We’ve all started to accept that trips to the theatre might not go back to the way they were for quite some time. However, the range of theatre that has been made available to livestream during lockdown is somewhat softening the blow. Whether you’re musical mad or have a passion for puppetry, it seems that there’s a little something for everyone. So don your glad rags and bring the stage to your screen with just the click of a button! (Hey, the sofa is way comfier than those folding seats anyway…)
Who better to bust those lockdown blues than the Bard himself? Shakespeare’s Globe are making a new play available on their YouTube channel every two weeks. They’re currently showing Macbeth and The Winter’s Tale, withThe Merry Wives of Windsor and A Midsummer Night’s Dream coming soon. All the plays showing were originally performed in the Globe, too, so you can kick back and pretend you’re really there. Check out their ‘Love In Isolation’ series whilst you’re there, and see artists from around the world performing Shakespeare’s most famous quotes and sonnets to celebrate his 456th birthday.
Cirque du Soleil
You could spend hours going through Cirque du Soleil’s Youtube channel and be astounded every time you clicked a new video. Throughout lockdown, the company have been uploading everything from short, behind-the-scenes clips to epic, hour-long specials. As ever, the costumes and choreography are as stunning as they are breathtaking. Last week they even uploaded their brand new show Crystal, which is performed on ice. (Definitely a “don’t try this at home” kind of situation, though!)
The Shows Must Go On
The Shows Must Go On started the livestreaming in lockdown trend by releasing one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s timeless musicals for fans to sing along to every Friday. Hits included Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, The Phantom of the Opera and the ever controversial Cats. Though Webber’s personal collection has now been exhausted, the channel lives on, and as this week’s release is the hip-bopping Hairspray, we’re not expecting the standard to drop in the slightest.
The Royal Ballet and Opera House
The Royal Opera House and The Royal Ballet share a YouTube channel, which is being used to grace our screens with performances more beautiful than we could have hoped for. They alternate which company uploads each week, so if you’re more interested in one over the other then do not worry. Currently online are The Royal Ballet’s Anastasia and The Cellist, and the Royal Opera House’s Cinderella, but their website confirms that they’ve got even more up their sleeves for the coming weeks.
If you have Sky, the Arts channel is the place to be right now. It’s a one stop shop for all things theatre, ballet, opera and any other performance you could think of. They’ve got behind-the-scenes documentaries about how shows, including big hit Hamilton, move through the stages of production, which is perfect for any theatre geek out there. They’ve also got the incredible Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert, if you need to let off a little lockdown steam with a good cry.
The National Theatre
If you’re at all into theatre, then you’ll probably already know that The National Theatre upload a full-length play onto their YouTube channel every Thursday. They’re only available for one week until their successor is uploaded, so if you spot something you like then don’t hesitate to watch it. If just the play isn’t enough to fill that theatre shaped hole in your life, their channel also has loads of fun interviews with cast members and even some quizzes you can play along with.
Along with all the classic movie musicals like The Lion King and Frozen, Disney + also has a couple of hidden, live performance gems. Not everyone has heard of Newsies, but it’s well worth a watch, and we’re hoping that its popularity will lead Disney to add more like it. The infamous Hamilton is coming on the 3rd of July, and you can bet we’re already counting down the days. Also, as much as it doesn’t fit in with the theme of livestream performances, you can’t go wrong with a bit of High School Musical.
Words by Lauren Robertson.