The theatrical world is responding to the current crisis by making plays free to watch at home. It’s only been a fortnight since our last round up but many more have been uploaded since then. The list below features a wide variety of shows, from grand productions, right through to independently produced monologues.

This House & Tom Hiddleston's Coriolanus | National Theatre at Home

On now is the comedy This House, which centres on the political wrangling that followed the 1974 general election – and from Thursday 4 June at 7pm, it’s Shakespeare’s tragedy ‘Coriolanus’, starring none other than Tom Hiddleston. A Donmar Warehouse production from 2013/14, it garnered rave reviews from the critics.

Messiah & A Monster Calls | Bristol Old Vic at Home

The Bristol Old Vic is releasing a play a week for the next six weeks. On until 7pm on Friday is Messiah, which transforms Handel’s classical oratorio into a stage performance. Then it’s A Monster Calls, an adaptation of the young adult fantasy novel by Patrick Ness.

The Cellist | The Royal Opera House

Cathy Marston’s first work for the House’s Main Stage is a lyrical memoir about Jacqueline du Pré. The opera follows her life, from her discovery of the cello, through her career as one of the world’s greatest musicians, to her struggle with multiple sclerosis. Wait it until Friday 12 June.

The Merry Wives of Windsor | The Globe

No Kate and/or Meghan jokes, please. Drawing influence from 1930s’ fashion, music and dance, the production rejoices in a British comedy tradition that reaches from the seventeenth century to the contemporary sitcom. Pearce Quigley stars as Shakespeare’s beloved character, Falstaff. Available until Sunday 14 June.

The Past Keeps on Coming | Phil Pearson

This brand-new short monologue stars Emma Eckton (Cold Feet, Emmerdale), and was recorded at her Lancashire home. She portrays Rosa, a mother whose life has been shaped by a tragic event in her family. It has already been selected for a prestigious film festival.

The Turn of the Screw | Opera North

Benjamin Britten’s chamber piece is an adaptation of Henry James’ chilling novella. One of the most highly regarded English operas, it mixes classical and modernist musical forms. In a remote country house, a governess fights to protect two orphaned children from menacing spirits.

Revisor | Sadler’s Wells

Recorded just days before the lockdown, this play is based on Gogol’s The Government Inspector. Voiceovers read aloud a script which is constantly being revised and the cast respond to it like marionettes. Combining dance with theatre, it’s an innovative take on an old classic.

When Everything's Normal Will You Forget? | Graeae

This theatre company puts deaf and disabled artists centre stage. They have a series of weekly lockdown monologues, provocatively titled Crips Without Constraints. The latest (number six) is about one young man’s struggles dealing with the benefits system. The previous five are still online to enjoy.

Jack Lear | Hull Truck Theatre

Wealthy trawlerman Jack Lear is preparing to retire and hand over his hard-earned fleet to his feisty daughters. The trio have never seen eye to eye with each other, or their tight-fisted father. Sound familiar? Live music comes from the award-winning folk musician Eliza Carthy MBE.

The Rite of Spring | Scottish Ballet

Following a critically acclaimed UK tour, Christopher Hampson’s take on Stravinsky’s masterwork can now be enjoyed by all. With minimalist costumes and sets, it’s all about the music and movement. At a little over half an hour, it’s not too daunting for ballet neophytes.

The Case of the Frightened Lady | Miracle Theatre

An author of whodunnits finds out he has only two days to write his next novel. A 1930s-set farce, it follows the writer and his household as they flit between reality and fiction, trying to come up with a storyline. Recorded at the famous open-air Minack Theatre.

Carousel | Lincoln Centre

New York City’s famed theatre is getting in on the streaming act, and the plays will be viewable in the UK too. First up, it’s this Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, which features You’ll Never Walk Alone. The music was performed by the New York Philharmonic, no less. Available from Friday 5 June.

Song of the Earth | English National Ballet

Here’s just an early heads-up for the company’s next Wednesday Watch Party. Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet, inspired by Mahler’s song cycle, was filmed at our own Palace Theatre. Three central figures portray the bittersweet realities of love, loss, and mortality. Available from Wednesday 17 – Friday 19 June.

Mon 1 Jun - Sun 14 Jun
A. James Simpkin
Published on:
Mon 8 Jun 2020