringe Festival

The Online Fringe Festival makes recordings of small-scale shows available on a time-limited basis, with a new programme of titles released each week. The season has been wide-ranging, with dramas, comedies, one-person shows, Shakespeare and much more.

Find out more, and donate to the festival, here.

33. Original Theatre

Production company Original Theatre have made two of their touring shows available for rental for around £3 each: Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art, and Ali Milles’s The Croft.

These will be streamed on the Original Theatre website until the end of June.

34. Paper Cut – Theatre 503

Based in Battersea, Theatre503 is a pub theatre and has made available 12 pieces of “exceptional new writing” available on their YouTube channel in response to Andrew Rosendorf’s Paper Cut, a production  which was aborted due to lockdown.

Donate to support Theatre503

35. Play On Shakespeare

An education series of readings and discussions from the USA of Shakespeare plays, called First Reads, started a month ago on YouTube.

By using contemporary translations and adaptations the aim is to enhance the understanding of the plays in performance for theatre professionals, students and audiences.

36. Rifco Theatre Company

Rifco’s full show Mushy: Literally Speaking is available on on the company’s website until 30 June. Mushy has a stammer but, through music, finds his voice. The play is written by Pravesh Kumar with rap and lyrics by Raxstar.

Donate to support Rifco Theatre

37. Rockin the Lockin

A fundraiser for the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington, Rockin the Lockin, celebrates its 25th birthday on 23 May with twenty-five acts playing twenty-five minutes each. Watch the stream on the Rockin the Lockin’s Facebook page.

Donate to support the Landmark

38. Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House – From Our House to Your House is regularly sharing productions from both opera and ballet on its YouTube channel, with the opera Cendrillon (Cinderella) premiering on the 22 May.

Donate to support the ROH

39. Scenesaver

Recently launched, Scenesaver is a free registration service from which you can access a range of online productions you may have missed elsewhere. Its tagline is “making little theatre big” and you can find productions listed from around the world with links to donate to each.

40. Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival

Taking the theme of “kindness” to link the shows together, two films are now available to view on the festival website: Jonathan Harden’s Troubles and James Page’s Grace.

41. Shakespeare’s Globe

As well as making some productions to rent through their own Globe Player, the Globe has been making titles from their archive regularly available to view for free on their YouTube channel. Macbeth and A Winter’s Tale are currently streaming.

Donate to support Shakespeare’s Globe

42. Sky Arts

There are a number of theatre productions available to subscribers to Sky Arts, including Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet, Cinderella, The Car Man, and Swan Lake, Northern Ballet’s Casanova, Cats: the Musical, Les Miserables (25th Anniversary), Funny Girl, Miss Saigon (25th Anniversary), and Just Call Me God (featuring John Malkovich).

There is also a selection of ballet and opera performances available from around the world.

43. The STAGE Network

An online subscription channel ($5 per month) with original content and concerts, the STAGE Network is also the home of many productions filmed for the Broadway Theatre Archive, plus a growing dance collection.

44. Stars in the House

A growing collection of material from the USA in lockdown including concerts from musical theatre performers and TV cast reunions is available on YouTube. So far there have been over sixty videos streamed, with more released each week.

45. Streamingmusicals.com

A new streaming service which operates on a rental per production basis (around £5 per title) streamingmusicals.com hosts titles not available elsewhere including adaptations of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Find out more here.

46. Thespie

Now linking out to over 1000 ways to discover theatre (including podcasts, playlists, aslks and guides as well as video and audio performances), you can sign up free on Thespie’s website to see their listings, although you may have to follow additional links to rent or purchase access to shows.

47. Understudy

A star-led radio adaptation in two parts, brought to listeners by the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield, Understudy can be rented for thirty days from first listen at £5 a ticket, with part one released earlier this week and part two following on 27 May.

Book tickets for Understudy here

48. Virtual Variety Fest

Taking place in June, the Virtual Variety Fest presents short performances from a variety of artists, with the full programme to be announced on the 22 May. For more details see the Festival Facebook page.

49. Wonderland Challenge

Raising money for the NHS, Brad Shaw’s project involves 165 voice artists each reading between 45 seconds and 2 minutes of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with five minutes added each day.

Access the Soundcloud and donate here

50. York Theatre Royal

The story of the Yorkshire suffragettes is told in Everything is Possible, now streaming on the Theatre Royal’s YouTube channel. Available until 31 May, this was a co-production with Pilot Theatre.

Donate to support York Theatre Royal

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